Monday, March 14, 2011

How Green is your Event?

There are many misconceptions when it comes to trying to make an event as green as possible. Some clients insist they want a green event but also insist on using fancy invitation cards and not just once! They have the "Save the Date" card, the actual invite and the Thank You card.
We have nothing against card printing but why not cut down and just print one card and have the rest in soft copy?

For us party planners, we can't resist using fresh flowers whenever possible as it changes the whole ambience of the party but other than refraining from using fresh flowers or at least opting for locally grown flowers rather than imported ones, what can we do?

When practical, use small hotels and local clubs. If the facility has environmental conservation programs, point out the details to guests.

Use less paper and offer online registration.

Lighting and energy efficient measures should be incorporated wherever feasible. Conference centers that maximize energy efficiency should communicate the details to their guests.

Feature local culture and entertainment.

Serve locally grown products and organic food when possible. Point out such items on a menu. Food can be served in a buffet style in which participants can choose what they do and do not wish to eat. Additionally, many conference centers and restaurants support community food drives. Eco kitchens also find ways to compost.

Far too much paper is wasted at events. There are so many leaflets that people just take and throw in the nearest bin. Why not save your info on a CD instead? Also these can be distributed to people who are genuinely interested only.

Recycle and explain the process to conference participants.

Like food, information is best served self-service. Otherwise, brochures end up in the garbage. If you have to distribute brochures or leaflets, print them on recycled paper.

Schedule heritage walks direct from the conference venue. Local tours promote where the conference takes place and gives visitors a feeling for the neighborhood and a locals a chance to interact with conference participants.

Serve water from pitchers. If using plastic, make sure there is a collection point for recycling and a means to refill the bottles.


Besides the eco-pens, pencils, notebooks, bags and files, you can also gift Desktop accessories, eco electronics and gadgets, sweets, energy bars, clothing, water bottles and food containers, skipping ropes, luggage tags and among other useful gadgets.

What are the red flags of an eco- or people-unfriendly event?

Water is served in individual plastic bottles.

Recycling is not evident. Paper is just thrown into rubbish bins with other items like food and plastic. Try to have the three Recycling points for Glass, Plastic and Paper.

Locals are treated poorly or even excluded from the meetings.

The event is announced online, but there is no follow-up. Presentations, videos and summaries are not shared.

Name badge holders are not reused.

Meals are served via paper or plastic disposable containers.

Sadly, such events are common but start taking a small step now and you will make a difference.

More resources:

Learn more on green businesses:

A personal friend of ours, Mr Gelber's passion for green is so contageous that we can't resist mentioning his work here.

About the Author


Author & Editor

Based in Malaysia, Best Events specializes in Conferences, Seminars, Murder Mystery Dinners, Gala Dinners and Team Building events.


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