Increasingly we see events that are advertised carbon neutral or earth friendly, from music festivals and night clubs to business events and corporate organisations. But just how simple is it to make a difference?
The recent holographic appearances of Prince Charles at the Green Energy Summit in Dubai and Al Gore at Japan’s Live Earth event, show just how technology can help save tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. However, this is top end stuff and carries a price tag to match and not suitable for all events. How many people would pay $200 to see a hologram of a band? The whole point is you get to see them live and sweaty.
Every event large or small can make a difference with a little thought and planning. Start with reducing the printed material by using electronic communication wherever possible – eg, websites, email, electronic presentations, broadcasts, podcasts, online video, USBs, SMS etc.
If printing is unavoidable for programs, delegate handbooks or materials, use recycled paper. Aim for at least 50% post consumer waste recycled paper and print double sided. Ensure printed material is produced in a reasonable size and quantity and include a request to recycle after use. If you can, provide information online, via email, CD or on a memory stick.
Ask for your venue’s recycling policy and pass on the information to exhibitors, so they can make use of recycling stations and programs.
Promote the use of custom stands that can be reused at other events rather than one offs.
Ask exhibitors and contractors to reduce their waste by using less packaging and also hiring equipment where appropriate.
Look at environmentally-friendly options for delegate satchels, instead of plastic bags research hemp or calico bags or something that can be used again.
It’s also worth Investigating environmentally-friendly options for name badges and lanyards to reduce plastic usage. Always collect and reuse name badges it’s good for the environment and your delegates will thank you for saving them the embarrassment of walking around town with their name attached.
Encourage people to use public transport to your event and try to keep the hours out of rush hour, as slow, peak traffic creates more emissions. Make sure there is adequate accommodation nearby, so delegates can walk rather than drive.
Most promotional suppliers have ‘green’ options now where items are made from recycled materials or are recyclable products, so your giveaways can be green too.
Small steps can change the world.