Event Operations

7 Tips for Planning Sustainable Events

Reading time: 6 min

Are you looking to make your next event more eco-friendly? Well, you're in the right place! We'll be sharing some tips and tricks on how to create awesome events that not only impress your attendees but also help protect our planet. From using LED lightbulbs to upcycling decorations, these best practises will give you fresh, creative ways to make your events more sustainable.

What is a sustainable event?

A sustainable event is one that's organised in a responsible way, leaving a positive impact on the environment and reducing any negative effects. Nowadays, sustainable events are becoming increasingly popular, as people become more aware of the need to protect our planet and our communities. That's why it's crucial to incorporate eco-friendly event planning as much as possible into the various aspects of your event, from your venue choice to your final decorations. 

Benefits of sustainable event planning 

By utilising sustainable event planning strategies, not only will you be contributing to a healthier planet and society, but you'll also be saving money on expenses like electricity bills and disposable items. Since many event-goers appreciate events that prioritise sustainability, you'll enhance your reputation and attract more attendees. And on top of all that, you'll feel more accomplished knowing that you're doing your part in promoting social responsibility.

7 practical ways to make your event more sustainable

Now that we've covered the fundamentals of sustainability, let's discuss how you can put them into action!

1. Select a green venue 

When looking for a venue, keep an eye out for places with green certifications or that offer recycling and composting services. Green certifications like Green Globe show that a venue has taken steps to reduce its environmental impact, making it a considerable choice to practise event sustainability. By choosing a green venue, you're showing your attendees that you care about sustainability, and they'll be more likely to support your events in the future.

2. Upcycle materials

Upcycling is a creative way to turn old or discarded items into something new and useful. For example, you can use old jars or wine bottles to create unique centrepieces or planters that will add a touch of charm to your event, like using jars as vases for your flower bouquets. Consider using recycled materials (like reusable fabric or recycled plastic) for your swag bags. As for decorations, refurbished pallets or doors can make cool, rustic backdrops that will impress your guests. As a more specific example, if you're hosting fall events on a farm, try transforming leftover wooden pallets or bales of hay into benches. By upcycling materials, you'll be promoting sustainability, while adding a unique touch to your event.

3. Practise waste management 

Think classy – never trashy! Start by opting for reusable types of plates, cutlery, and cups instead of disposable ones. If you do need to use disposable items, choose ones that are compostable or made from recycled materials. Also, if the venue you selected doesn't already offer recycling services, consider setting up some recycling and composting bins around the venue yourself and encourage attendees to use them. Once your event wraps up, consider donating any leftover food to a local food pantry if possible. 

4. Go paperless

Going paperless is an excellent start to eco-friendly event planning. With a ticketing platform like TicketLeap, you'll reduce your paper usage by taking advantage of digital tools like event management software, online registration, and mobile ticketing. Then, during the event itself, you can replace paper programs and agendas with digital versions so attendees can quickly scan a QR code or click a link to access them on their phones. By going paperless, you'll both reduce waste but save money on printing costs. 

5. Cater local seasonal foods 

Plan your menu around what's in season and purchase your food from local farmers or suppliers to help reduce your carbon footprint. By doing so, you'll be both supporting local businesses and decreasing how far your food has to travel to your event. Since seasonal foods are those grown and harvested during a particular season, they'll be fresher, tastier, and require fewer resources to transport. Trust us, your guests will go bananas for how delicious and fresh your locally-sourced food is!

6. Find eco-friendly ways of transportation 

Rather than drive in separate cars, encourage your attendees to carpool or use public transportation. On top of helping reduce traffic and air pollution, you'll also promote a sense of community and shared responsibility for the environment. To make it easier for your attendees to use public transportation as an option, consider providing shuttle services to your event venue.   

7. Minimise energy usage 

By taking even just simple measures, you can significantly reduce your event's energy consumption and support a greener world. For instance, if your event is during the day, open up windows and doors to let in natural sunlight rather than rely on artificial lighting. When you need extra lighting though (like for nighttime events), use energy-efficient bulbs whenever possible since LED lights use up to 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. And be sure to turn off lights whenever they're not in use! You can also save energy by turning off equipment when it's not needed, like projectors, sound systems, and other electronics.  

Green event planning typically looks like small changes that make big differences. Try some of these tips yourself, and fill your attendees in on your efforts to host sustainable events too. As you work to reduce waste and conserve your resources, you'll inspire others to follow your lead. Together we can make a positive impact on the world around us, one small step at a time!

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