More and more people are now prioritizing environmental issues when planning events. Whether it be a social gathering or a business conference, the planet is becoming more and more of a concern. Conferences can be wasteful and environmentally damaging if not done right, but there are numerous changes that can be made. Businesses love throwing around eco-friendly buzzwords, but are conferences eco-friendlier than they used to be? Let’s find out along with Wyboston Lake resorts, winner of a Silver status Green Tourism award and your go-to option for conference venues Milton Keynes.
Keeping events paper-free
It is easy to underestimate the amount of paper waste produced during conferences. Leaflets, invitations, schedules and name tags are all usually made from paper or plastic and are generally only used once. In response to this, many eco-friendly conferences are now choosing to go completely paper-free.
Thanks to emails and smartphones, it is now easier than ever to send invitations and get in touch with your attendees without wasting paper. Furthermore, advertising for conferences can now be conducted through social media channels rather than sending out physical leaflets. These instant, eco ways of keeping in touch benefit both parties. Keeping your conference information online will take away any printing and distribution cost. This will save you money for other elements of the conference. As for your attendees, they will know exactly where all the information about the conference is, resolving any risk of misplaced invitations and consequent confusion.
Lanyards and name badges are another cause of plastic and paper waste at conferences. Luckily, many events are now opting for eco-friendly alternatives such as name tags made from bamboo or rice husk. These materials should also be considered when it comes to conference goody bags. Often, people leave conferences with a bag full of branded pens, mugs and other merchandise— most of which is plastic and likely to be thrown away. Bamboo alternatives are a great way for many conferences to become more environmentally friendly. Bamboo reusable coffee cups are one option.
Mindful food choices
Where you source your catering from can make a big impact to the carbon footprint of your event. Eco-friendly conferences will choose food from local sources in order to minimize the airmiles and support local businesses.
As well as choosing local produce, providing food for a variety of diets is essential. Conferences that aim to be more eco-friendly must always cater to vegan attendees. They could also consider eliminating foods that have a large carbon footprint, like meat, from their menus completely.
Another element of conference catering that should be considered is disposable packaging. This should be kept to an absolute minimum if you’re concerned about your carbon-footprint. Reusable plates and cups are a much better option and they will also look much smarter than their plastic counterparts.
Location is another key element of an eco-friendly conference. Many conference spaces will work with you to create your perfect environmentally friendly event, so it is important to pick an event space that shares your vision.
Furthermore, it is encouraged that you take your attendees’ travel distance into account when picking a location. If you can cut down the distance your guests have to travel, you can decrease the environmental impact of your conference. As it stands, many guests fly to conferences from all over the world and this is a major eco concern.
With all of these new and innovative ideas, conferences are undoubtably more eco-friendly than they once were. The ability to connect online and the minimized use of paper has been a massive part of this change. Saying this, there is still a lot more that many organizations could do to ensure that conferences are doing their part for the planet.