Green Ideas for your Event

If you have a strong social and environmental conscience it is great to have a few ideas about how to include that in your next event.

Creating an event that has less impact on the environment and aligns your personal beliefs with work objectives can be very satisfying. Below are a few ideas of how some simple changes can be made to have the desired outcome.

Thankyou Gifts – Conference / Weddings
When you organise a conference, it may be part of your protocol to give a present to the speakers or delegates. When you plan a wedding you often provide your attendants with a thankyou gift, voucher or flowers.
Another option is to donate that money to a cause and make an announcement advising all the attendees that each speaker will see the company make a contribution towards the said cause. Donations are also tax deductible for businesses and private planners alike.

Recyclable vs Biodegradable Materials
For a catering event, event planners can made simple choices to lessen the impact on the earth. The best option is to use real plates that can be washed and reused; however for some types of events that is not always practical. In these circumstances there are biodegradable options such as potato plates and cutlery instead of throwaway plastic. There are companies in NZ who can now offer these items and your caterer will be able to source these if you desire this option.

Organic Cuisine
Serving organic food and coffee if possible is another option. Organic food costs are coming down as demand increases. Some of the benefits include: Fewer pesticides / possibly fresher / organic farming is better for the environment / animals are not given antibiotics, growth hormones or animal by-products / Locally grown produce reduces transport costs.

Long term Promotional Items
When buying promotional gifts make them available for long-term use, therefore if you have any surplus stock they are not been wasted as they can be utilised for another occasion. An easy way to do this is to exclude the date. The actual event can be promoted with other means such as your fliers and online promotion, but the promotional item has longevity. This is not always appropriate for occasions such as sporting events where T-Shirts may require a date to highlight when participation took part! 

Quality Promotional Items
If you buy promotional items for your event think about quality - firstly because it's not good for your brand or event to be seen on poor quality products. Secondly if it’s not a usable item it will be thrown away and therefore a waste of resources.

Providing bins available for recyclable purposes. Separate plastic bins and food bins are good starters. Especially for concerts and outdoor events. Most people are educated on how to recycle these days, so if you provide the facility and make it easy, they will do the right thing.

Offering transport options for your guest is a great way of helping reduce our carbon footprint, pollution, wear & tear and travel congestion.  Providing options for guests to travel in groups also creates a very social environment, and encourages people to arrive and depart at the same time. Organise pick up points or meeting points for people to meet - and then arrange taxi vans, boats, buses, trains to collect.

If you have any other ideas on helping to 'green' an event please email them to me.

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