The Quick Guide to Making Your Events Go Green
How do you keep your carbon footprint to a minimum while running a large-scale event? How about reducing waste and emissions when relying on temporary utilities or catering somewhere that lacks kitchens?
With event organizers under greater and greater scrutiny when it comes to their environmental impact, it’s important that you have the answers to these questions. Let’s run through some simple solutions.
Reducing Plastic Waste
Start with the simple stuff. Your event may only last 12 hours, but every single-use plastic straw discarded on the day will take 200 years to degrade. Do you really need to include them with every drink?
While we’re at it, do you need to hand out or sell plastic bottles? Could people refill a glass or reusable water bottle from a dispenser, or could you have water jugs available?
Many festivals and other outdoor events are scrapping cups, glasses and water bottles altogether, and instead asking people to pay a small deposit to get one at the start, exchanging this for a clean one each time they return to the bar, and getting their money back at the end. There are plenty of reusable cup companies out there who can manage this for you.
Others are switching to reusable metal or bamboo crockery, and are asking suppliers and caterers to limit food packaging and only sell drinks in cans.
Encourage Public Transport
Can people reach your event without a car? Situating yourself within easy reach of a train or subway station not only helps you cut emissions, it also removes the pressure to provide sufficient parking spaces.
If you can’t avoid being located somewhere a little awkward to get to, consider scheduling shuttle buses to bring attendees from the nearest transport hub to the venue.
Use Cleaner-Burning Fuels
Generators and other fuel-burning units are often necessary at events that lack grid access, but that doesn’t mean you have to pick the worst polluters.
Does your vendor offer alternatives like biodiesel fuels, which reduce emissions? Have they invested in efficient units that require less oil servicing and thus produce less waste?
No matter how careful you are, all events will produce waste in some form or another. How do you plan to handle and dispose of waste fluids and fuel? Again, does your vendor offer sophisticated features that reduce spillage risk, such as a “save-all base”, double-walled storage tanks and fail-safe valves?
This one sometimes gets forgotten when we talk about environmental impact, but noise pollution takes its toll on local fauna, not to mention humans.
To avoid this, prioritize working with partners who can construct and customize the best kinds of acoustic enclosures for your event, as well as minimizing external noise through high-performance isolation and attenuation systems.
The key to reducing the environmental footprint of your events is ensuring that everyone involved in organizing them, be they stakeholders, suppliers or partners, is on board with your goal.
Once you’ve built a team that understands why you’re trying to limit your impact and is enthusiastic about helping you find solutions, the rest will fall into place.