Top Tips to Minimize the Environmental Impact of Your Next EventJune 18, 2021
Successfully organizing an event comes with many challenges. Between arranging the venue and managing registrations, event organizers are in for a rollercoaster ride. On top of that, you have to promote the event to ensure maximum footfall, as well as coordinate with a plethora of vendors and sponsors.
Amidst this rigmarole, the environment often takes a backseat. But this isn’t the right thing to do considering that any big event results in massive carbon emissions. Also, large public gatherings can generate tons of plastic waste, which, in turn, affects the local biodiversity and ecosystem.
That’s why it is essential for event organizers to find ways to reduce their environmental impact. It’s even more crucial considering that modern consumers, particularly millennials and Gen Z, are becoming increasingly conscious about protecting the environment.
Also, organizing an environmentally friendly event can result in significant cost savings. From using high-quality, fuel-efficient power generators to collaborating with like-minded vendors – there’s a lot you can do to control the carbon footprint of your event.
In this blog, we’ll discuss a few powerful strategies to make your events more environmentally friendly. Let’s get started.
1. Focus on Power Consumption
Between running audio-visual systems and lighting up the venue, organizing an event involves sizeable power consumption. Relying on the regular grid supply to fulfill your power needs will result in sky-high carbon emissions. Instead, it’s wiser to identify ways to utilize alternative energy sources.
Start by choosing a venue that runs on renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar power. Even if the venue’s main electricity supply comes from the grid, devise ways to use solar panels or hydroelectric generators to fulfill most of your event’s power needs.
2. Wisely Choose Your Standby Generator
Irrespective of the type of power supply you use, chances are you’re also going to need a few generators for power backup. Of course, the most obvious choice would be a diesel generator. But you should keep in mind that diesel generators run on non-renewable fossil fuels. Also, they result in significant CO2 emissions, as well as air and noise pollution.
If you decide to go ahead with diesel generators, make sure you find a reliable vendor who will provide you with high-performing generators. Also, ask the vendor to get the generators serviced and repaired before the event to maximize fuel efficiency.
Or you could use low-emission generators that run on renewable and clean fuels, such as natural gas and biomass. Depending on the venue location, you could also use hydroelectricity or geothermal energy to power the event.
3. Educate Your Attendees
Ultimately, all your efforts to host an environmentally friendly event will be of no avail unless you get your attendees to cooperate. For instance, switching to biodegradable cups, plates, and cutlery won’t be of much use if most attendees don’t know how to dispose of the waste.
Likewise, while you might be working on reducing power consumption at the venue, attendees traveling in private vehicles would still result in significant carbon emissions. That’s why it is essential to make all your attendees aware of the steps you’re taking to protect the environment as an event organizer.
Also, educate them on what they can do on their part to help you in the initiative. For instance, you could encourage them to use public transport to reach the venue. Or you could ask them to bring their own coffee/soda cups and metal straws. Better still, you could reward them with incentives, such as discounts and freebies, for following your guidelines.
4. Host a Virtual Event
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a cornucopia of useful life lessons. The most powerful of these lessons has been the extent of things we can accomplish despite being confined to our homes. As governments imposed restrictions on travel and public gatherings, many organizers switched to virtual events.
From art exhibitions and music festivals to corporate retreats and conferences – 2020 showed us how some of the biggest worldwide events embraced the online landscape. As you might have guessed, virtual events have a far smaller carbon footprint, owing to lower power consumption, simpler logistics, and limited waste generation.
So, irrespective of whether you want to host an industrial seminar or a film festival, explore the possibility of making your event virtual. Apart from being environmentally friendly, virtual events involve simpler logistics and fewer overheads. Also, you can reach a wider audience across the globe who wouldn’t have traveled all the way to a physical venue.
Lastly, don’t forget that your work doesn’t end once the event is over. You must work with the venue managers/coordinators to ensure proper waste disposal. Also, if you end up with surplus food after the event, consider donating it to a local non-profit organization. Make sure all that the materials used for constructing stages, podiums, etc. are recycled or repurposed.
What steps are you taking to reduce the carbon footprints of your events? Share your recommendations in the comments section below.