Most people are conscious of their impact on the environment and event hosts are no exception. You can exercise your eco-conscience and lessen your impact on the local landfill by turning to ways to make your events greener.
How green is your event? You should first decide how green you wish to make your event. You might decide to go all in, including the vendors you use, such as caterers, and even how you dispose of the waste from your event.
Set Criteria for Your Green Standards
Before you set out to have a green event, you need to set the criteria for your green standards and stick with them.
For example, you might want to select a composting company to handle the trash and other waste from your event. Check to see what the company can handle, such as types of foods (most don’t handle meats) and trash. Make sure they can compost biodegradable papers and plastics. Many composting companies work with recycling service companies.
Other criteria to consider include:
- Choose a green venue or at the least an eco-friendly venue.
- Select a green/eco-friendly caterer to ensure your efforts aren’t wasted.
- If you’re self-catering your event, then go strictly with local, sustainable food growers for the bulk of your produce, meats, etc.
- Prepare your food with green methodologies and products.
Decorations, Tableware and Utensils
When it comes to tableware and utensils, you have a lot of great choices. From biodegradable post-consumer recycled paper and plastics to compostable sugar cane, vegetable and other starch-based offerings. You can even find palm leaf products made from naturally shed palm fronds and organic sustainably grown bamboo utensils and plates.
Some of these include:
- Compostable and biodegradable plates, hot/cold cups, bowls, napkins, tableware, cutlery and utensils are great finds.
- Other offerings include, ice cream cups, drinking straws and coffee stir sticks.
- Serving trays and plates also come with covers that can be easily composted.
- Eco-friendly decorations include banners, garlands, felt runners and tablecloths.
- Tissue paper honeycomb balls and hearts are another great eco-friendly product many companies offer to make your events greener.
Plantable Seed Embedded Papers
If your event warrants sending paper flyers, invitations or programs, you can boost your eco-friendly standing by purchasing invitations embedded with flower or herb seeds.
A formal sit-down dinner is ripe for using seeded place cards. Be sure to alert your guests to the little treasures so they are encouraged to take these home and plant in their garden to reap wildflower blooms.
Some companies also offer seeded confetti in different colors and shapes, such as circles, stars and hearts. You can scatter these down the center of your tables to mimic a table runner or use for a confetti-tossing celebration. The best part is these can be planted after your event to provide wildflowers and/or herbs.
Event Goodie Bags and Favors
Most events include bags and often favors. You can purchase bags that are made from eco-friendly companies that use post-consumer plastics and papers to make their bags.
You can include one or more favors with your company logo and/or info printed on them. These include:
- Staple free staplers
- Recycled crayons for the kids
- Herb or wildflower seed bomb favors
- Seeded paper flowers that can be planted
Green Ideas for Specific Events
There are ways that specific events can grow greener by using eco-friendly products.
Paint and Sip
As part of your event, you can use products that are either eco-friendly or even green. The criteria for this would include things such as:
- How the products are manufactured and of course, formulated.
- Select less toxic products.
- Investigate how the products are made, such as reused and recycled.
Provide attendees with these products and offer each a bamboo table easel and drawing stand. You can also provide attendees with a printed list on seeded paper of paint suppliers that sell these and other eco-friendly paint supplies.
In addition to the other suggestions for making your events greener, you can opt for organic dance wear. Choose a few reliable companies to suggest to students and attendees. If you’re lucky enough to locate costumes that fulfill your criteria, be sure to use them for recitals and other events.
An escape room planner can incorporate multiple types of green/eco-friendly items, such as paper products for attendees to use in their sleuthing processes, objects necessary for clues, maps and other items. Another great way to hold a greener event is to furnish the escape rooms with repurposed furniture and objects.
Steps for Making Events Greener
It’s easy to incorporate green practices in your events. Break down your overall plan into doable steps complete with a realistic timetable. If you can’t get everything established in time for your next event, don’t worry. You can continue to change-out products, vendors and procedures until you have everything in place so each event is greener than the last one.