Close up of woman setting a table

3 FREE and EASY Actions You Can Start Doing to Plan an Eco-Friendlier Event

Being an event planner is the fifth most stressful job in the world! To tack on creating and implementing an event sustainability plan just seems ridiculous… because 

a) You simply don’t have the time and 

b) You don’t have the knowledge or expertise

On top of that, anytime someone mentions eco-friendly alternatives whether it be for your day-to-day or an event, the thing that instantly comes to mind is that it will cost more money. And to be honest, it can be but not always. It’s dependent on whether you’re focused on short-term or longterm gains. Just like buying a reusable water bottle costs more money upfront, in the long run a $30 reusable stainless bottle costs less than paying $2.50 for a single-use plastic one each time you want water. The same idea applies to event sustainability as well. 

So while not all your clients have the budget and perhaps your event team lacks an in-house expert (Learn more about how we can be the expert on your team). I want to share 3 FREE and EASY ways you can start incorporating into the event planning process regardless budget or knowledge.

1. Talk to your Venue about Waste Management

The same way you already have a list of requirements and requests for your venue including the spaces available, the capacities and if any furniture included. You can tackle on a few other questions related to environmental sustainability. Start with asking about their waste management! What bins do they have on-site? i.e. do you have recycling and organic bins in addition to garbage? And if yes, what items are accepted into recycling and organics? Request this list.

Once you find receive a list of items accepted into the list, you can plan accordingly. For example, deciding on the types of disposable items allowed on-site to ensure that they can be recycled or composted. Thus diverting waste from landfill! And if you need support, you can always book a one-time consulting call with me and I’d be happy to help.

Close up of hands throwing plastic forks into the garbage can

2. Sustainability Policy in Vendor Contracts

When searching and confirming vendors and suppliers, be sure to vet them or by mentioning your sustainability policy at the event. For instance, banning plastic disposables on-site. And do they have to be certified compostable? Once vendors are made aware verbally, be sure to outline your sustainability policy within their contracts and what the penalty will be if broken. 

Our top tip, is to enforce the policy and consequences when they arrive on-site. This way your vendors understand that it is a priority and not optional.

Close up of two women's arms reviewing documents

3. Accurate Numbers and Food Recovery

First and foremost, to reduce the amount of food waste at your event is to get an accurate number of attendees. Though sometimes difficult, trying to get accurate numbers will help reduce ordering excess food.

While a proactive action to reduce food waste is best, it’s great to have a back up plan as well. Ahead of your event, connect with food recovery organizations like Second Harvest, Feed it Forward and La Tablée des Chefs. They will usually come pick up the food for free and arrange for donations to non-profits, shelters or other organizations in need.

While this is not a full and comprehensive list to make your event as eco-friendly as possible, it is a great place to start. If you have any trouble implementing or in need of more ideas or eco-friendly vendor recommendations, Contact Us and I’d be more than happy to support you within your budget!

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