Being kind to the earth is at the very core of Catalyst Ranch’s being. Our physical space is ensconced in a building which dates back to the 1880s. Almost all of our furnishings are vintage and recycled. We recycle anything we can get our hands on. All the leftover food gets picked up by the Pacific Garden Mission. You can see the extent of our efforts here: http://www.catalystranchmeetings.com/green1.html.
But we can’t do it alone and try to encourage our clients to be kind to the earth as well as each other. That’s why I was excited to see this article posted on Meetings Net and decided to share it with you. Some great tips that are very easy to incorporate into your next meeting.
5 Tips for Going Green at Corporate Events
How to reduce, reuse, and recycle at your next meeting
Apr 15, 2015
Earth Day, which is celebrated on April 22 each year, reminds us about the importance of being sustainable and environmentally conscious in our lives and businesses. Case studies reveal that with a little thoughtful planning, a company can reduce the amount of waste at its brand’s events throughout the year by more than 70 percent. Here are some tips on how to reduce, reuse, and recycle at your company’s next meeting or special event.
1. Location, location, location
Choosing a venue partner that supports your sustainability efforts is key to producing a greener event. Look for certified green venues in your area and ask if they can provide your event with smart TVs, local produce, and at least a basic recycling program. Also, ask the venue and caterer if they would be willing to coordinate donations of leftovers to local food pantries, through organizations such as Los Angeles Food Bank or Feeding America. Some venues will require a signed liability waiver to facilitate donations, so be sure to carefully look over the agreement before committing. (And read this article about the legality of donating food after an event.)
2. Green apps galore
With the proliferation of smartphones in the businessperson’s everyday life, investing in a mobile event app can be a cost-effective way to significantly reduce printing expenditures and waste. It also gives attendees information at their fingertips during the event and post-event, unlike printed programs, which undoubtedly end up in the trash. Nowadays many venues are even equipped with smart TVs that can display directions, messaging, and the agenda via USB or laptop connection. If hard copies are a must, rather than supplying printouts for all attendees, have a few tent cards on each table instead. Also, ask if the venue can provide easily discernable recycling and compost bins to make sustainability as simplified as possible for attendees.
3. Share a set of wheels
Select hotels that are within walking distance of the event. Provide attendees with detailed walking directions—again, making it as easy as possible. Encourage guests to use public transportation or carpool by offering exclusive door prizes or Green VIP privileges to ride-sharers.
4. Sustainable swag
Speaking of VIP door prizes, giving away branded tumblers for use at hydration stations or water pitcher stations is a highly effective strategy to get attendees excited about sustainability and to eliminate the biggest culprit for waste at events: plastic water bottles.
5. Encourage the ongoing team effort
Get attendees and vendors on board with your company’s goals for a sustainable event by sharing your vision in the programming or on your event app. Capture statistics to measure the success of your practices and announce your progress at the next event. Let all those present at the event know that their efforts are making a positive impact on the earth.
Do you have any tips of things that you’ve incorporated into your meetings that you could share with the rest of us? Go ahead and brag! It’s okay when you’re being kind to the earth.