Going Green – How to Plan an Environmentally Friendly Event


While we all know “going green” is important, what exactly does it mean for event planners?  “Greening” your event goes well beyond recycling, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. And the benefits are twofold: you are minimizing the negative impact on the environment and your attendees can feel good about participating in an event that’s environmentally responsible.

What makes an event ‘green’?

Let’s talk first about what makes an event green.  A green event is defined as: (n): an event executed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.  For events, this could mean you:

  • Minimize water and energy usage
  • Limit negative impacts on biodiversity
  • Reduce waste and greenhouse gas production
  • Effectively communicate eco-friendly aspects of your event
  • Encourage participants to continue sustainable practices outside of your event

So, how do you plan a “green” event?

Greening your event can begin by focusing on a few areas to start, and build over time.

Here are 7 ways you can green your event:

Here are 7 ways you can green your event:

  1. Choose venues carefully. The Green Meeting Industry Council provides a list of certified venues
  2. Do as much electronically as you can, such as:
    • Encourage online event registration instead of paper forms and provide digital confirmations
    • Use digital tickets and recyclable badges on-site
    • Use technology to send meeting updates via social media, event apps, text messaging, and more
    • Communicate with attendees that yours is a green event and give them ways to get involved
    • Let your vendors know about your initiative and ask for sustainable options
  3. Keep your event in one location and provide shuttles (to limit transportation needs)
  4. Choose recycled materials (napkins, utensils or use china, silverware)
  5. Donate leftover food to local shelters
  6. Provide many clearly marked recycle containers throughout your event and recycle all shipping boxes
  7. Measure your success so you can replicate it at your next event and improve over time

Greening your event – no matter how small – can have a significant impact on our environment and on your attendees.  Start with 1 or 2 changes and incorporate more as you go along. Before you know it, you’ll be green in no time.

Looking for more event solutions? Contact us at solutions@expologic.com

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