You don’t need to wait until Earth Day to create an eco-friendly event. Regardless of your audience, incorporating sustainable practices into planning can reduce the environmental impact of your event while also increasing awareness of sustainable business and hospitality practices.
Assemble a Green Team
Whether it’s caterers or event designers, you’ll likely partner with a diverse selection of vendors and contractors when creating an eco-friendly event. Communicate to your team early and often that you intend to use environmentally friendly resources. Stick to a local farmer or restaurant for sustainably sourced treats and lower transportation costs. If possible, partner with your city’s local transportation system to encourage attendees to use the bus or train to attend your event. Ride-sharing services can often provide discount codes for groups. For outdoor events, consider securing solar alternatives or monitor power usage before and during the event.
Xiangshui Bay Marriott Resort & Spa
Find a Sustainable Venue
When choosing a venue, an eco-friendly partner equipped with the right technology is more likely to be prepared to launch a “green” event. Newer venues, such as the Xiangshui Bay Marriott Resort & Spa, specialize in energy efficiency, boasting impressive features such as solar panels and thermal insulation. Driven by Marriott’s environmental initiatives, the Xiangshui Bay Marriott Resort & Spa also offers targeted energy consumption reduction and electric vehicle charging stations.
Be sure to ask if the venue you’re eyeing has made any significant upgrades in the last three to six months that show a strong eco-initiative, including any certifications or related documentation. Such credentials to look for include relevant ISO standards, Green Key, LEED and Green Seal.
When assembling meeting materials, planners often gravitate toward paper because it is cheaper to access and easy to dispose. However, the waste generated by paper supplies (name tags, table placements and even cups) can significantly increase an event’s carbon footprint. You can save on event and clean-up costs by adopting technology to assist with paper-based processes.
One excellent option: web application Punchbowl, which is capable of sending invitations, selling tickets and tracking event registration. Digital check-in methods like QR scanners can help facilitate a seamless registration flow, too. Alternatively, email thank-you notes (as opposed to cards) and “green” takeaways such as pocket-sized solar power gadgets, organic tote bags and potted gifts help promote a sustainable image.