10 Tips to Create Responsible Event Consumption and Production
Thursday, October 11, 2018
By Bev Ridyard
Events planners and vendors have an incredible ability to affect wide-spread change. Events are not only great opportunities to educate people on the impact of high consumption and production, but they are also a fantastic way to showcase how responsible production and consumption can be achieved. By offering and sourcing sustainable options, ILEA members can be a part of the global drive to minimize waste, reduce the carbon footprint and further green initiatives.
Reducing food waste is a top concern for many events planners, and justifiably so. According to the United Nations, “Each year about one-third of all food produced — equivalent to 1.3 billion tons worth around $1 trillion — ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.”
Through sharing ideas, solutions and innovations, the events industry can come together to make sustainability a key driver of all events, further minimizing waste and consumption. Positive Impact Events, a not-for-profit focused on providing education, resources and inspiration for a sustainable events industry, offers some key ways to crease responsible consumption and production at events.
1. Plan ahead
Be as accurate in your estimations as possible. Find out how many people are attending in advance and if they have any food requirements. Consequently, you will know who to cater for and how much food to provide in order to minimize food waste.
2. Use renewable energy or energy-saving devices to power your event
Choose a venue which uses renewable energy or efficient energy devices for their lighting and heating.
3. Offer eco-friendly transport and facilities at your event
Some venues offer free bike stands outside their building to encourage people to cycle instead of taking a car. However, if cars are unavoidable, why not encourage people to use rideshare apps, cabs or carpooling in order to reduce the impact on resources? You may even be able to work with rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft to get a discount code for your guests. This is win-win, especially if you’re serving alcohol.
4. Send information electronically
Rather than handing out paper materials, leaflets or receipts, send out information digitally via email, social media platforms or mobile apps
5. Encourage people to bring their own notebooks, bags or lunch boxes
Asking people to bring their own resources to an event is a great way of minimizing consumption costs as well as the impact on the environment. Also, if there is any leftover food, people can take it home in their own lunch boxes.
6. Make sure you compost
Make sure that all food that is biodegradable is composted rather than just put in the bin. This will reduce the waste going to landfill unnecessarily. One way to do this is to have a designated compost section by the trash and disposal area, so guests know where to leave their food.
7. Provide recycling bins
Make sure there are plenty of recycle bins at your event and they are visible. Better yet: Label recycling bins by type.
8. Link up with food organizations
By working with food donation charities, you can ensure that food that would otherwise go to waste after an event can be given to those in need.
9. Use reusable plates and cutlery
If reusable plates and cutlery are not at hand, make sure they can be easily recycled.
Use your event as a platform to educate people about reducing production and consumption in the event industry. Provide workshops and conferences to spread the word of a sustainable event industry.
How many of these are you already doing, and how else can you reduce the environmental footprint of your events?
Bev Ridyard is the marketing manager at Positive Impact events, a not-for-profit organization with the aim of creating a sustainable event industry through the provision of education, resources and inspiration for our global community.
*Re-posted with permission from positiveimpactevents.com