Green Event Tips
Events are a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your office's or organization's commitment to sustainability. Events provide a venue to expand awareness of environmentally friendly practices and share best practices with guests. Events can produce large amounts of waste and often rely on single-use-disposable food service items and decorations. Please consider these ideas as you plan your next event:
Food and Beverages
- Offer at least one vegetarian and/or vegan option.
- Avoid individual use condiment packets.
- Offer reusable kitchenware.
- Choose food that is fair trade, local, or organic.
- Avoid bottled water, bulk tap water can be requested, or offer pitchers of water.
- Buy food in bulk as much as possible to avoid excess packaging.
- Avoid individually wrapped items.
- Provide smaller plates so that people do not take more food than they will eat.
- Consider cold food options to cut down on cooking and heating energy use.
- Avoid styrofoam.
- Avoid plastic packaging whenever possible.
- Eliminate centerpieces or use only sustainable centerpieces.
- Avoid excess heating and lighting when natural light and heat are available.
- Avoid balloons; loose balloons can harm wildlife and balloon releases are not legal in Virginia.
- Ellimiate giveaways or offer only consumable or green-themed giveaways.
- Reuse or repurpose decorations.
- Offer recycling and trash containers (widely accessible and clearly marked).
- Offer composting bins to dispose of food waste.
- Ensure that all of the materials from the event are recycled, reused, or composted.
- Donate unopened, leftover food and beverages.
- Place staff at waste collection points to ensure proper sorting of recyclables, compostables, and other waste.
- Provide information to participants about the green aspects of the event.
- Reduce the impact of promotional flyers and handouts by either eliminating entirely, reducing the size or number of paper flyers, or printing on recycled content paper.
- Invite guests to bring their own water bottle, coffee mug, or reusable utensils.
- Encourage guests to walk, carpool, or use public transportation.