With the threat of COVID19 still lurking, event sustainability has become all the more important to consider when events come back in full swing. Leaders in the industry, like Live Nation have already set their sites on initiatives that will contribute to more eco friendly events. Some of the most popular events around the world have made considerable changes over recent years from dropping all single use plastics, reducing waste and running on renewable energy. We have accumulated a list of effective practices that can be applied to events of all sizes and types to help contribute to the ongoing efforts of making the world a little greener.
Location, Location, Location
Choosing the location of your event based on the location to public transportation could be a game changer. Limiting the number of cars on the road will in turn help in reducing carbon emissions.
- Encourage attendees to use public transportation
- Arrange shuttle services for attendees to get to and from the event
- Promote car sharing
- Offer incentives like chances to win special prizes, VIP tickets or discounts for guests who leave their cars at home
- Choose venues that support green initiatives like energy efficiency, eco-friendly cleaning services/chemical free products, recycling and waste management.
Paying it forward
An estimated 250,000 tents are ditched at festivals annually throughout the UK. To avoid dealing with a sea of abandoned tents (which happens more often than we’d like to believe), you can consider some of the following solutions:
- Donate unwanted and unbroken camping equipment to people in need (like Delaware’s Firefly festival which works with Code Purple and make a number of donations)
- Charge a deposit or ‘tent tax’ to discourage people from abandoning their tents
- Help educate attendees about offsetting their impact through programs like planting a tree or reforestation
Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing the right food vendors. According to eventbrite’s 2020 event trends report, 46% of event professionals (North American) offer vegetarian/vegan options, and we will likely see this number continue to increase. Locally sourced food and drinks will help reduce the impact by limiting transportation needs. By providing an onsite Wholesale Market (like Glastonbury) it gives traders an opportunity to restock supplies that will meet your sustainability standards.
We all love getting free stuff, so SWAG bags are usually a hot ticket item when you attend any event. Consider providing sustainable merchandise as giveaway items instead of ones that fans will be inclined to toss. Bottles, mugs, straws or other similar reusable items can be a good alternative. Recycling, reusing and reducing is what it’s all about these days.
Flushing away the competition
Multiple temporary toilet suppliers business models’ revolve around chemical free, compostable or water-saving facilities. They are slowly replacing the classic plastic temporary toilets and could become a more popular choice. In addition to saving the environment from harmful chemicals, no-flush toilets will reduce the overall water use and eliminate extra transport needs that are often required for the regular festival toilets (i.e. water tanks). We all know from personal experiences how a bad portable toilet can leave a horrible impression.
Plastic, not fantastic
Plastic free festivals are one of the most popular trends right now. With the impact of COVID on our progress in terms of plastic reduction, it’s even more important to consider alternatives.
- Urge your attendees to bring reusable items from home
- Provide reusable, recycled or biodegradable plates, utensils and straws
- Eliminate all single use plastics
- Serve food in recycled or reusable packaging
- With the elimination of plastic water bottles, be sure to provide an adequate amount of water refill stations
- Take a hint from some festivals banning glitter at their events and switch to the eco-friendly alternatives instead of the common microplastic kinds
There’s no doubt we will see a shift to becoming completely digital, not only for new safety measures, but as a way to become more eco-friendly. Organizers are finding more value in switching to 100% digital tickets. When it comes to signs, you can consider using alternative materials (wood or recycled matter) and printing only what is necessary.
Dance Dance Revolution
Last but not least, energy is another hot topic and there are multiple ways that renewable energy can be utilized for your event.
- Limit onsite vehicles to only fuel efficient or electric ones
- Use solar power energy
- Install interactive solutions, like lights powered by dance floors or stationary bikes providing power
- Use clean-burning biofuel to power entire events
- Install LED lighting
- Reduce water waste (see ‘no flush toilets’ above)
Interested in reading more? Check out our blog post here for a more in depth look on how events are reinventing the wheel to become more sustainable.