We are all excited for the world to start getting back to normal. One of the things that people are most excited about is the return of live in-person events. As we return to a life that more closely resembles the world we were familiar with pre-pandemic, it is important that we don’t just go back to business as usual.
This last year has been terrible, but it has provided us with the opportunity to hit the reset button on some areas of life. Above all else, the area that was in the biggest need of a reset is our environment. As a species, we have inflicted considerable damage upon the planet on which we live. Now is the time to start working to repair that damage before it is too late.
Everyone has an important role to play in the healing process. Some people, however, have the potential to use their profession to exert more change than others. Event planners are one group who is in a strong position to promote change as large events can often have very negative effects on environmental pollution. Promoting green events is an important step towards change.
Hold Meetings Remotely
A very easy thing to do to help the environment is to hold as many of your meetings as possible remotely. Anyone who didn’t know how to use Skype, Zoom, Facetime, or any other video conferencing service before the pandemic certainly knows how to use them now. Consider whether it makes sense to drive to a client, venue, or vendor. It might be much more efficient to hold a remote meeting.
When touring a venue for the first time, you will likely want to visit with your client in person. However, if you are simply discussing logistics, an in-person meeting may be unnecessary. Instead, you can have a multiperson video call and save time and money on travel while also reducing your environmental impact.
Carefully Research Vendors
While you can do everything on your end to be green as an event planner, if you have hired vendors who don’t follow sustainable practices, your event is not likely to be very green. Researching vendors and interviewing them to discuss their sustainable practices is a great way to ensure that you will be offering your clients the most eco-friendly event possible.
Choose Dedicated Venues
Picking an eco-friendly venue is just as important as picking eco-friendly vendors. You want to hold your event in a space dedicated to high environmental standards. A venue that runs on solar energy uses low-flow toilets, and has energy-efficient lighting is going to go a long way towards making your event truly green.
Don’t forget to discuss whether you need to purchase event insurance with the venue. Most venues will require you to carry your own coverage.
Make sure that you always have a proper streamlined recycling system set up for your event. Garbage cans should always be paired with a recycle bin and food waste container if available in your area. A truly environmentally friendly venue should have the resources to assist you in an easy setup.
Keep Travel in Mind
Be aware of where guests will be coming from to reach the venue. Choosing the most environmentally friendly option might not be the best choice if there is a venue nearly as good, that is 30 minutes closer to your attendee’s starting location. Some of the worst pollution for large events comes from attendees on the road burning gas. Cutting the commute can save a lot of pollution from being released.
Depending on the event, you can also set up shuttle services to reduce the number of vehicles that guests take to the venue.
You can do this in all phases of your event planning business. Keeping all of your plans digital can save a lot of paper from being used on your end. Working with a tablet rather than a thick, heavy binder full of papers not only saves trees, but it also saves your back. Digital ticketing can also eliminate a lot of waste on the attendee side of things. By merely presenting phones for entry rather than physical tickets, the forests breathe a sigh of relief.
Say No to Plastic
Plastic is one of the biggest enemies of a clean world. Dispensing with plastic at your events is both one of the easiest ways to go green, and one of the ways that have the biggest positive effect.
Eliminate plastic water bottles from your event. Instead, depending on your venue, there are multiple options that run filtration through the water tap to provide fresh, cold, clean water. You can also offer tap water flavored with fruit or cucumber.
Depending on the event you are throwing, instead of plastic silverware, use the real stuff. In cases where that isn’t possible, biodegradable silverware options are a much better alternative to their plastic cousins.
Decorate With Recycled Materials
People do all sorts of amazing things with recycled materials. You can find some amazing decorating options involving recycled materials that are both earth-friendly and chic.
By making environmentally friendly practices a cornerstone of your event planning business, not only can you feel good about the work you are doing to help protect our world, but you can also reach a large client base looking to reduce their carbon footprint. More business and a cleaner world make for a win-win situation.