Updated: Dec 17, 2020
The best event planners are those that excel at identifying every little detail that will make their event stand out. But even seasoned planners can overlook opportunities to reduce the negative impact your event creates on the environment.
Studies suggest that the average person generates about 13.5 pounds of waste at home each day. But at events, that figure jumps to nearly 61 pounds of waste per person! Event planners shouldn’t think of sustainability as an afterthought, but rather as an integral part of the pre-planning and planning phases. Consider the following four priorities when planning sustainable events that will encourage engagement from vendors and attendees alike:
#1 - Include Event Partners in Your Eco-Friendly Efforts
No event is a one-man show. When you’re working with vendors and event partners in the planning phase, it’s important to share your eco-conscious goals for sustainable events and get their buy-in.
Your partners may be able to help you brainstorm ideas to reduce waste. At the very least, they’ll know your expectations for keeping event waste to a minimum. This may even encourage them to restrict the items they bring to the event to reduce waste before it’s generated!
#2 - Set Guest Expectations
Attendees need to know about your sustainability efforts so they can be conscious of their own use of resources. For example, if you have compost or recycling bins, let them know what they can place in each bin.
Volunteers and staff should also be trained on your sustainable event priorities so they can direct guests and assist with cleanup efforts.
#3 - Go Paperless and Plastic-free When Possible
When most event planners think of going green, going paperless is one of their first thoughts. It’s true that paper consumption is a large part of event waste and should be reduced as much as possible. But plastic also poses a threat to the amount of waste you collect.
There is an area in the Pacific Ocean deemed "The Great Garbage Patch" which is essentially a region twice the size of Texas littered with discarded plastic. Not only does it leach toxic chemicals into the water, but it also gets lodged in sea life and mammals. Let's do our part to mitigate this environmental crisis by eschewing waste.
When possible, try to avoid paper and plastic altogether. For example, instead of selling bottles of water, encourage attendees to bring a refillable bottle. Don’t hand out straws unless guests ask for them. Use food containers that are compostable or recyclable. Create an app for the event instead of printing guides or pamphlets, or consider one large “master schedule” display that contains all event information.
#4 - Hire a Professional Cleanup Crew
There’s more to cleaning up an event than taking out the trash. Along with picking up litter, you’ll need to break down signage, move furniture, clean bathrooms, and leave your venue how you found it.
Hiring a professional cleaning company not only gives you a hands-off approach to post-event clean up, but can also help you further your sustainability efforts. Work with your crew to recycle items, compost food waste, and put the finishing eco-friendly touches on your event.
Creating Sustainable Events Starts with Planning!
Successful sustainable events are those that begin with the end in mind. If you’re serious about reducing your waste footprint, you’ll need to approach your plan with an eco-conscious mindset and take every opportunity to minimize your impact.
At Popup Cleanup, our team is skilled in helping event planners embrace the environment before, during, and after your event. Contact us today for a quote on event cleaning services and let us help you further your do-good mindset!