Last week, we featured sustainable travel ideas for our travel partners and clients. Today, we are featuring ideas in conducting eco-friendly events.
DMCFinder joins everyone in spreading awareness about environmental protection and conservation. The ever-growing concern about the environment and climate change has heightened demands for sustainable initiatives. The events industry is no exception to these desires for sustainability.
Being conscious of our carbon footprint is the initial step towards realizing substantial changes. Here are 8 effective ways in making your events sustainable:
1. Choose to go virtual.
– Virtual events still contribute to emissions. However, for events that do not require actual attendance of sponsors and audience, the option to go virtual minimizes the carbon footprint more compared to events conducted physically. Actual events demand ground transportation, hotel and accommodation energy, food production, and venue energy. It will help to inform your attendees that the choice to go virtual makes a positive impact to the environment, and they are contributors to this positive change.
2. Choose green destinations and event venues.
– If your event requires physical attendance of your attendees, the most impactful choice is to host it in green destinations. Green destinations are cities or countries where an event sustainability plan or climate action plan is in place and properly implemented. Venues should be able to show they have invested in green initiatives. Some convention and visitors bureaus even give event organizers sustainability information up front or provide full event sustainability-focused packages. Search for sustainable venues and check a city’s overall sustainability performance.
3. Set up group transportation or shuttle services
– If most of your attendees are using private vehicles to arrive at the venue, the carbon footprint will be most likely significantly higher than expected. You will be able to transport more people to the accommodation and event venue at once by setting up carpools or shuttle buses. Another good option is to incentivize public transportation and carpooling.
4. Use proper and reusable cutlery
– No plastic spoons, plastic plates, nor any other plastic utensils. Choose utensils that are washable and reusable. Minimize single-use products. Ensure any food packaging is recyclable. Single sachets of sugar, salt or coffee are also incredibly wasteful, thus must be avoided. Biodegradable utensils will also do.
5. Provide more vegan and vegetarian options
– Offering more vegetarian or vegan options is good for the attendees’ health and is a great way to decrease your event’s carbon footprint. Help your clients understand the negative impact of meat production and the benefits of eating green.
6. Shift from print to digital to minimize paper use.
– Event planners and organizers are encouraged to use event management software. This will help eliminate any need for printed material like flyers, brochures and session schedules. Creating an event website is important to disseminate information and updates, feature speakers and event details.
7. Choose eco-friendly swag items.
– It is recommended that eco-friendly/recycled gifts be given to attendees, instead of merchandise like T-shirts, pens, or key chains that just end up in landfills. Nice swag item ideas are reusable tote bags, recycled tumblers and mugs, recycled journals, among others.
8. Implement a proper waste management programme.
– Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Segregate the waste properly for recycling. Track what is left over at the end of your events and see what you can do to reduce printed materials, badges, among others.
While it is not easy to change habits nor convince clients and sponsors to join this cause, everything starts with a single step. By starting early and making an active commitment to shifting to cleaner and greener events, you can start to make systematic changes that will help you make more sustainable decisions. You are also about to influence a lot of event planners and organizers to follow the same sustainable steps. All for our home–the Earth.
Check out our website–partners promoting sustainable events are on our platform!
Author: Deb Davad