Often, the initiative to design sustainable event has to come from event and meeting planners. Many clients still don't have sustainability on their radar.
Designing events that are more sustainable doesn't have to be complicated. Sometimes, small, baby steps can go along way towards helping clients perceive the benefits of sustainable events. Sometimes just looking at what other destinations are doing can provide ideas and document the savings and results.
- Go paperless by using apps. or providing USB drives with handouts, speaker bios, agendas, and show guides.
CrowdCompass mobile apps can help.
- Design menus around seasonal produce (e.g. Winter, Autumn).
- Use fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate.
- Build relationships with farm-to-table caterers and venues.
- Incorporate ocean-to-table seafood dining into your events.
- Provide jugs of water instead of plastic water bottles.
- Give attendees refillable water bottles and provide filling stations.
- Ensure that all disposables are sustainable and, if possible, compostable. Example: Eco-kits have compostable plates cups, glasses and cutlery.
- Serve to go lunches or snacks in re-usable containers or bags.
Example: Lunchskins come in a variety of design to fit event themes.
- Re-cycle paper products, cans, and bottles. In Canada and the European Union, curb side recycling is mandatory in all major municipalities.
- Put out bins to make it easy for attendees to discard, paper, cans, food, and garbage separately.
Event venues in Canada and the European union do this as standard practice.
Example: Mobius 4 compartment recycling bin
- Put out receptacles to encourage attendees to recycle badges holders and name tags.
- Donate surplus food to charities that collect and re-distribute food.
- Work with Clean the World to recycle unused soap, shampoo, and conditioner from attendee hotel rooms.
For more tips, also consult How to Shop for Sustainable Sites and Vendors, Smart Venues Make Sustainability Easy, What's Hot: More Eco-Friendly Supplies for Green Events and The Cost of Being Sustainable.