Green Event Halifax NS
Lower Sackville, NS
1. Create an environmental impact statement. If you want to host a green meeting, you’ll need to get buy in from all your stakeholders. The best way to do that is to create an environmental impact statement. Don’t worry. We’re not suggesting a long legal document. In fact, we suggest creating a short description with a couple bullet points to highlight the areas that are important to you. For example, you may say that your organization is committed to reducing solid waste and conserving energy at the event. Share this information with other stakeholders at your event.
2. Use paperless technology to manage your event. In the past, organizing an event meant folders full of paper and piles of lists. Not anymore. Online registration and attendee management software are making it easier to manage any type of event online in a paperless environment. Take registrations online, send automatic emails to follow up and share reports digitally through a web link. Not only do these practices reduce your environmental impact, but they also reduce your workload and expense.
3. Use paperless channels to market your event. In the past, most event planners reported that direct mail or print advertising played a major role in their invitation process. This has changed. In fact, at a recent RegOnline users event, less than 10 percent of the room reported using direct mail. Consider relying more heavily – if not completely – on paperless technologies to solicit and collect registrations. Email is, in most cases, more effective and less expenses than mailers, and even the most traditional event organizers are moving quickly to email technology to cut costs while reducing their environmental footprint.
4. Stay close. Try to reduce travel emissions by reducing travel needs at your events. If you have people traveling to your events, try to book venues close to the airport. And if you have a large event, book all your sessions close enough that people can walk from venue to venue. If you have events that force your attendees to travel long distances, you may want to consider having more regional events that only require air travel for a few of your staff members.
5. Choose a green hotel. Before you select a hotel for your event, take the time to understand their commitment to the environment. More and more hotels are crafting environmental impact policies. Make sure your hotel and venue are committed to green policies, including recycling and energy conservation. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has created a policy called “Eco Meet,” which pushes its venues to provide things like waste free food and beverage, recycling bins in every room, recyclable amenities and organic cuisine. To better understand the policies in place at your hotel of choice, create a survey to poll the hotel on its adherence to different elements of your own impact statement. You may want to ask them if they recycle or if they apply water conserving fixtures, for example.
6. Eat green. Look for a green caterer when planning your event. Many caterers are adopting green business practices, which include everything from cooking with seasonal and local vegetables to using recycled and compostable materials. A Spice of Life catering in Boulder, Colorado has a zero waste policy, which means the organization serves its food on compostable cups and plates made from corn and uses only 100 recycled materials for things like garbage bags and to go containers.
7. Go digital. One of the most expensive, and environmentally impactful, pieces of an event is the stacks of hand outs that organizers and presenters print for attendees. Many event organizers are getting away from this wasteful practice by sharing the information digitally. Some organizations provide it on their web sites so attendees can review it online – or pick what information they would like to print. Other organizations have placed hand outs on a USB flash drive that attendees can take home with them. Whatever you decide to do, find an alternative to handing out paper that many people don’t use.
8. Reuse. And Recycle. When choosing materials for your conferences and meetings, focus on using materials that can be reused or recycled. Ask your caterer to use washable plates and silverware when possible. Create printed materials that can be used for multiple events. And when selecting hand outs, look for items that are printed in vegetable based inks on recycled paper. For example, The CERES Conference used binders that featured 60 post consumer paper content in the frame and 39 post consumer steel in the rings. Plus, the conference printed its brochures with soy ink on recycled paper.
9. Bulk up. Providing bulk food and condiments for your events can dramatically reduce your environmental footprint. Serve meals buffet style and provide things like salt and pepper, milk, ketchup and beverages in bulk, re usable containers. If you have leftovers, consider donating those items to a local food bank or homeless shelter.
10. Pass it on. The best way to guarantee a greener event is to share your knowledge with others. Make sure your vendors, exhibitors, presenters and staff all know what they can do to reduce their environmental impact. They’ll thank you for it because it may also save them money.
J. Demery is an online event specialist for http://RegOnline.com the leading event management software company. To date, Regonline has hosted over 3 million registrants and over 100,000 events. Create custom event websites, registration forms and manage event attendees from anywhere with internet access.
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