This week it’s Earth Day and it is a good time to consider the little things we can do to help the environment, not just this week, but all year long. If you implement just one of these tips to make your event or workshop greener and use it consistently, you will make a big impact.
Although I am not a “tree hugger”, I do appreciate the environment and want to do my part for Mother Earth. Actually, close to 20 years ago, in honor of Earth Day, I started recycling. Back then, my apartment complex had no recycling bin, so every few weeks I took all my newspapers, cans and plastic and glass bottles to the recycling drop off point. It is a lot easier now that I just have to bring my overflowing recycling bin to the curb every week. I don’t know how many tons of waste I kept out of the landfills, but it must be considerable over the years.
If an event or workshop is in your future, here are 7 simple tips to keep your event green and sustainable.
1. Choose a LEED Certified venue
If your venue is LEED Certified, you can be confident that the venue has made great strides in energy and water conservation and indoor air quality. In addition, they focus on reducing waste as much as possible by recycling and clean with environmentally friendly cleaning agents.
Unfortunately, many venues are not yet LEED certified, but there are plenty of other ways for you to work with your venue to make your event green.
Does your venue have recycling bins for paper, cans and plastic bottles? If so, be sure to use them and encourage your attendees to use them as well.
3. Avoid Disposable Items
Use water pitchers and glasses, rather than single use water bottles or plastic cups. On your break station, provide real plates and silverware.
4. Reduce Your Handouts
If you must print handouts, do so on recycled paper, printed on both sides. Alternately, provide your attendees with a website, where they can download the documents.
5. Go Local
Request meals made with produce that is in season and is grown locally. Ideally, the chef has his own vegetable and herb garden on-site, otherwise produce from local farmers reduces your carbon footprint dramatically.
Donate un-served meals to a local food bank or use it for compost.
Use a venue that is closer to where most of your attendees live. You will reduce the need for air travel and commuting. Encourage car pooling or provide a van for van pooling from a central location.
Of course, some tips are easier to implement than others, but the idea is to start thinking about it. Then implement one way to make your event or workshop a little greener and more sustainable. Over time, you will make a big impact. Where are you making small changes that add up? Share with us below.