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Top 10 tips for making your event more sustainable

We all love a good event. But by now, we’re all clear on the kind of challenges events bring to the table when it comes to being sustainable.

You might not think it, but there’s a tonne of ways you can make your event more sustainable, without compromising any of the fun! We’ve put together a 10-stop checklist to help you make your next event your greenest one yet:

1. Go plastic-free 

In 2022, we’re all clear on the damage that plastic can do. We’re also clear on the range of alternatives available to us. With that in mind, making the leap to go plastic-free isn’t the obstacle it used to be.

If you’re struggling for inspiration, start with the basics. People drink at events, so replace the cups for reusable glasses or compostable disposable cups. If your guests will also be eating at the event, then swap out the plastic disposable plates and cutlery for greener wooden cutlery and biodegradable plates.

2. Offer hybrid travel options

One of the biggest challenges to making your event sustainable is that people often have to travel a long way to get there. Travel is one of the biggest contributors of Co2 emissions, especially when done by car or plane.

To do your bit for the environment, why not plan ahead and offer alternative travel options to your guests? Start by trying to make the venue as local as possible, but if that’s not feasible, then look into more eco-friendly long-distance travel options like a car-share scheme or public transport.

And don’t forget, if long-distance travel is an absolute must, then why not look at making your event hybrid? This will allow your long-distance guests to still join in the fun without racking up a carbon footprint. 

3. Choose an eco-friendly venue

One of the most important parts of event-planning will always be choosing the right venue. And if you’re looking to make your event more sustainable, then ensure that the venue you choose has green credentials.

In 2022, lots of the best venues in the country are committed to making your event as sustainable as possible and are there to help. Here are some quick tips to take into account when choosing the right venue for your event;

  • Do they have recycling station readily available?
  • Do they have a water-efficient/water-saving policy in place?
  • Do they use smart temperature controls?
  • But above everything else; Do they have the flexibility to incorporate your sustainability goals into your event? 

4. Go paperless 

Going paperless doesn’t need to be difficult. Instead of swapping our plastic for paper, as many events do, why not get rid of both? By avoiding both paper and plastic, you’ll be well on your way to making your event more sustainable.

Struggling to imagine a paperless event? Let’s start with tickets; do they need to be on paper? Why not put in that extra bit of effort to make them digital. Then think about other items; menus, flyers, lanyards, itineraries… You get the picture! Go digital!

5. Make your catering greener 

Mass food production, food wastage and the meat and dairy industries are some of the biggest contributors to global warming on the planet. So when it comes to catering your next event, take these tips into consideration…

  1. Source local food
  2. Cut down on food waste
  3. Source only fair trade or organic produce
  4. Go vegan or meat-free!

6. Source sustainable merchandise 

If you, your team or your guests need some merchandise to look on point on the day, then take your time to find a green supplier to reduce your carbon footprint for the event.

For example, sourcing locally will completely reduce any need for international couriers to be involved. But even if you can’t avoid that, (you need to stay within your budget!) there are lots of sustainable suppliers who use production methods that significantly reduce Co2 emissions; it’s definitely worth considering when choosing the right one for your event. 

7. Provide sustainable energy to power the event where possible

If you’ve been extra thorough in your venue-selection, this shouldn’t be the biggest of issues for you, as sustainable venues should already have systems in place to make sure their energy consumption is as sustainable as possible.

With that in mind, it’s really important to ensure that whichever venue you use, they are sourcing as much of their energy as possible from a renewable source. 

8. Provide recycling stations 

Again, with the right venue, you can tick this one off really quickly. But if your venue doesn’t already have them, introducing recycling points across your event will encourage your guests to recycle their waste rather than just dumping it into a general waste bin.

By introducing recycling at your events, you can significantly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators.

9. Use LED Lighting 

This one is a lesser-known tip but a really underrated way of ensuring every aspect of your event is sustainable. LED lights are significantly more environmentally friendly than regular fluorescent lighting. They consume less power per unit of light emitted, saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.

An extra plus is that, if you’re looking to experiment with a new mood with your event, LED lighting is the way! 

10. Weave sustainability messaging into your event!

Lastly, if you have the capacity and ability, why not weave some sustainability messaging into your event. This could be done in the forms of workshops, donations, or simply a section of the event that is dedicated to discussing a greener future for all!

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