It’s Summer, the time for outdoor events. Whether you’re planning a street fair, music festival, brand promotion, or even a wedding, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the negative impact your event has on the environment.
With sustainability and social responsibility on the forefront of minds these days, making your event eco-friendlier is a fantastic opportunity to increase public awareness on the subject while adding value to your brand.
Here are 6 steps to make your event more environmentally friendly:
- Put a plan in place
To ensure your event is eco-friendly throughout, you must make sustainability a priority in the early pre-planning stages. If left as an after-thought, you could miss opportunities that could result in unnecessary problems and bad PR.
From opting to a more eco-friendly location that has accessible public transport links and managing your event’s power consumption to using disposable materials and reducing food wastage, the environment affects every part of the event and should be a part of the planning process from the very start.
- Involve your contractors
Whether your event is big or small, involve your vendors, caterers and concessionaires in your eco-friendly event plans. The best time to get input from contractors is when they’re bidding for the job as they’ll think outside of the box to look better than other bidders. So, make sure you state that you want their help with reducing environmental impacts from the beginning.
- Include organics
A good event has food, which means there is going to be food waste. To minimise how much waste is sent to landfill, incorporating organic waste collections into your event planning is recommended. Organic waste is a valuable resource that can be composted to produce soil fertilisers. By separating organics for composting, you will make a positive impact on the environment.
- Include recycling bins
Providing recycling bins at your event is a necessity and when it comes to an eco-friendly event, you must consider bin placement. Different types of events will require different bins and all bins will need clear signage that clearly communicates what needs to go into each bin.
An outdoor music or food festival will need bins that can be placed in the open and accessible from both sides whereas an event centre will need bins by entrances, in hallways and against the wall. Restricting the aperture of the bin is a good idea as it will get people thinking twice before they throw something in.
- Inform everyone
Tell attendees about your sustainability goals leading up to the event to ensure everyone is on the same page. Things such as where the recycle bins are located should be advertised online, in event programs and social media to generate buzz about your eco-friendly initiatives and encourage people to participate on the day.
- Start simple
Start by introducing one eco-friendly change at a time before announcing a full-sustainability plan. Here are a few easy-to-implement ideas to help reduce the environmental impact of your next event:
- Choose a venue or location that’s accessible by foot or by public transportation.
- If an event structure is required, considered using an upcycled event shipping container rather than a bespoke solution. Incredibly versatile, event shipping containers offer a dynamic space suited for all event types.
- If your event requires tickets to secure entry, go paperless. Encourage attendees to use their smartphones to enter the venue. Not only will this save you time and money, but you will gain access to the attendee’s email address allowing for future marketing campaigns.
- Work with local caterers to create a farm-to-table menu. Local food is eco-friendly, fresh and delicious. All purchased food and drinks should be bought in bulk to reduce packaging and costs.
- Work with vendors and caterers to ditch plastic straws for drinks and bar service. Serve jugs of water or hire water fountains instead of offering bottled water.
Few event trends have taken on as much momentum as making events more green, sustainable and environmentally friendly. From finding a green venue to sourcing local foods to diverting waste from landfills, there are many ways to reduce your environmental impact at your next event and encourage attendees to continue efforts at home.
The key is to start with a plan that all vendors and attendees are on board with and introduce one eco-friendly change at a time before creating and announcing a full-sustainability plan.
Dawn Ellis is Digital Marketing Manager at The Events Structure who provide a range of temporary event structures and mobile display solutions to a diverse range of clients worldwide, including Mastercard, Amazon, Virgin, WKD, British Army and TomTom.