5 ideas for planning an eco-friendly event
1. Make recycling super accessibleGenerally, people really do want to recycle. But how to do it isn't obvious (especially at an event), the most common response it to give up and toss it in the trash. It’s important to make it a priority, and people get overwhelmed easily. Make signs to mark recycling areas clearly, and make sure the staff knows the drill, too.
|Photo: Deer Pearl Flowers|
2. Reduce your paper trailWhether you go digital or consciously print, include a message in your invitations about your zero waste goals. This helps hold your guests partially responsible, and a united front is always best, right?
3. Serve local food
|Photo: The Knot|
Whether it’s a space for the event itself or the hotels you recommend to your guests, you may find many green options just by searching. Look for venues that are sustainably built and feature low-energy lighting, energy efficient windows, solar panels and certified organic bedding and towels.
4. Seek out green venues
There are lots of ways to go here – tablecloths, mason jars, bamboo plates and cutlery, even goodie bags and boxes. Both Green Party Goods and Eco Party Time are great resources for recyclable materials. Another way to be eco-friendly with your decor is to use the natural light and supplement with soy based candles. LEDs are an energy efficient option if natural light isn’t going to do it.
5. Use biodegradable or reusable decor
Finally, be wary of single-use water bottles or individually wrapped items - they easily end up in the trash - which will eventually end up in a landfill. Instead of water bottles, for example, glasses and water pitchers are an easy option that reduces waste and elevates the experience subtly.
It's always best to choose local and organic. Using local growers benefits the community not just by supporting the famers and markets, and chances are, you'll taste the difference, too. Plus, you'll be reducing the wasteful transport footprint from food and supplies that would have to be shipped. Here’s a fun idea: include locally grown herbs in pots as a table favor, encouraging guests to garnish their own food.