Green Gatherings: Planning Eco-Friendly Events

Meetings and events have many moving parts to plan for.

From transportation and lodging to choosing avenue and developing meeting materials, event planners have their plates full with options and decisions. While everyone seems to be thinking green, planning an event that is environmentally friendly doesn’t require many extra steps. In fact, sustainable meeting practices often require less preparation and materials. Try incorporating these green ideas into your planning process.

Venue

Consider planning your event at a venue requiring minimal travel time. Long commutes, traffic jams and multiple route changes are not very environmentally friendly and can be frustrating for attendees.

Select a venue located near public transportation or one where attendees can easily walk or bike. If your event attendees are traveling from out of state, choose a venue in or near their lodging accommodations to increase convenience and reduce their carbon footprint.

With three hotels within a half-mile of one another and within walking distance of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station, Diablo Valley caters to the eco-conscious traveler. Hilton Concord, Clarion Hotel of Concord and Crowne Plaza Concord all offer meeting spaces and environmentally friendly amenities within their hotels, making a one-stop shop for planners looking to host a sustainable event.

Bay Area Rapid Transit system train sitting in the station

Catering

Inform your caterer of your desire to host a sustainable meeting. Are they able to source local food? Can leftover food and beverages be donated to the nearest food bank or soup kitchen? Chances are the caterer will options to help you fulfill your green objective.

Consider what can be reused or recycled. Recyclable or washable serveware, silverware and tablecloths can help reduce your event’s environmental impact.

Community

Are there any ways your event can benefit the local community? Most meetings conclude with several items that can be donated, including leftover food and beverages, decorations and materials like plastic name tags, binders and unused paper, which nonprofits, schools, homeless shelters and hospitals can use and will glady accept.

Meeting Materials

From invitations to name tags and handouts to signage, there are several ways to reduce your carbon footprint though the selection of eco-friendly products. Sending invitations, meeting details and other materials via email is quick, cost-effective and eco-friendly.

Name tags are a staple at most business meetings, but there are options outside of the run-of-the-mill stickers. Using plastic badges with paper name inserts provides a reusable option for the badges and recycling for the name inserts.

Inform your attendees early on of your goal to have a green meeting. This can help get everyone on board to protect the environment and have a successful and sustainable meeting.

At the Event

Clearly mark recycling bins throughout the event space. Provide recyclable cups or refillable water bottles for attendees to use during the meeting.

Use long-lasting décor like live plants and natural materials and invite speakers or attendees to take these with them after the event or donate them to a local nursing home or school. Generic decorations that can be donated to schools or to the host venue are another great option.

When planning your next meeting, incorporate these simple, eco-friendly practices to inspire sustainability in attendees while benefiting the planet.

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