Spring conjures up images of new life. From birds hatching to flowers blooming to trees re-growing their leaf canopy. No matter the species, all living things need three things to thrive - food, water, and a hospitable habitat.
The idea of greening events is not new. Event planners and venues have been looking for ways to make events more sustainable and reduce the amount of waste produced from these mass gatherings. Reducing paper with mobile apps and providing recycling and composting options are popular ways to shrink a carbon footprint. We wanted to go beyond those tried and true methods and look at events as a living being, examining how to provide the keys to life in a way that benefits not only attendees, but the planet as whole.[Tweet "Event planners and venues have been looking for ways to make events more sustainable. #GovEventsBlog"]
Food: In terms of appetizers or snack foods, serve food that does not require utensils to reduce the waste from throwing away plastic forks or water to wash what is used. Instead of pre-packaged chips and trail mix, serve these bulk-style allowing people to take what they want in reusable containers or on their meal plates. Plan ahead to donate uneaten food to a soup kitchen. Work with the caterer and the venue to ensure that uneaten food can be safely wrapped up and delivered to a facility that accepts fresh food donations.
Water: Instead of offering bottles of water, provide a dispenser of water and have attendees fill reusable water bottles (that could be given out at registration and branded with the event logo and/or sponsor logos). If you decide to use disposable containers, look for smaller options so that less waste is created or consider alternative recyclable packaging such as Boxed Water cartons.
[Tweet "How Events Can Embrace the Circle of Life. #GovEventsBlog"]Shelter: Choose a location that is accessible via public transit (where available) and provide details on how to use the city's transit on your website. Chose hotels that are in walking distance of the event. Consider providing shuttles to and from the airport to minimize one-off trips of attendees. Also consider going smaller and more local. Could you reduce the environmental impact of travel by holding smaller events in a variety of locations? Finally, look for ways to get people outside and moving with group walks, fitness activities, or even outdoor networking. This reduces the amount of electricity needed and space consumed by keeping everyone indoors.[Tweet "Tips for making events more environmentally friendly. #GovEventsBlog"]
We'd love to hear your tips on how to make events more friendly for both guests and the environment. Let us know what you've seen and done in the comments.