Green Event Tips

Events are a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your office's or organization's commitment to sustainability. Events provide a venue to expand awareness of environmentally friendly practices and share best practices with guests. Events can produce large amounts of waste and often rely on single-use-disposable food service items and decorations.

Please consider these ideas as you plan your next event:

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  • Food & Beverages

    -Offer at least one vegetarian and/or vegan option.

    -Avoid individual use condiment packets.

    -Offer reusable kitchenware.

    -Choose food that is fair trade, local, or organic.

    -Avoid bottled water; bulk tap water can be requested or offer pitchers of water.

    -Buy food in bulk as much as possible to avoid excess packaging.

    -Avoid individually wrapped items.

    -Consider cold food options to cut down on cooking and heating energy use.

    -Avoid Styrofoam.

    -Avoid plastic packaging whenever possible.

  • Decorations & Ambiance

    -Use reusable centerpieces.

    -Avoid excess heating and lighting when natural light and heat are available.

    -Avoid balloons; loose balloons can harm wildlife and balloon releases are not legal in Virginia.

    -Eliminate chotchkies; offer consumable or green-themed giveaways.

    -Reuse or repurpose decorations.

  • Waste & Disposal

    -Purchase items that can be recycling or composted.

    -Provide clearly marked and accessible recycling and trash containers.

    -Offer composting bins with clear signage to dispose of food waste.

    -Place staff at waste collection points to ensure proper sorting of recyclables, compostables, and other waste to ensure that all of the materials from the event are recycled, reused, or composted.

    -Donate unopened food and beverages.

    -Learn about what can be recycled and print signage from the Rethink Waste page.

  • Advertising

    -Provide information to participants about the green aspects of the event.

    -Reduce the impact of promotional flyers and handouts by either eliminating entirely, reducing the size or number of paper flyers, or printing on recycled content paper.

    -Use d-flyers, SpiderBytes, email, social media, and other electronic media to advertise your event.

  • Guests

    -Invite guests to bring their own water bottle, coffee mug, or reusable utensils.

    -Encourage guests to walk, carpool, or use public transportation.