Uh oh...you've just been asked to host an event at your office and you don't know what to do. Well, maybe you know what to do, but perhaps the logistics of running the event responsibly seem to always try and kick you down. Ever feel like the goal of zero waste is too overwhelming at your office? Think it's too expensive? Too complicated? Maybe you think nobody cares?
Actually, studies show that a lot of party goers want to be responsible...but they just don't know how. There's a lot you can do to help your company or organization make the transition to green. Here are a few suggestions about how you can help be an influencer at your place of work next time you help plan an event:
• Use electronic invites with a clear request to RSVP. This will help you forecast the head count so that there aren’t large amounts of wasted food at the end of the event.
• A lot of printing can be avoided be making documents for the event available online, including agendas, speaker bios, and white papers. Creating signage with easy links during the event is a great way to direct people to the information they need on the spot. If materials must be printed, print on recycled paper.
• Use reusable plates, flatware, glasses, tablecloths and linen. If you don’t have enough of these items, see if you can borrow from family, friends or, better yet, from other people within the organization. This is a great way to reinforce your organization’s commitment to zero waste! If you must use single-use disposables, use compostable tableware and work the leftovers into your compost. Make the rest recyclable!
• Make it easy and clear for your guests to figure out where they should compost and dispose of waste. It’s a good idea to not only make a brief announcement about where to dispose of waste, tying it in to your organization’s larger mission, but to place clear signs throughout the event. Multiple locations for larger events is a must.
• Keep decorations to a minimum, and if you do decorate, do it with flowers and fruits from the garden.
• Source fresh, local, unpackaged, and/or bulk foods when possible. Organizational events are a great opportunity to showcase locally produced and/or organic beer, wine, and liquor. Consider whether it is more cost effective to order a keg. It just might be – and you’ll reduce the need to collect bottles!
Good luck with your special event! If you need help with the recycling and the composting, give us a call – we’ll do the rest!