Here are our top 10 suggestions for ensuring a Green Event:
1. Have a virtual venue tour | Don't go driving around to several places looking for venues, there are tons of online virtual tours available. This will save you gas and reduce carbon emissions.
2. Have your event during the day | This will not only save you money but it will also reduce the amount of electricity you need to use. If there is no option for a day time event, use soy or beeswax candles they are less harmful to your health and the environment!
3. Have your event outside | There are several outdoor spaces that will make the perfect back drop for your event. Natural trees and flowers will take the place of flowers from the shop. Historic sites will also make a great eco-sustainable venue.
4. Use what you have around you | Hit up your family and friends for old milk jugs, mason jars, wine bottles or tea pots. If this doesn't get you the amount of accessories you need, check out your local thrift store or antique shop. Don't be afraid to mix and match, it will only add to the design and make your celebration truly unique!
5. Go local | Get flowers, food and beverage from local farmers around you. Visit a green house or farmer's market for ideas. You can even use banana leaves as plates, you can compost them after so there's no need for wasting water to wash up. You can find banana leaves in most East and West Indian and Asian markets. You will feel better knowing you have contributed to your community!
6. Lose the professional DJ | If you want to have great entertainment for your event but do not want to use a ton of electricity on the music, opt for an acoustic band or use a DJ's iPod or your own.
7. Give philanthropic favours and gifts | Instead of giving your bridal party and guests gifts, give back to a local charity or fund in their name. This can include the World Wildlife Fund or Canadian Cancer Society. If you still want to show your appreciation to your guests give a practical or edible favour.
8. Plan an eco-trip | If your celebration is a wedding, go on a honeymoon that helps contribute to the local community. Ideas could range from feeding and bathing elephants in Thailand to visiting and staying at an orphanage to help teach young children to read. These honeymoons will be life changing to you and will make a difference to others. If your event is a corporate retreat, you can incorporate team building projects that help make a difference in the community such as building a house for the needy.
9. Use an event website | If you have tons of people to invite to an event try creating an event website. You can send invites and keep track of your R.S.V.P.s. You can also try email invites but if you must send something in the mail, use seed embedded paper that your guests can plant later.
10. Buy carbon offsets | This is always the last resort but if you’re having a destination event you can buy carbon offsets to 'offset' the amount of emissions used. Even if you feel like your local event is becoming less green then this may be an option for you.
Keep in mind a completely green event is for those who make sustainability a lifestyle but there are always green elements you can add to any event to reduce waste and consumption. Try to use vendors that follow green principles and ask about their environmental policies.
Have you been to green event where they used any of these ideas? Do you have any green planning advice to add?