4 ideas to plan a green event

4 ideas to plan a green event

The suc­cess of eco-friend­ly events such as Green Man Fes­ti­val and Wood Fes­ti­val in the UK, or the races organ­ised by Eco­Trail in France, can inspire all kinds of event plan­ners. Hav­ing a pos­i­tive impact on the envi­ron­ment, build­ing a pos­i­tive brand image in the minds of an increas­ing­ly envi­ron­men­tal­ly-mind­ful audi­ence, as well as the minds of those enti­ties who val­ue and sup­port these actions, cut­ting down costs… There are many ben­e­fits to mak­ing your event envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly. Here is how to achieve this.  

First and fore­most, you should be aware that these actions can­not all be imple­ment­ed at once, you will need to pro­ceed step by step. Some actions have a big­ger impact than oth­ers, and there­fore should rank high­er on your list of pri­or­i­ties. In order to know what to pri­ori­tise, we sug­gest that you for­mal­ly review the envi­ron­men­tal impact of your event; it will be use­ful to iden­ti­fy any strate­gic pri­or­i­ty that would help reduce your foot­print. Marsa­t­ac Fes­ti­val used this as their start­ing point and the fes­ti­val is now a mod­el in terms of green events.

Choose your venue carefully

The first step in organ­is­ing an envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly event is, of course, the choice of venue.

  • Avoid, as much as pos­si­ble, Her­itage Sites pro­tect­ed by the local author­i­ties.
  • Then, favour an area close to cities so that your atten­dees and your ser­vice-providers can lim­it their trav­el time.
  • Offer alter­na­tive trans­porta­tion solu­tions for your atten­dees. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less: part­ner­ing with pub­lic trans­ports, green or hybrid shut­tles, car-shar­ing ser­vices, horse-drawn car­riages! The most impor­tant is to com­mu­ni­cate on these options well ahead of time to encour­age peo­ple to use them.

An envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly venue ben­e­fits from good expo­sure to nat­ur­al light to reduce pow­er con­sump­tion and favour set-up of solar pan­els and access to drink­ing water and clean bath­rooms to avoid trans­port and instal­la­tion of facil­i­ties on-site.

Make the most of on-site equipment to reduce consumption

An event’s pow­er con­sump­tion is one of its biggest sources of neg­a­tive envi­ron­men­tal impact. Choos­ing a venue that already has access to pow­er means reduc­ing the need for extra pow­er gen­er­a­tors, and there­fore reduc­ing your impact. You should also favour the use of ener­gy-sav­ing light-bulbs and LED lights.
In terms of food and drinks, use local ser­vices and val­ue local­ly-sourced food. That way, you reduce trans­port time for your providers and you pro­mote the local pro­duce and her­itage at your event. It is a way to reduce your foot­print and have a pos­i­tive impact on the local area, there­by poten­tial­ly attract­ing the sup­port of the local gov­ern­ment.
In terms of facil­i­ties, dry toi­lets remain the green­est solu­tion. Be sure to clean them reg­u­lar­ly through­out the event to pre­vent your atten­dees from going through hell every time they use them!

From event communication to green communication

Being green is usu­al­ly not enough — it is crit­i­cal to com­mu­ni­cate about sus­tain­abil­i­ty before, dur­ing and after the event.
Com­mu­ni­cate reg­u­lar­ly on all the alter­na­tive modes of trans­porta­tion avail­able to your atten­dees: car-shar­ing ser­vices, pub­lic trans­ports, etc. Why not offer dis­counts on tick­ets to eco-friend­ly atten­dees? (this is pos­si­ble using our tick­et­ing platform’s cross-sell­ing option!). Any action favour­ing the involve­ment of your atten­dees is a win!

The envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly nature of your event also depends on your choice of com­mu­ni­ca­tion sup­ports. Favour social media, emails, your web­site or a mobile app to reduce the use of print­ed mate­r­i­al.
How­ev­er, if you do have to print some mate­r­i­al, be sure to choose sus­tain­able mate­ri­als, to max­imise their cir­cu­la­tion and to opt for a sus­tain­able graph­ic char­ter (i.e. colours and font requir­ing the least ink when print­ing, spe­cial ink.)
If you are con­cerned about addi­tion­al costs, think about part­ner­ing with local print­ers to, once again, sup­port local entre­pre­neurs. Final­ly, favour ever­green con­tent (i.e. avoid dates, pro­gramme, edi­tion, etc.) on any mate­r­i­al that you would like to use again. You will save mon­ey on future edi­tions and the plan­et will thank you.

Com­mu­ni­cat­ing on your green actions also means you will encour­age respon­si­ble behav­iour at your event from an envi­ron­men­tal­ly-mind­ful audi­ence.

Build awareness and educate

…in addi­tion to com­mu­ni­cat­ing on your com­mit­ments and actions. You can be a role mod­el for your atten­dees by organ­is­ing a clear recy­cling scheme for all waste, allo­cat­ing a “green team” of vol­un­teers near the recy­cling area to help peo­ple out and check that all waste is put in the right bin or hand out pock­et ash­trays. This could impact their every­day behav­iour and may give them good ideas when they organ­ise their own events. Final­ly, think about invit­ing envi­ron­men­tal char­i­ties as part­ners to set-up booths to increase aware­ness about these issues and com­mu­ni­cate on local green actions.

Cre­at­ing a green event may require some extra effort, but these 4 ideas are a start­ing point to max­imise your pos­i­tive impact. Mak­ing your event envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly means mak­ing a com­mit­ment to the neigh­bour­hood and local stake­hold­ers – mak­ing them also envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly – to pro­tect the area and cre­ate aware­ness about the envi­ron­ment. Your event will ben­e­fit from this pos­i­tive image. Obvi­ous­ly change is slow but in the long term every­one can eas­i­ly reduce their event’s foot­print and who knows per­haps reach “zero impact”.

Ready to plan your own eco-friend­ly event? Start now with Weezevent:

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