Event goers today are hyper-aware of what goes into event planning and are increasingly concerned about the ecological cost associated with hosting a big, lavish affair. As an event planner, the onus is on you to try to reduce, reuse and recycle in creative and innovative ways to keep your attendees happy without sacrificing the style and the quality of your event.
Plastic straws have become a symbol of all that is wrong with the world today, and a major social media target. Paper straws are an attractive alternative, but end up soggy and still have the ecological black marks of being bleached and dyed. Metal straws are a fresh alternative to plastic and paper straws, and can long outlast the usefulness of both. Bamboo and glass straws are also great options to reduce the plastic-load of your event.
Glass is not only beautiful; it is also reusable. Where your theme allows for it, incorporate glass mason jars and jugs. Glass is also a safe choice for food since plastic and polystyrene can melt and leach toxic chemicals into food and beverages. Plastic containers often contain BPA (Bisphenol-A) which is proven to disrupt the functioning of human cells. Go with glass instead.
Make sure that any disposable packaging, crockery, cutlery and cans are recycled. Train the event staff to identify recyclable materials and have allocated bins for paper, plastic, glass and cans to be recycled. Look for compostable options that can biodegrade efficiently and minimize your impact on the environment. WASARA compostable tableware is an elegant example of form and function.
As an eco-conscious event planner, make a concerted effort to reduce the quantity disposed of from your event, and this includes food too. Donate any untouched prepared food to homeless shelters, and minimize your food waste by investing in an industrial grade bokashi composter, and donate the soil to local food gardens.
Sugar-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, vegan: these terms are growing in popularity and the “free-from” movement has gained sway amongst consumers. Products that are free from allergens and preservatives are starting to take up more shelf-space in the grocery store, and consumers are more interested in the ingredient list behind the delicious cuisine on offer. Make a statement in what you serve and give your guests options.
Although transparency is not strictly an eco-essential, it does fit into the eco-conscious ethos of caring for the planet and its people. Companies today are expected to care and give back to the communities that they serve, and open and honest business practices are core to the transparent business ethos.
There are more and more options facing event organisers today, and your attendees are paying attention to the choices that you make. Integrate the reduce, reuse and recycle mentality into your eventing approach, and you will reap the positive rewards across your reviews and referrals down the line.