Tips for a Green Event

Pre-Event Considerations

  • Incorporate "Green Thinking" in the planning process.
  • When working with an event planning agency or conference location, clarify your priorities.
  • Pick a location with as much natural light as possible.
  • Work with the facility to minimize energy use.
  • Invitations: pick avenues that get to many people, such as emails, website, social networking sites, and PSA's.
  • When necessary to use the mail, use postcards.
  • Offer online registration and information.
  • Rent and borrow items that you use infrequently.
  • Determine ways to generate the least amount of waste.
  • Choose a hotel that offers a linen reuse program and bulk dispensers for shampoos and soaps in guest suites.
  • If participants are coming from out of town, suggest off-site activities that are nature-based with minimal impact to the local environment.
Computer Utilize electronic invitations to reduce paper waste

Recycling

  • People who recycle at home and at work look for recycling bins wherever they go.
  • Make recycling containers visually available.
  • The placement, number and signage are all important for success.
  • Placement next to the trash doubles the chance that the correct receptacle will be used.
  • General Guidelines: 1 recycling station for each 200 people; Waste and recycling station should be available every 150 feet.

Conferences/​Conventions

  • Instead of printing handouts and proceedings, use CDs or flash drives to store meeting / conference information and distribute them to attendees or delegates.
  • Encourage presenters to send information to organizing committee so that it can also be put on the flash drive or to have a one-page handout with phone numbers and /or web addresses of materials.
  • When printed materials cannot be avoided, print on both sides of the paper.
  • When planning annual conventions, choose items that can be used more than once, such as badge holders and signs with non-event-specific verbiage.
  • A casual dress code ensures that clothing will not need to be dry cleaned or the temperature adjusted to accommodate suits.
  • Pick a location where public transportation is available and/or taxis can be shared.

Promotional Materials

  • Promotional materials should be appropriate and useful for the attendees.
  • Choose promotional materials that are durable and reusable.
  • Find charities that can use undistributed handouts, such as pencils and paper to schools or before and after school learning programs.
Pencils Leftover materials may be donated after the event

Food

  • Design the menu around seasonally appropriate foods and locally produced foods.
  • Calculate and buy the amount of food needed.
  • Ask food vendors to use minimal packaging for their products.
  • Arrange beforehand to have unused food donated to a shelter or food distribution program.
  • Buy food packaged in containers of recycled content that can be recycled again.
  • Use dishes, glassware, silverware and cloth napkins rather than plastic and paper.
  • If using disposable food ware, use biodegradable, compostable or recyclable products.
  • Serve iced tap water (flavored with lemons, limes, cucumbers, or other in-season fruits or vegetables, or fresh herbs) instead of bottled water. Have pitchers or dispensers located in central areas as well as on meeting room tables.
  • Give participants reusable coffee mugs/cups at the start of the conference. Ask attendees to reuse any other glasses that they use during the day.
  • Use bulk dispensers for sugar, salt, pepper, cream and other condiments.
  • Arrange beforehand for the disposal of food waste: donation to a shelter or food distribution program, a compost bin, or ship to a local farm for livestock feed.

Decorations

  • Decorate with seasonally appropriate natural items. (Thematic decorations are more apt to end up in the landfill.)
  • Incorporate something useful that coordinates with purpose/theme of event for door prizes and/or centerpieces: tickets to a play, concert or sports event, a year's pass to the state parks or museums, lessons or classes, gift cards to locally owned businesses.
  • Use items twice: Door prizes first used as centerpieces, a food or beverage offering as the centerpiece, personal bouquets as centerpieces for a reception.

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