Today we live in a world of excess where waste and consumption has become an epidemic. But steps are being taken to help minimise our impact on the environment: in fact, 78% of UK adults have taken steps to reduce their use of single-use plastics. Even during events, where sustainability isn’t necessarily top of mind, organisations and party planners are implementing zero waste practices to ensure the event is as green as possible.
This involves the careful coordination of logistics to limit resources used at their events while also reducing any negative impact on the environment. Whether you’re planning your wedding, birthday or a company event with guests, consider how you can go zero waste at your next one. Here are some tips for planning a zero waste party and reducing your environmental impact without sacrificing all the things that make these special occasions so wonderful.
Send Digital Invites
The first thing you should do is send digital invites. Digitally invite guests to your event, and encourage them to share the invite with others. Not only does this help you avoid printing materials, but it also provides a way for people who are not able to attend the event to feel connected to it. This can make an event feel more inclusive and help you spread the word about your event without using any paper products.
If you do need to send printed invites, look for paper that is sourced from sustainable forests. Avoid papers that contain toxic inks, and opt for 100% recycled paper whenever possible. Also, remember that the paper you use for invitations, RSVP cards, and other materials should be recycled or recyclable in your area.
Ask Your Caterer For Leftovers
If you have a caterer, ask them to package up any leftovers so you can save the delicious food while cutting down on the amount of waste generated by the event. While you’ll likely have more food than you can eat, it’s not your guests probably wouldn’t mind taking a few leftovers home with them. This is a great way to make sure that nothing goes to waste.
If you’re planning a catered event, you can discuss with your caterer ways that they can reduce their impact on the environment. This could mean investing in reusable dishes and utensils, or working with local produce to reduce transportation emissions.
Ask Guests To Bring Their Own Food
If you want to go even further in reducing waste from your event, ask your guests to bring their own food. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you aren’t contributing to the amount of waste produced by your guests. You can encourage guests to bring a dish that matches the theme of your event, or you can let them bring whatever they want as long as it is edible.
One thing to keep in mind is that you’ll want to make sure that your venue can accommodate any food allergies or dietary restrictions that your guests might have. You may not be able to provide an alternative for everyone, but it’s a good idea to let guests know what they should bring and what they should avoid bringing.
Use Compostable Items
Rather than purchasing disposables for your event, look for items that are compostable or reusable. If you’re having paper plates at your event, make sure they are 100% compostable. If you’re planning to use cutlery, make sure that it is either compostable or reusable. Look for straws made out of compostable materials, and consider investing in reusable cups.
If you’re planning to have decorations, remember that it’s better to avoid paper altogether than to use paper that’s not fully compostable. The same goes for any printed decorations, invitations, or other materials you might use at the event.
You could try using natural decorations like flowers.
Making Your Events Environmentally-Friendly
Besides just reducing the amount of waste produced at your event, you can also make your event more friendly to the environment in general. If possible, hold your event outdoors, where you can reduce energy use. When planning your event, look for ways to reduce your overall carbon footprint.
If your event is indoors, look for ways to make the space as energy-efficient as possible. Turn off all lights when they aren’t needed, and unplug electronics when they aren’t being used. You can also encourage guests to take public transportation or carpool if they are able. This will help reduce the amount of emissions that are produced by the people attending your event.
In order to create a more sustainable world, it’s important to start by reducing the amount of waste being generated. By planning a zero waste event, you can ensure that there is less trash being thrown away, less energy being used, and less pollution in general. These tips should help you plan an event that is friendly to the environment, and it’s important to remember that every little bit counts.
Omar is a digital marketer by day, and is writing like the world depends on it for Pick Ethical at night. He has a passion for hiking, his dog Pepper, and content marketing.