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Are you planning to organize an event to celebrate Earth Day, but you need some advice to make it completely green? Here you will find a list of tips to organise an eco-friendly event in the lead up to April 22nd!
1. PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION ⛵🚲🐎
Choosing your location is essential. It will indeed determine how people will get to your event. So try to opt for a location that is accessible by public transport or active transport (walking, biking, scooter…). On your event page, you can also promote carpooling, or even create a group dedicated to finding carpooling partners! Do not forget to tell the participants the details of these different options: give them the transport options to your location (e.g. the bus number, safe cycling routes ).The little details are important, such as having an easy and safe place to lock bikes! For your own transport and pre-event errands, be sure to prioritize hybrid or electric vehicles or cargo bikes.
2. LEARN TO ECO-COMMUNICATE 🔆 🖥 📞
Digital communications are certainly your best asset to bring good visibility to your event. Mailings of newsletters, maps, ticket sales, promotions, and reminders… this can all be done by internet and telecommunications! Don’t forget publicity at the local level by putting flyers in town halls, community places, libraries, schools, or any other relevant places to give visibility to your event.
During the event, encourage people to photograph the program at the entrance or have it visible on a screen. Explaining that this is a way to save paper (in addition, it is quite common to lose a flyer during an event, but losing your phone happens less often!). If in some cases the use of paper is necessary, use it in a limited, targeted, and eco-friendly way: with recycled or eco-labeled paper, printing on both sides, opting for vegetable ink, etc.
For your signage (for toilets, arrows, the welcome, the ticket office, compost, recycling), make sure it is eco-designed (why not homemade with recycled materials?) and can be reused at future events. A great idea is to set up one or more environmental information points on the event site. You can explain your efforts and suggest additional practices that people can do on a daily basis!
Also, don’t hesitate to identify Earth Day Canada as co-organizer of your eco-friendly event. We will be happy to help you with your visibility!
3. SERVE AN ECO-FRIENDLY MEAL 🌱🥗🌽
Food is always an essential aspect of an event. Serve a delicious meal and people will remember it. But, as in all celebrations, we tend to do too much to avoid not having enough. So we end up with tons of leftovers not knowing what to do with them. Not very ecological!
To avoid this situation, have plenty of tupperware or reusable dishes on hand to pack the leftover food. Then… is there a local charity that could benefit from the leftovers? If not, do you have a refrigerator in your office? To the delight of your guests, you can also suggest that they take leftovers home, having previously informed them before the event to bring reusable containers. Friendliness and the fight against food waste, two birds with one stone!
Regarding food as such, are you choosing dishes that are cooked locally and made with local, seasonal, and/or organic food? Using a catering service or supplier who promotes these practices can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. You can also call on the culinary talents of the participants by suggesting to do a potluck!
Other cooking tips? Use eco-cups; use reusable or compostable tableware (there are even corn “plastic” glasses at affordable prices); prepare reasonable portions to avoid losses, install compost bins, etc.
4. CREATE THE ZERO WASTE SQUAD 🙅🚫🙅♂️
Avoid throwing things away. It can seem like a real challenge, but just keep in mind the 4 Rs: reduce, reuse, recover, and recycle.
Put recycling and compost bins accessible to the participants. If you want to offer a useful and sustainable gift to your participants, put the gifts into a reusable, biodegradable bag. But, above all, opt for ZERO packaging by asking the participants in advance to bring a bag for a surprise gift!
Remember that you are setting an example by your own actions. So show your guests that you too care about the environment, both in your speeches and in your behavior during the evening!
In 2020, let’s take the opportunity, thousands of times over, to help clean up our beautiful Earth.