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How can I plan a green event?

Conferences and other events can contribute directly and indirectly to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as pollution in general. Planning a green event can give as many as 93% of attendees a more positive image of your event. (click to tweet)

Here are ways you can lessen the environmental impact of your event communication materials and prove that it’s easy to plan a green event!

Start early

Creating a green event is not about implementing a few slapdash initiatives. It requires a policy that focuses on large-scale goals rather than small actions, with a driving philosophy behind it. This roadmap will guide you to green event success during the pre-event planning stages. Include your values, the issues, your goals and targets, commitments, and more in your document.

Ditching the program

The average attendee owns 1.57 devices, the vast majority of which can easily display PDF versions of these materials. Encourage participants to download and print themselves should they wish. You can put those devices to even more engaging uses like polling and gamification.

Green event waste management

You’ll want clearly marked bins that allow participants to easily segregate recyclable and compostable waste. It’s also important to coordinate your efforts with local waste processing systems in place, as well as identify potential sources of waste that event participants will contribute and provide them with solutions.

Paper printing

You most likely will need to have some hard-copy materials onsite. Choosing locally-milled paper products is a great way to reduce environmental impact. Look for the FSC logo! Additional green printing initiatives include using vegetable-based inks and double-sided printing.

Reducing signage

Inquire about electronic signs that are already available onsite, because printing too many of your own signs for 1-time use is not environmentally friendly. Any signs you commission should be recyclable, so be sure to research their material composition.

Green event giveaways

Branded giveaways are undoubtedly effective for promoting your event, but they can become wasteful if an excessive amount is procured or if they are single-use items. Get creative with tote bags that include eco-friendly items relevant to your association’s goals, like a digital shower timer or CFL light bulb. Definitely avoid giving out balloons, rubber bracelets, plastic goodie bags, and other non-biodegradable items.

Bonus tip: TerraPass Carbon Footprint Calculator

By answering a few questions, this free tool can easily show you an estimate of your event’s carbon footprint! Knowing this can give you insight on where you can potentially cut down on emissions, and even allow you to buy the right amount of carbon offsets. Your event can be carbon neutral!

Tweets from our community:

Hosting a green event or conference can seem daunting, because there are many details to consider. By following these tips on making your event communications greener, you’re taking an important step in the right direction, and our planet will thank you! Embrace the idea of eco-friendly policies, and you’ll find event participants will be delighted to contribute to the cause.

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