30 May 10 Simple Tips to Make your Next Event More Sustainable
If you are one of those people who has created or participated in an event, surely you’re aware of what happens after the event is over. Ridiculously high electricity, water and transportation bills. Paper, food and extra decor thrown away, unused. Piles and piles of wasted material. What to do with all this wastefulness? Couldn’t it be avoided?
The United Nations sure thinks so.
Precisely to make that excessive waste in the tourism sector visible as well as to promote values regarding sustainable and responsible consumption, the UN’s General Assembly has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The goal is to recognize the importance and impact international tourism has, to foster cultural understanding, and to increase peace in the world.
When creating an event, the concept of sustainable tourism includes many aspects, among them maintaining the environmental, social, cultural, and economic integrity of the location where the event is organized. When we organize events, people come from all over the world, and sustainable tourism implies intentionally minimizing the damage caused to the environment, whether it be by wasting less, using resources more efficiently, or by transmitting values that encourage caring for and respecting our surroundings. It means satisfying your clients’ and participants’ needs without those decisions negatively affecting the environment’s and people’s present nor future.
A lot of companies have already joined the initiative. An example is NH Hotel Group, that publically has shown the commitment to implement and carry out sustainable practices in its business plan. Through simple actions such as changing light bulbs, reusing its grey water, or using recycled materials, NH Hotel Group has managed to reduce its energy, water, and carbon foot print by 30%.
Let’s suggest a few simple tips you can put into practice to follow NH Hotel’s Group footsteps and help you get on board with the sustainable movement.
- Plan. This step is often overlooked. It’s really important to be clear on what strategy you want to use for your event in order to carry it out effectively. It’ll allow you to set a direction, prioritize and align your ideas with others.
- Communicate. With the already documented strategy, all the team members can be on board and know fully what the plan of action is. Another good trick is to communicate that plan with your suppliers or other companies involved in the event to make sure you all share the same vision towards creating a sustainable event. A collective and cohesive effort will definitely help you reach your objectives.
- Remember the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Here you can put your creativity to use by finding new ways to apply them in a realistic (and hygienic!) way.
- Make it a day event. Choosing a venue that has tons of natural light will help you save energy. And if you need light, you can use low energy consumption light bulbs.
- Choose a venue that’s close to public transportation and encourage the participants to use it. This will reduce costs and pollution. It can also serve as a great cultural experience for those who come from abroad.
- Reuse furniture and decoration. It’ll also save you the hassle of figuring out where to get them from for your next event. And, of course, it’ll save you money. Remember, being sustainable doesn’t have to be more expensive!
- Don’t put any date on your advertising, banners, flyers, or posters. Design timeless images and graphics so you can reuse them in the future.
- For the catering, serve cold food rather than hot food. You can also serve water in glass jars instead of plastic bottles, or use recyclable materials.
- Place signs that mention responsible water use in the bathrooms or water fountains. Reminding the participants will create visibility and awareness and will definitely help save water.
- Send all invitations via email, social media, or through your website. If using paper is absolutely necessary, you can try to use recycled paper, or print on both sides of the page.
These are just a few simple and hands-on ideas you can put into practice for your next event. Each small action that strays away from unnecessary waste matters, so don’t worry if you can’t implement all of them into your next event. Being sustainable isn’t about stressing out or feeling bad. It’s about joining the ever more recurring conversation. About belonging to a movement that seeks to create a more respectful, united, peaceful world.
We’d like to emphasize the idea that being sustainable isn’t just about the environment. It’s also about taking care of ourselves, of others, of all human beings. At Intracon we give this a special importance and we prioritize this aspect in our event planning and creation. We like to take care of ourselves, and we like to take care of you. Because all humans are valuable, worthy, unique. And we know it. We breathe it. We live it. And we put that knowledge into practice.