As we all search for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, a few of the event planners we work with at our banquet hall in Orange County are scrambling to find ways to make their events more eco-friendly.
To help with this endeavor, we’ve interviewed a few of our favorite event planners to learn how they are planning “green” events. Below are some great ways to have an eco-friendly event that leaves behind a very minimal carbon footprint:
Choose Your Partners Wisely
Regardless of the banquet hall in Orange County or theme you choose, other individuals or businesses are probably involved in the preparations, such as an event planner or the supplier from whom you obtain your materials. For this reason, always make sure you partner with like-minded individuals. For example, choose a sustainability-minded event planner who can help you with items such as paperless agendas. Select suppliers who can provide recyclable name badges and other items that can be reused in the future. When you get in touch with potential partners and vendors, don’t hesitate to question them about their environmental practices.
Eliminate Paper Waste
An easy way to ensure a sustainable event is to go paperless. Make this task easy for attendees by setting up digital ticketing or sending invitations via email rather than the traditional way. You should also consider communicating vital information through an event app.
Eliminate as much paper as possible during the actual event as well. Have attendees utilize iPads and smartphones as opposed to passing out stacks of papers to each guest. Once you begin thinking along these lines, you will be surprised how much paper waste can realistically be eradicated.
Floral arrangements are probably part of your event venue, but unfortunately, these items are typically discarded after the gathering is over, and therefore are not very sustainable. Try using artificial flowers instead to solve this problem. Not only do they look good, they are also reusable and can be purchased in colors and themes that match your brand.
If you prefer authentic botanicals, offer floral arrangements as gifts or prizes at your event. Floral items can be used as incentives as well, such as a nice arrangement being given to the attendee who invited the most guests to your event.
Use Lighted Signs or Reusable Signage
Signage is almost always discarded at the end of a conference or gathering. Fortunately, avoiding personalization is a quick fix for this particular problem. Using arrows or generic phrasing, such as “this way to banquet hallt” is a great way to ensure that signs can be used multiple times. You can also invest in fancy chalk artistry that lets you change the message without having to dispose of the sign.
If you are serving food at your event, you can add sustainability efforts in a variety of ways. For example, simply making sure you have an accurate ordering system can go a long way toward eliminating waste. Carefully calculate food per person or even have attendees preorder food. You can also promote organic food options to encourage better living for your guests. Additionally, refrain from handing out bottled water at your event in lieu of placing water pitchers and glasses on the tables.
Do you have any tips for planning an eco-friendly event that we missed? Let us know on our Facebook page!