Events & The Environment: How Can You Make an Event Sustainable?
Since opening our doors in 2014, we’ve hosted thousands of clients and produced hundreds of events, witnessing first hand how wasteful the hospitality industry can be. With sustainability firmly on the agenda we know that it takes all of us to change our ways in order to lessen our impact on the environment. Carousel’s new ‘Green Team’ has been coming up with solutions to make us less wasteful and more environmentally friendly. However, with so many clients and guests coming through our doors we need your help. Here are some simple steps you can follow so that, together, we can minimise our impact on the planet:
1. Start Simple, Go Paperless
Events require a lot of paper. Tickets, programmes, brochures, business cards (printed many times over for each guests) all add up to create a mountain of paper. More often than not a lot of this paper simply ends up in the bin. Even recycling the paper is an energy intensive process. So opting to go paperless throughout from start to finish is one of the simples and most effective ways to reduce an event’s impact on the planet. Try to incorporate online registration and ticketing systems or, rather than printing event collateral, try creating an app or webpage. Instead of business card, try e-cards or email each other immediately at the events. Involve your audience as well, tell them why you’re going paperless, and ask for their support.
2. Food & Drink
At Carousel all our menus are based on seasonality. Cooking with the seasons not only tastes great but also means we can source all of our produce from the UK. We take the time to build lasting and personable relationships with our suppliers. This means we can be sure of the provenance of our ingredients and the methods used to produce them. A special mention must go to the likes of Mash Purveyors, Swaledale Foods and Wild Harbour who work hard all year round to supply us with incredible British produce. We also make sure that all our suppliers send us produce in reusable packaging and that any food waste is sent for compost. In order for this philosophy to work, we need our clients to on occasions be flexible with food options. We only produce ‘sample menus’ so that we can ensure we are using the best produce that is in season on the date of your event.
Events are notorious for being wasteful as they are often a one-off occurrence. Think about what’s happening to the materials you’re using post event. We’ve found that hiring items such as furniture, rather than purchasing them, leads to far less waste. And if you do have to purchase them rather than throw items away it is easy to find new homes for them on websites like Gumtree and eBay.
Consider the materials you’re using and their longevity. Could you use recyclable card rather than foamex for signage? Do you need to be using plastic cups when you could be using glass? What about reusable bamboo straws even opposed to compostable options?
5. Contractors and Suppliers