5 Ways to Save the Planet During Your Event
Did you know that on average, one guest at your event will generate about four pounds of trash? Without taking steps to come in under this statistic, that could be over 600 pounds of waste in just a few hours.
Making a conscious effort to reduce our impact on the environment is no temporary fad, but rather a growing movement that only continues to gain momentum. In response to the waste generated by older methods of event hosting, eco-friendly and sustainable options are becoming the norm for weddings, parties, and corporate events.
When planning your wedding or event, what choices are you making to help reduce your environmental impact? Sustainable initiatives are more easily incorporated into your event than you might think! These tips and pointers will help you plan an environmentally friendly event without sacrificing any comfort or enjoyment.
What are the benefits of an eco-friendly event?
In addition to helping mother earth, there’s many personal benefits to making sustainable efforts for your event. A few of these advantages include the following:
- Cutting down costs – Financially speaking, event planning is stressful. For weddings in particular, large celebrations quickly become costly with pre-wedding parties and gifts, not to mention the tension of family discussions regarding who pays for what. Less waste also leads to lower costs. Following even one of our tips for eco-friendly events can lead to more green in your wallet as well!
- Creating lasting memories – Whether you’re hosting a wedding or corporate event, you want your guests to remember the day and activities fondly. Choosing greener options creates a more unique experience that will be talked about for years to come in a positive light. For a wedding in particular, making sustainable choices can better showcase and celebrate your unique relationship.
- Promoting social awareness – Your reputation is important. Whether it’s your brand or your personal relationships with your family and friends that reaps the benefits, throwing a sustainable event is good for optics. If being green is something that’s important to you, this is also your chance to share it with the people around you. You never know when someone will be inspired by a simple yet effective change!
- Inviting a larger crowd – Millennials in particular are more likely to attend an event that has a lesser environmental impact. For both weddings and other events, your guests can better justify the cost of attending —both fiscally and environmentally— with the knowledge that they’re supporting green initiatives.
Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Event
1. Cut Down on Single-Use Items
We get it; cleanup is easier when all you need to do is throw everything out at the end of the event. But consider that 40 billion plastic forks, spoons, and knives, 64 billion paper cups and plates, and 254 million tons of used paper towels are thrown away every year. Cleaning up the planet is a lot bigger task than cleaning up the venue.
Opting for reusable cutlery, dishes, and napkins is an easy way to cut down on how much waste your wedding or event generates. As an added benefit, stainless steel forks, ceramic plates, and cloth napkins also add an elevated appearance to your event, as if they’re in a fine dining restaurant. If you really want to impress your guests with a formal experience, be sure to have black napkins available upon request for attendees who are wearing dark clothing.
2. Reuse Decorations
Being strategic with your decor will also help reduce your environmental impact. It’s estimated that over one million latex helium balloons are released each year. When they pop or deflate, they end up back on the ground or even in the water. More often than not, the discarded balloons remain fully intact for at least six months and cause damage to local wildlife.
Again, choosing decor that can be reused is the best option. Garland, string lights, glass or metal centerpieces, and other sturdy decorations specially curated for your event can really make it special! You can either opt to keep and reuse these items later, or sell them in pieces or as a set to someone else who’s planning an event. It’s even better if you’re able to source good quality second hand decorations as well; there’s some great finds in thrift stores for vintage decor, if that’s your style!
3. Choose Biodegradable Options
Maybe you don’t have a use for all of the dishes and decor from your event, don’t have the space to store them for later, or don’t have the time to resell them. If you’re unable to commit to reusable dishware and decorations, there’s plenty of other environmentally friendly options available.
Instead of plastic and paper, consider using bamboo cutlery, dishes, and napkins. Bamboo products consume less energy and water to make in the first place and break down in soil much quicker than both paper or plastic. Using flowers for decor —especially ones sourced locally or through fair trade establishments— is another easy way to use eco-friendly items without breaking the bank or creating too much clutter.
4. Use Locally Sourced Items
Not only will you be supporting the local economy, but you’ll be happy to know that locally produced items are usually less expensive than those imported from other areas! This is especially true for produce when in season. Rochester is home to many incredible farms and craftspeople who can help make your event one of a kind!
Keep locally sourced flora in mind as well. You may not be able to have tulips at your September event, but cosmos, dahlias, and sunflowers are all in season at that time. Your florist should be able to help you curate flowers that are readily available in whatever season you plan to host your event. Even in winter, holly and pine garlands are a beautiful, classic choice!
5. Give Sustainable Party Favors
Your environmental efforts don’t have to stop after everyone has left. Whether it be thank you gifts for your wedding or swag for your event, choosing items that help reduce waste continues your eco-friendly initiatives even as your guests return home.
For corporate events, consider giving away notebooks or notepads made out of recycled materials, plants and seed packets, reusable tote bags, recycled backpacks, or recycled mugs and tumblers.
Some lovely eco-friendly wedding favors might be soy candles, seedlings, or local treats in environmentally conscious packaging such as glass jars of local honey or homemade jam. Fair trade items are also typically kinder to the environment if you’re unable to source something locally.
Not everyone wants a traditional event. If anything, it’s to your advantage to stand out from the crowd by making conscious choices for sustainability and creating a truly unique experience. It can only take one small change to make a huge difference, so take your time to consider your options. At the end of the day, you want to enjoy your wedding or event, so whatever decisions that you make will be the right ones for you.
Start planning your sustainable event today by reaching out to the events team at Oaks Manor Events.