As environmental awareness increases, more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment—and event planning is no exception to this green lifestyle.
The resources involved in any event significantly affect the environment; think about how travel to the event, electricity used to power it, food, and packaging can all have a negative impact if we’re not careful and conscientious. Fortunately, you can lessen your impact and help promote sustainability no matter what type of event you’re hosting.
Weddings & Large Gatherings
Encourage guests who live near each other to carpool, and plan for your wedding party to do so as well. This reduces the number of cars on the road, and allows people to socialize before and after the event.
Consider hosting all or part of your event outside to utilize natural light, instead of leaving banquet hall lights on all night. Plus, you can get some epic evening/sunset photos!
Even small changes like choosing cloth napkins over paper can help—because they’re washable, they can be reused and eventually recycled.
Parties & Smaller Events
If you’re considering catered food, ask what kinds of containers they use. Are they recyclable or made from recycled materials? Think about the utensils, plates, and cups you plan to use as well. Does the venue offer items—like cloth napkins for weddings—that can be washed and used for the next event?
If you can avoid it, don’t hand out water bottles. Instead, provide glass water dispensers around the space for your guests. You can even add different fruits in the jars for a more refined cup of water, or to add to the ambiance of the event.
If you’re booking multiple rooms for meetings, be sure to turn off all lights when no one is using the room. Also be wary of charging devices, such as phones, tablets, or laptops—encourage employees to charge them only when the batteries are low, and to unplug them immediately when they’re finished charging.
For employees who are traveling by car, include directions to a local park and ride to carpool together.
These are just a few practices you can adopt to reduce your impact on the environment. For more tips on green event planning, check out these resources below:
- Download the Green Event Checklist from MeetGreen
- Calculate your carbon footprint
- Read about volunteer honeymoons and bargain-hunting brides
- Find a green event near you