Sustainability is the word of the decade. And as March is the month of green – now’s a good time to think about how to make your strategic marketing events “green.” Sustainable choices are much more accessible than they used to be, so as you consider the suggestions below, you will not only be choosing “green,” but you may also save quite a bit of “green!”
Beyond a venue utilizing recycled or reusable materials for catering, consider choosing venues that combine other “green” strategies. For instance, make arriving at the venue “green” by choosing a location with easy access to public transportation. Look for a venue that utilizes lots of natural light (less need for additional lighting in the venue) or at least uses energy efficient LED bulbs for lighting. Work with the venue to control heating and air conditioning usage. Further, seek out venues that use biodegradable cleaning supplies and equip restrooms with air dryers and metered soap dispensers. And lastly, minimize paper waste by communicating with the venue through electronic options such as email, text, and instant messaging. Instead of using paper flyers, event programs and directories, publicize your event through digital marketing and QR codes.
More and more caterers are choosing to utilize locally sourced produce for their recipes. But make your event even more sustainable by choosing to offer menu items which emphasize local, seasonal options. So, for example, an event held in January might feature beets, turnips, celery root, cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, or acorn squash. Conversely, an event held in May might feature apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, or mangos. We are so accustomed to the ready availability of produce year-round, but emphasizing seasonal options is cost efficient and delicious.
The classic centerpiece is a floral arrangement flanked by candles. However, cut flowers are bad for the environment, and here’s why. Flowers, like any other agricultural product, are treated with synthetic pesticides which pollute waterways and drinking supplies. Pesticides are contributing to the decline of pollinating bug species. Additionally, flowers are the original “single use” product. Once the event is finished, flowers and centerpieces are unceremoniously dumped in the garbage to be sent to the landfill. During the recent Christmas season, several organizations offered “reusable” Christmas trees. Basically, families “rent” a Christmas tree which arrives planted in a planter. At the conclusion of the season, the family returns the tree to the vendor who then proceeds to plant the tree. Consider using “reusable” flowers for your event. Choose potted flowers which can either be given to attendees who will plant the flowers or donate the flowers to local charities which can plant the flowers to spruce up community spaces.
Who doesn’t like a t-shirt emblazoned with “Mark up your Marketing! Mark’s Marketing Event 2019”? As it turns out, almost no one. According to recent estimates, 5% of the clothing donated to Goodwill Industries ends up in landfills. Now 5% may not sound like a lot, but that number translates into 12 million tons of waste per year. Read our blog, “Let’s Talk About Money” for additional thoughts (https://nine88events.com/blog/lets-talk-about-money/). Rather than offer your attendees a lot of inexpensive and unwanted plastic logo branded items, consider offering services instead. Use QR codes to direct attendees to sponsor businesses who will offer discounts and preferential incentives.
Utilizing any or all these suggestions can make a big difference. And remember, when you promote your event digitally, emphasize that your event is “sustainable.” People do care about the environment. Hosting a sustainable event is not only good publicity for your brand, but you will also demonstrate to other brand owners ways in which they can also support the environment. Nine88 Events incorporates many of these ideas into our strategic marketing event planning. Contact us today to discuss how we can make your next event sustainable!