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How to Host have a Sustainable Event

One trend we’re seeing more and more these days, not only in events, but in many aspects of life, is sustainability. When planning a sustainable event, environmental considerations should always be made to reduce the amount of food, paper and packaging waste that is generated. There are many aspects to consider when planning a sustainable event. Below is a checklist to follow to ensure that your event will be green friendly.

Use these three questions as a general guide for all purchases:

  • Is the item you’re purchasing necessary and/or useful?
  • Is the item durable (reusable) or made from recycled materials, recyclable or compostable?
  • Can collection facilities be organized at the event to collect the material?



  • Avoid unnecessary travel. Consider whether business can be accomplished by email, teleconferencing or simultaneous computer link.
  • Choose a centrally located venue that’s accessible by walking or mass transit.
  • Ask attendees to consider carpooling or taking the train.
  • Post a ride-share board at the registration area.


Meetings and Meeting Rooms

  • Choose meeting rooms with energy-conserving lighting that is timed or on an occupancy sensor if possible.
  • Use dry erase boards or other reusable visual aids rather than flip charts.
  • Provide coffee mugs and drinking glasses for participants.
  • Write the agenda on a dry erase board or display it on a projector, rather than making copies for all participants.
  • If nametags are needed, buy reusable nametag holders and have participants place their business cards inside to identify themselves.
  • Offer electronic versions of information rather than hard copies.


Food and Beverages

  • Hire caterers who are familiar with planning environmentally friendly meetings.
  • Use accurate attendance estimates to plan food service needs and avoid waste.
  • Donate usable leftovers to local charities.
  • Request cloth napkins and tablecloths.
  • Serve food on reusable plates and beverages in reusable glassware.
  • Avoid use of coffee stirrers, straws and paper doilies.
  • Serve condiments in bulk containers rather than individual packets.
  • Serve bite size or finger foods. Serve buffet style if possible, rather than individual box-lunch servings. Work with local caterers to eliminate packaging waste.

These are just some of the multitude of ways that you can improve the sustainability of your event. To find out more about how you can make your event an environmentally friendly one, visit

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