Events are moving toward becoming more environmentally friendly.  According to a poll by Trulia, 79% of Americans consider themselves environmentally conscious. To keep up with this demand, event planners must consider ways to integrate eco-friendly features into events.

This trend is here to stay and this means event planners will continue to come up with new and creative ways to decrease the carbon impact of events. Although some environmental strategies can be out of the average event business’ budget, making events more environmentally-friendly doesn’t have to involve a large money output.

There are some simple ways to create an eco-conscious event. Making the effort to integrate some of these easy tips will pay off in the long-term by showing that your event business as one that cares about the earth.

8 Simple Tips for Planning Environmentally-Friendly Events

#1. Sell Tickets Online

There are many benefits of using online event registration, including being eco-friendly. With online registration, you don’t need to send out paper invites or sell paper tickets. Everything can be done online, greatly reducing the amount of paper consumed.

#2. Use a Mobile App Instead of Printed Materials

Instead of printing off brochures on paper, invest in a mobile event app. This allows attendees to plan their schedules, and network without business cards.

Since most brochures end up in the trash eventually, using a mobile app significantly reduces paper waste.

#3. Offer Recycling

Another tip for planning eco-friendly events is to set up recycling bins in the event space. While recycling is often a fixture at events, not every event planner thinks of this as a necessity.

According to the America Recycles Day website, 34% of Americans recycle. This rate has been increasing for the past 30 years. As recycling rates continue to increase, it’s important to invest in recycling options for event attendees. Make recycling easy by labeling bins with the types of items that can be recycled.

#4. Offer Refillable Water Bottles

Although recycling is one environmentally-friendly option, another is to reduce the amount of plastic waste by offering reusable water bottles or cups instead of disposable ones. Set up labeled water stations so attendees know where to fill up.

BPA-free water bottles are affordable and can be designed as promotional products. Not only will many event attendees appreciate the environmental focus, they will be able to take the bottle home to remember the event.

#5. Eco-Friendly Transportation

Event planners can also incorporate eco-friendly transportation options into events. Offer incentives for attendees to use them.  Coordinate ride sharing for event attendees or encourage eco-friendly vehicles.

As incentives, provide a bike valet, bus passes, or free parking for those who carpool or drive hybrid or electric vehicles. You can even provide small prizes for those who choose green transportation. While not all attendees will take advantage of these options, those that do will appreciate the effort.

#6. Serve Local and Organic Food

Another way to create more environmentally friendly events is to serve food that is grown organically. The food should also be local and not transported long-distances, which reduces fuel consumption. For your next event, look for a caterer that uses local, organic ingredients.

#7. Switch to Energy Efficient Lighting

Not every event location offers control over the lighting choices, but some do.

To reduce energy consumption during your event, switch to solar-powered lighting or compact fluorescent bulbs. You could also hold events during the day to take advantage of natural light.

#8. Donate Leftover Food

Donate leftover food to a local homeless shelter or food bank. Reduce food waste. While not every location will accept leftover food, it doesn’t hurt to try.

Take a little time to consider and implement environmentally-savvy options for events. In this way, event planners can keep up with the desires of eco-friendly attendees. Also, you’ll help save the environment.

What are your favorite eco-friendly event ideas?