Sense and Sustainability or How to Create eco friendly Events in 2021
Sustainability is a topic that’s often de-prioritized during the event planning process. An event planner’s primary goal is to make their attendees happy. It is the guest experience that’s considered most important, not the environment. For example, a planner might decide to order more food than needed, to ensure there’s enough to go around. The environmental waste contributed is usually an afterthought—if even considered at all.
At Maryoku, we’re passionate about giving back and inspiring others to make their events more sustainable. We take steps to ensure that our planners have the data they need to select the right sustainable vendor during their production process. We didn’t stop there, we also partner with companies that accept charitable food & item donations to help those in need.
What a Waste
Did you know that each year, approximately 1.3 billion tons of food(the equivalent of 216,666,666 elephants!!) is wasted globally? And guess what industry contributes significantly to this statistic? You guessed it, our very own event industry. A study conducted by the Lime Venue Portfolio shows that the average event wastes between 15-20% of the food that it produces. Unbelievable, right?
It’s not just food that’s wasted , Things like event supply & signage material, water consumption, and electricity usage also contribute.
Green Events- a trend that’s here to stay
Sustainability is an initiative that seems to be growing in the events industry. In fact, according to Eventbrite’s 2020 Trends Report, sustainability is a new top-focus for event planners.
So, what can you do to help contribute to the cause? Start off by working with vendors that practice sustainability. We’ve also Made a list of things that you can discuss with vendors and incorporate into your event planning practice.
10 Steps to a more Sustainable event:
you should know that Maryoku asks all vendors about their item reuse policy in our vendor sustainability survey.
- Team up: Creating sustainable events is a team effort. find partners that share this common goal. Maryoku makes this real easy for you—when vendors join us, we give them a “sustainability rating.”
- Let’s stop wasting Food:. Get your caterer to order the least amount of food needed. You can also come up with strategies together that will help the cause without putting the event’s success in jeopardy. For example, instead of pre-packaging snacks, you can have a popcorn station and give out only pop popcorn on demand, as needed. Little things like that can make a big difference.
- You’ve got(too much?) swag: Gifts are a great way to make a guest feel loved. Try to order the exact amount of swag needed for your event attendees. where possible, work with your swag vendor to use environmentally friendly items. For example, you can distribute notebooks made of eco-paper or hand out re-usable water-bottles and encourage your attendees to use those at the water fountain, rather than cups.
- something old, something borrowed: Identify vendors that re-use their items, rather than create new items for each event. Many furniture & prop rental vendors keep items in storage for this exact purpose. If you must create a new item, then keep it generic, so that you can use it again down the line. you should know that Maryoku asks all vendors about their item reuse policy in our vendor sustainability survey.
- Go virtual: When possible, use digital items rather than producing physical goods. Ask your venue if they have any existing screens that you can tap-into to display digital signage. If you want to share information packets with an attendee, load them up onto a flash drive and distribute those instead of printing them. Things like this go a long way in eliminating waste.
- Recycle on the spot:. Work with your venue to create a clear and effective recycling system. Clearly label your bins with words like, “Plastic”, “Glass”, and “Food,” so that attendees know exactly where to put their stuff. If possible, assign a volunteer or staff member to oversee the section and ensure that everything is tossed into the right place.
- Eco-Friendly fun: Did you know that plastic takes up to 1,000 years to dissolve into a landfill? Avoid using plastic and other materials that have a negative impact on the environment. Utilize reusable items like glass coffee cups instead of paper cups, or metal straws that can be re-used. Work with your vendors to get creative and come up with fun eco-friendly items, like this cookie coffee cup that can be eaten once used. Trust us, Your guests will love the originality.
- Minimize the Carbo-Footprint: Work with your ground-transportation vendor to create shuttles that can take groups en-masse to/from each destination. If your event has multiple venues, then try to book all of them within walking distance of one another.
- Easy on the Water Consumption: Don’t pre-order water bottles for your event. Ask your venue or caterer if they can supply water fountains and disperse them around the event. If appropriate, ask your attendees to bring their own water bottles from home and advertise it as a “going green” initiative.
- Partner with Charities: It’s important to identify partners that you can pair with to donate extra items. Maryoku partners with food rescue organizations and non-profits to make sure surplus food, swag, and other items are put to good use.
We’re In this together:
Maryoku is committed to helping our planners easily incorporate sustainability into their events. We have an open dialogue with our vendors, planners, and partners about this topic and believe that this is the best way to make a change.
If you have any ideas on how to go greener or want to create sustainable events with us, were right here. Always on the lookout for new partners to save the word with 😊