Here are some tips to give you ideas on how you can make your next event an environmentally friendly one.
1. Ask venues about their energy policy and how they can help ensure as much natural light and ventilation is used as possible. Also, make sure that the environmental policies of the venue and any hotels being used are on display.
2. Ask your suppliers what they are already doing to reduce their environmental impact and what environmental standards they meet- you may be surprised what is already being done.
3. Attendees notice the little things – avoid plastic and one off catering items – think reusable and avoid unnecessary packaging.
4. Where possible make the catering produce seasonal and locally sourced.
5. Check that the food waste goes to a local food to compost scheme or similar.
6. Encourage your delegates to offset their environmental impacts (e.g. flights) through the purchase of credible and verified carbon credits.
7. With all resources (paper, decorations, handouts, name badges, bags etc) think P-R-R-R-O. Prevent, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Offset. How many handouts will end up straight in the bin?
8. Ensure recycling facilities in the venue are clearly labelled.
9. Run a ‘green exhibitor’ promotion to encourage new ideas.
10. Use accommodation within walking distance to the venue to reduce need for taxis or shuttles.
11. Use water glasses and jugs as opposed to bottled water – or request bio-degradable drink ware.
12. Ensure all equipment is switched off over night.
13. Make your event carbon neutral (see http://www.carbonzero.co.nz/action/events.asp for details) and encourage your delegates to voluntarily offset their emissions (see http:///EmissionsCalc/tourismeditor.aspx for information)
A special thank you to the carboNZero Programme for their tips on ‘Green Events’