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Are you planning to organise an eco-friendly event? And are stuck at figuring out ‘how-to’? Especially with Women's Day coming up soon, here's help.
Here is your 5-step guide to get you sorted for the upcoming women’s day celebration. Irrespective of the size of the event, you will be able to use this list with customisations.
These pointers would get you to be as close as zero-waste, but if you don’t follow them to the ‘T’, do not fret. Because a thousand imperfect efforts are better than the perfect plan.
Lastly, if your attendees, find it unfeasible or unrealistic, give them some time to understand the impact and importance. Until then, pat yourself on your back and pull up your socks to get going.
For smaller events, there is an option to do it in-house or at an outside venue. When choosing outdoor, you can go old school and organise it in a nearby garden. It will give you a chance to save on energy that goes into transport, décor, and lighting.
The nearer you are to your house, it becomes easier to manage food serving, procurement, and waste management. If the garden is unavailable, you can find an eco-friendly venue nearby you. There are green event venues* such as The Greenstraw House, Go Native which are more than happy to accommodate your green needs in a fun, food, and frolic.
*A green event venue is one that actively works to become more sustainable and meet sustainability guidelines and benchmarks.
This is parameter which takes the most time in selection and wrap-up. At home, you have the chance to grow and prepare your food, serve in your own cutlery, and segregate the waste.
Farther down the lane, you can choose to order from your local catering businesses/ cafes by taking your containers to them. Irrespective of the medium you choose, you must be clear about the seasonal, local, and organic choice of the food and its quantity.
Based on the number of people confirmed for the event, you can order # of person * 300 gm. This way you will ensure you waste as minimal as possible. And if you still end up wasting, you can call NGOs near you who come to collect the left-over food from you. Or you can provide the option of reusable crockery for take-aways. Here is a list of 8 NGOs/ organisations who help you save food.
For serving away from home, you can carry your cutlery or rent some. In case it’s not possible, you can order bio-degradable compostable options such as sugar cane bagasse, areca, and more from Recycle. Green,
Want to make your event super fun? You ought to include games, performances, and exchanging gifts. Under each of these categories, you can reuse as much as possible. How about asking your peers to bring board games they own? Or bring some talent to entertain people? If none of this is possible, you can rely on your local artists to uplift the mood of the event.
Gifting is not mandatory, and no one shall be shamed for not falling under this trap. But, if you love gifts/swag, then you can share eco-friendly gifting options from Brown Living, Happy Pencils, or ScrapShala. On the receiving end, you can make a list of things you need and pass it over to friends. They can pick from the list, making it super easy for everyone involved.
Each of us likes to feel special. And the sure shot way to get there is by decorating the place as the event demands. However, décor items inspired by the Instagram world can generate tonnes of wastage which end up occupying the landfills.
To avoid this cycle, you can start with reusing available resources in the décor. For instance, if you have empty bottles, you can paint them and use them as a center décor piece with some fresh local flowers. There are also vendors such as Myecodeeds, Reinventwithus, or Studio156.ahm who rent/make a bunch of colourful eco-friendly accessories and party requisites. For the dry décor waste, you can call waste management services such as concept.green, or Scrap Zerowaste to help with waste segregation and pick-up. You can contact these service providers, to even help you in organizing an end-to-end zero-waste event that complies with Govt’s waste management rules.
How about offering an alternative to paper invites, name tags, and other swag? It is possible by going digital using e-invites, website registrations, and mobile apps. The medium helps in streamlining the flow of information along with the needed personalisation.
Finally, dressing for the occasion needs to be impeccable, and I see many people go shopping for every new event. The trick to overcoming impulsive shopping is to reuse or upcycle. Choose either your own, your family’s, or your ancestors’ pieces and do a makeover. Trust me when I say that the level of satisfaction with the outcome will be unmatched.
The last piece in the puzzle is the attendees. Without their support, your event won’t be successful aka eco-friendly. Some tips to get them involved in reducing the event’s carbon footprint.
Ask for their itinerary to get them to carpool or take public transport,
Ask guests to collect and empty their waste into the correct pile of the waste bins (proper guidelines for reducing, reusing, and recycling can be given in advance or the service provider can give training for live segregation),
Ask guests to go hybrid with the event, giving the option to attend either in person or virtually for multiple-days or cross-country events,
Ask them for their accountability in the sustainability goal of the event.
If everyone is aligned, there is no way you can miss going the zero-waste way.
Some references to help you out in your journey.
Open-source database for eco-friendly vendors in the US- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DIQmXmAJN2tZu1aNAmxMGgNuiiNYdFjVB80KdZm0ehg/edit#gid=0
Carbon Calculators to measure your footprints:
myclimate Event Carbon Calculator
TerraPass Events Carbon Footprint Calculator (also offers the option of buying your carbon offsets)
Bonneville Environmental Foundation Event Calculator
Image courtesy Artem Beliaikin via Unsplash
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