Tomorrow the world celebrates Earth Day. With this day, comes the sad reality that, if we continue to consume natural resources at the rate we are today, the natural resources our planet provides us with will significantly decrease within the next 60 years.
It’s everyone’s responsibility to understand the environmental footprint each event hosted has and finds ways to decrease it.
To celebrate Earth Day and spread awareness about some event planning sustainability initiatives, we are hosting a panel discussion on Thursday, April 22. RSVP here!
According to the Ecosystem Event: “Meals are typically the biggest generators of waste at events. The actual amount of waste per attendee ranged from 0.1 pounds up to 3 pounds, per event.”
Speak with your food caterer about the initiatives that they have for reducing waste, and ask if they are able to give you a post-event waste report. Another option is to speak with your caterer and explore options for donating untouched food to local nonprofits.
Waste360 shared that, “in 2020, 6.7 million people strewed trashacross 15 major cities at 77 events such as the Super Bowl, the US Open and the Midtown Music Festival in Atlanta. The Daytona 500, the largest single-day sporting event in the United States, created enough trash to equal the weight of the entire 43-car starting field.”
Focusing on implementing sustainable practices in these large events will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on our planet. First, remove single-use plastic when possible and replace it with reusable and recyclable materials. Second, ensure that the vendors are equipped with compost, trash, and recycling bins so they are able to throw away the waste appropriately.
According to Fast Company, “When you think about all of the energy and resources that go into making just one of the tote bags that I have just thrown into the trash–only to end up in a landfill–the impact in staggering.”
What is a trade show without the free swag? Although trade shows and conferences include free promotional products, it’s important to reevaluate the practices within that marketing tactic. These days you can find any promotional product of the same or higher quality that is made from recycled materials. Rather than giving away ten items made of single-use material, direct your focus on creating one high quality branded item that everyone will use after the event.
As an industry our events can generate a huge amount of unnecessary waste, but only if we let them.
Luckily the event planning industry is innovative and crafty, so we know that through various initiatives within the Planned tool and the passion to restore our planet from our clients, we are able to set a new standard for what it means to host an eco-friendly event.