Events are a great way to make a lasting impression on guests, but they also end up producing a lot of unnecessary waste. Whether it is a large-scale event or a small dinner party, here are a few things to consider when planning to green your upcoming event:
1. Green Planning & Marketing
When advertising your event and inviting guests, let them know it is a green event beforehand and help them make green choices before they arrive. Advertise that you are striving for a zero-waste event and list some actions your attendees can take, and what you as the host are doing to make that happen. :
- Use online marketing and promotion.
- Go paperless – send electronic copies of line-ups, agendas, presentations, etc. before and/or after the event.
- For unavoidable printing, print double sided and on FSC certified and post-consumer recycled paper.
- Minimize giveaways – choose giveaways that are useful, locally and ethically produced, and minimally packaged.
- Ask guests to bring their own mug/bag/cup/bottle to help cut down on single-use plastics.
- No plastic straws! (only have a few reusable ones available for those who may need them)
- Go bottle water free at your event.
- Provide recycling and compost containers for your guests so that if there is waste, it does not end up in the landfill.
- If you’re hosting a large dinner party, ask guests to bring reusable containers with them for leftovers to cut down on food waste!
- Empty beer bottles can be brought back to any beer store for cash (and to be reused), or you can bring them to a recycling depot near you.
- Limit unnecessary decorations and single-use items, like Mardi Gras beads, party horns, confetti, balloons, etc.
- If your event attracts people who enjoy glow sticks – consider sharing messaging about the negative impact these party favors have on the planet after the glow wears off. Point your guests to green options they can order in advance like solar powered lights, flash lights, battery powered blinking lights, fairy lights, LED lights, etc. More information about glow sticks here.
3. Rethink, Refuse, Reuse
One of the classic event culprits is that so many singe-use, disposable containers end up in the landfill and stay there for years. Styrofoam takes centuries to decompose in landfill and is made out of fossil fuel products. Many paper cups also have a plastic or waxy coating that makes it unable to be recycled or composted.
- Rethink your choices, refuse to offer single-use plastics or create food waste, and offer reusable containers and cutlery.
- Order compostable beverage containers from Canada Green. They are based in Winnipeg and offer a wide range of compostable items like beer cups, take-out containers, cutlery and hot/cold cups.
In addition to getting the compostable cups, you`ll want to have a place for people to compost them! Otherwise, they end up in the landfill. Organics (and compost containers) thrown in the trash end up in the landfill and do not get the aerobic process needed to reduce greenhouse gases during their decomposition. To reduce the emissions made from your organics and compostable items, place them all in a marked compostable bag to be disposed of correctly. You’ll want to clearly label and place compost bins right next to the garbage and recycling options to make it easy for your guests to identify.
Did you know Compost Winnipeg can take care of your composting needs at home, work, or large event? Contact them today to see your options!
5. Sustainable Transportation
- Advertise the bike parking options and nearby bike and transit routes.
- Direct guests to use GoManitoba to see what their transportation options are, or carpool with other guests via the single-trip matching feature.
- Build your own bike rack in your front or backyard! Click here for a few ideas to get you started.
- Bike Valet Bike Parking Services in Winnipeg
- Bike Valet supplies all of the equipment and staff to supply protected bike parking for your event. Fees vary depending on the number of bicycles anticipated and the number of hours required.
- Contact them at info@BicycleValetWinnipeg.ca to find out more or you can visit their website for more information.
Source: Green Event Planning | sustain.ubc.ca