The 3Rs Of Going Green: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

RecycleGoing green is becoming increasingly important to event planners. There is so much misinformation and venues covering themselves with a green veneer that an event planner could be forgiven for being a bit cynical about the whole process. This post lets you know what the actual fundaments are for a green event so you will really know what it is you should be aiming for.

Reducing Impact

If you think about it, the less you use; the less you damage the environment and thus the greener you are. That’s why the first R, reducing impact by reducing waste, is the best place to start. The largest waste producers of an event, and those to focus on, are generally conference materials, collateral, and food and beverage. By planning more and reducing the quantities produced in each of these areas, a planner can save money on the production, printing, shipping and hauling cost, food overage, and more.  Some practical ideas include: cutting the use of paper by going digital in every way, providing water fill stations instead of plastic water bottles and “buffet-style” food instead of box lunches.

Reuse what you do use

Anything that you reuse is likely to be of a much higher quality than what ends up in the trash. This means it may have some upfront costs but will probably be better in the long run in both the quality of materials your attendees experience and the amount that you must throw away. Some ways of doing this include, reusable badgeholders (make sure they get returned), reusable mugs and water holders, donating leftover food to food banks and using plants as centre pieces instead of flowers.

Recycling everything else

Recycling has become habit in many ways but there still so much more that can be done. The best practice currently is for a “single stream” service which allows attendees to put all recyclable materials in one bin that’s then sorted off-site. Here are some ways in which you can ensure you recycle: inform people about how to do it at your event,  ensure the venue provide recycle bins as well as regular trash and making sure any food not donated goes to compost.

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Posted on Mar 14 2014

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