Picture this: Your office recycling program is performing well; your company is enthusiastic about sustainability and are educated and up-to-date on recycling and waste reduction. But what happens when company events extend beyond the four walls of your office? Luckily, your companies green-initiatives don’t need to stop there. Continue reading for tips and suggestions on how to achieve zero-waste at your next work function from start to finish.
What Is A Zero-Waste Event?
A zero-waste event is one in which the resources that have reached the end of their lives are handled by recycling, composting, or reusing. The main take-away is that very little to no waste is generated from the event. A zero-waste event is a great way to benefit the environment as well as showcase that your company is dedicated to reducing its impact. Creating little to no waste may sound unattainable, but it’s easy with a little bit of planning. Any event, from small school fundraisers, to large sporting events can work towards zero-waste. Keep reading to learn how to get started.
Planning For The Event
Set goals for your zero-waste event. Whatever they may be, keep them in mind throughout your planning process and then evaluate if you met them after your event.
Go with digital invitations and online promotions to avoid using paper. Online invites will give you an idea of how many people are attending so you can avoid surplus waste.
Talk To The Hauler
Communicate with the hauler so they can suggest how many containers you will need and provide you with tips to avoid waste.
Find volunteers who are dedicated to reducing waste. The volunteers could be coworkers or anyone who is committed to sustainability. Provide them with training and work together to create signage to place on the bins so guests know what to compost and recycle.
Identify Potential Waste
Identifying any potential waste will allow you to consider less-wasteful options. For instance, if you're using tablecloths, go with reusable ones, or not using any at all instead of the single-use plastic ones.
Choose Your Vendor
Choose a caterer or vendor that offers reusable or biodegradable eating utensils, plates, napkins, etc. Also, let them know how many guests you are expecting so you can avoid excess food waste.
DURING THE EVENT
Make sure your volunteers know where all the event's recycling and compost containers are located.
It will be helpful to have volunteers standing at each container to make sure there is no contamination.
Communicate with your guests and vendors your events zero-waste efforts and be prepared to answer any questions they may have.
Set up your receptacles with the appropriate signage in places that guests can easily access and utilize them.
After The Event
Appropriately dispose of any left-over items and donate any left-over food. Check all the bins to make sure there is no contamination present.
Evaluate your zero-waste efforts. Did you meet your goals? What could you do differently next time? Evaluation can help give insight for your next event!
If your company has ever hosted a zero-waste event, please let us know how it went in the comments section below! We would also love to hear any suggestions you have for offices looking to host an event. Thanks for stopping by!