Every year, Earth Day on April 22nd reminds us about the importance of being sustainable and environmentally conscious in our lives and businesses. Case studies reveal that with a little thoughtful planning, a company can reduce the amount of waste at its brand’s events throughout the year by more than 70 percent. Here are some event planner tips on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle at your corporation’s next meeting or special event.
Location, location, location
Choosing a venue partner that supports your sustainability efforts is a key step to producing a greener event. Look for certified green venues in your area and find out if it can provide your event with smart TVs, local produce, and at least a basic recycling program. Also, ask the venue or caterer if they would be willing to coordinate donations of leftovers to local food pantries, through organizations such as Los Angeles Food Bank or Feeding America. Some venues will require a signed liability waiver to facilitate donations, so be sure to carefully look over the agreement before committing.
Is there an app for that?
With the proliferation of smartphones into the businessman’s everyday life, investing in a mobile event app can be a cost effective method to significantly reduce printing expenditures and waste. It additionally helps ensure that attendees have event information at their fingertips during and post-event, unlike printed programs, which undoubtedly end up in the trash. Nowadays many venues are even equipped with smart TVs that can display directions, messaging, and the agenda via USB or laptop connection. If hard copies are a must, rather than supplying printouts for all attendees, have 2-3 tent cards on each table instead. Also see if the venue can provide easily discernable recycling and compost bins to make sustainability as simplified as possible for attendees.
Share a set of wheels
Select hotels that are within walking distance to the event and provide attendees with detailed directions on foot- again, make it easy. Encourage guests to utilize public transportation or carpool by offering exclusive door prizes or Green VIP privileges to ride sharers.
Speaking of VIP door prizes, giving away branded tumblers for use at hydration stations or water pitcher stations is a highly effective strategy to get attendees excited about sustainability and to eliminate the biggest culprit for waste at events: plastic water bottles.
It’s an ongoing team effort
Get attendees and vendors on board with your company’s goals for a sustainable event by sharing your vision in the programming or on your event app. Capture statistics to measure the success of your practices and announce your progress at the next event. Let all those present at the event know that their efforts are making a positive impact on the earth.