More now than ever it’s critical that we do what we can to produce sustainable, waste-free events. Events appear to be magic fleeting moments. They’re exciting, impactful, and memorable when executed well. The hard truth is an event could have been years in the making and may leave an impact on the environment for much longer than the impression on your audience if we aren’t mindful.
Major sporting events alone are known to generate significant, unforeseen – or at least unaccounted for – environmental consequences. We know the struggle first hand of how challenging it can be to reduce and manage waste for large scale events. Sometimes trade secrets need to be shared. Here’s what we’ve learnt over the years on reducing our environmental impact.
Education plays a huge role in our team’s ability to deliver a sustainable, ethical concept, internally and externally. Dealing with hundreds, if not thousands of punters, waste management easily becomes a monster. Throw alcohol in the midst of it and your challenges get bigger.
Start by educating your team on how they can play key roles in sustainable practices. Having a team that is educated and informed will not only mean the production of your event can remain waste free but the individual will do their part not to impact ie. bringing their own water bottle or keep cup to work.
Keep your audience and attendees informed. This might include signage at bars and bins and information distributed prior to the event via email of social media. Make sure the information on your events sustainable practices is accessible at all times.
It’s as simple as refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. Stick to these 5 rules and you’ll find yourself producing a waste-free event. This goes for everything from pre to post production.
Make it easy for attendees to participate and abide by the principles. Colour code and label your bins so it’s easy as possible to follow. Monitoring the bin stations is essential. Ensure there are plenty of facilities to dispose of waste correctly. If punters can’t access a bin in eyesight, they’re most likely to dump their rubbish where they are.
It can be tough when you’re under tight deadlines but working with suppliers from the start to source the right materials for your event is paramount. Create conversation with each of your suppliers from the very beginning on what your requirements for materials and supplies are.
Plan how things will be made, used, and disposed of to ensure you have a clear idea on your waste management from the beginning. Keep in mind, you’ll be able to apply all this hard work to future events you host.
Food consumption can be challenging to predict. By working with organisations like Oz Harvest to relocate and repurpose your unconsumed produce, you can reduce your food wastage significantly.
We love tech and tech loves the Earth! Go electronic at your event. There are so many benefits including:
- No wasted paper
- Integrated systems for communication
- Accessible information for attendees at all times
- Data retention
Festivals like Splendour in the Grass provide great examples for a useful applications that can be created for large scale events. This can be applied simply by making sure timetables, location and event information is all accessible via your website and event listing.