Happy Earth Day April 22, 2021


Happy Earth Day

It is not rhetoric to say that each of us should work to do justice to our Planet and, even we who work in events can do our part. Surely the sustainability of an event can never be 100%, but we still have ways to reduce the negative impact. Here few tips for you.

Avoid single-use plastics and consider compostable containers instead.

Anything that is not recyclable pollutes! A plastic bottle takes more than 1,000 years to degrade or decompose. So, if you can't use washable dishes and utensils, make sure you use compostable utensils and make sure they are properly composted. Did you know that 50% of the plastic is only used for a few minutes (think the straw for drinks) and then thrown away and less than 9% of the plastic is recycled? Plastic can only be recycled two or three times before it is no longer viable.

Carbon dioxide emissions.

If it is not possible to walk from one place to another, rent electric or hybrid shuttles for your guests, or vehicles that can accommodate more guests. According to the EPA, a typical passenger vehicle emits 4.6 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Fewer cars on the road translate into lower emissions.

Meal Management

Livestock requires a flood of natural resources and accounts for at least 15% of greenhouse gas emissions. Beef is the biggest contributor as the working process produces twice as much as any other meat. If you can direct guests to chicken, lamb, fish, or even vegetarian foods, you will go a long way in reducing emissions.

Compos all that is possible

The preparation of a reception menu takes many hours of work, yet every year a lot of food ends up in the garbage! Not to mention the flowers... The organic material found in a landfill also creates methane which is a greenhouse gas. Most non-meat and dairy foods as well as flowers and plants and materials based on plant ingredients qualify as compostable items.

Bonus: Use florists who only use compostable or recyclable components in their compositions.

Shop Local

Prefer gastronomic seasonal products and flowers, zero kilometres or at least local. You will reduce carbon dioxide emissions due to transport, you will help the area and your customers will have a unique experience. In all this, you will also have protected the environment.

Donate unused and leftover food and drinks

It often happens that despite the confirmations, a small number of guests are unable to attend a dinner. You can reduce food waste in several ways! Book a menu that can be cooked on the spot and for the exact number of people attending; ask the venue if the "take away" of leftover food is allowed and make sure that at least the family can bring it home; if your State legislation permits, donate the leftover food to a local organization that can then donate to families in need. 

According to the PCMA, the events industry alone produces about $ 21 billion in food waste per year, as millions of people struggle to find adequate nourishment. Reduce the amount of food that can be disposed of and instead put it in the hands of those who need it.

No print, use sustainable signage

How much paper is used for a single event? invitations, menus, labels, receipts, invoices, the list goes on. Consider digitalizing some or all of your events, or consider sustainable products and signage that can be reused or rented. If you can't do without paper, at least don't forget to recycle.

Choose sustainable venues

A lot of states are moving towards sustainability and also venues are implementing sustainable and renewable energy options. Many venues already buy zero kilometres' products or have a garden where they grow vegs. Do prioritize. Reduced energy consumption translates into a lower carbon footprint.

Create the atmosphere of your event whenever possible a candle emits about the same energy as a CFL bulb.

What's missing?

Plant a tree for each event! Some no-profit organizations have this mission, but you plant a tree in your garden too.

The Earth is "ours", at least as long as we are here, and we must help and preserve for our children.

Suita Carrano, IWPA President, TIES The international Eco Society association Italy Chapter Head