Sustainability is more than a trend. In fact, a growing number of guests and event hosts have made going green a top priority in recent years. For instance, just 6% of respondents felt environmental responsibility significantly impacted their events in 2019, compared to 59% in 2020. This new decade ushers in not only a new awareness of the importance of going green, but also new options and alternatives for maintaining it. 

There are small steps you can take that will have a big impact. Here are five approaches to tackling environmental sustainability in 2020:

Leverage e-tickets and reduce paper waste

It goes without saying that less paper amounts to less waste. Chances are your attendees aren’t interested in holding onto a piece of paper (or finding a way to print a paper ticket). Streamline everybody’s event day with e-tickets that are easy to scan and simple to keep up with. 

Almost 90% of event creators have adopted e-tickets in 2020. This is definitely a light lift and one of the easiest ways to make a big impact on the amount of paper being used and discarded at the end of your event.

Use reusable or biodegradable items

It takes some research and planning, but using biodegradable or reusable items for decor, seating arrangements, and even signage can lighten your lift and your budget. For instance, consider:

  • Using name badges that can be reused year after year (perhaps with a discount offered  to those who return) rather than ones that will have to be tossed after every event  
  • Using creative decor items you can repurpose or even share with your event community
  • Getting rid of your large inventory of items and organizing a swap with event creators 
  • Banning single-use plastics or installing composting toilets

50% of creators are already riding this wave. Not only is it great for the environment, but saves you from having to make repeat purchases. 

Offer vegan/vegetarian food

If we are going to be more conscious about taking care of the environment, it makes sense to also be aware of how we are taking care of our bodies. About 46% of creators have already gotten the memo to add vegetarian and vegan options to their menu. Consider how you can:

  • Ensure your food, drinks, and swag rely less on plastic packaging
  • Work with food and drink vendors that display a commitment to sustainable practices
  • Buy from local food vendors that source local from farmers

Make sure your menu fits within the lifestyles of your guests to ensure they can feel good about their choice to patronize your event. 

Encourage public transport and carpooling

Cutting carbon emissions has to be a group effort. And as much a large events can contribute to  them, as an event creator you can manage it by:

  • Partnering with car ride services like Lyft to get special codes for guests to ride share
  • Pre-arrange carpooling or bus transport to and from the venue
  • Provide details for public transportation to reduce the need for guests to drive

By being thoughtful about the guest experience and considering the ways you can do right by the environment, you position yourself as a trusted and responsible creator. 

Work with venues that recycle

Putting on an eco-friendly event is not just about how you manage your internal operations. You’ll want to make sure your venues are also sourcing sustainably, or you could backpedal on  the progress you’re making to protect the environment. 

Take the time to research venues to and confirm you’re on the same page when it comes to doing the right thing for the environment. For example:

  • Check that your venues have policies for energy efficiency, recycling, and waste minimization
  • Organize waste stations into separate bins for compost, recyclables, and trash (and label them clearly!)
  • Rally guests to be intentional by promoting a recycle goal for your event

Don’t fall behind on one of the new decade’s most important event expectations

Sustainability matters to your guests. And with the climate in crisis, we know it matters to you too. Even though you’re going green for the right reasons, there is no reason you shouldn’t be transparent about the actions you are taking to reduce impact. Share your efforts with your guests to make it known you are being intentional about how you create community in today’s climate. Then consider how you can incorporate your sustainability practice with immersive events and a diverse crowd by reading the 2020 Event Trends Report.

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