Evaluating Green Products and Services for Your Event

When planning a green event, it is important to carefully evaluate products and services to ensure your event is as environmentally responsible as possible.  The following information is intended to serve as a guide for evaluating the sustainability of products and services. 

 

Focus Area

Objective

Questions for Evaluating Products and Services

Waste Management

To manage event waste in an environmentally responsible manner.

Trash Collection

  • Does the waste you collect go to a waste-to-energy facility?

 

Recycling

  • Will recycling containers be co-located with trash bins?
  • Will clearly visible and stated signage be provided for all containers?
  • Will all materials collected actually be recycled?

 

Food Waste

  • What types of food waste management options do you provide (e.g. composting, food-to-animals, food-to-people)?

 

Waste Reduction

To reduce the amount of waste generated at your event.

Event Planner

  • Can decorations and information displays be recycled or reused?
  • Can technology be utilized to minimize paper waste? (e.g. electronic invitations and RSVPs, projectors vs. printed signage)

 

Event Venue

  • Are reusable linens and reusable, recyclable or biodegradable dishware, glasses, cups, utensils and serving platters an option?
  • If reusable items are not an option, can recyclable or compostable containers be used? (NOTE: Only use compostable materials if compost collection is provided at your event).
  • Can you provide water, beverages, condiments and other food items in pitchers and in bulk?

 

Food

To minimize the environmental impact of food choices by using local and organic foods, as well as environmentally responsible food management.

Caterer

  • Can you provide food options that are locally grown and/or organic?

 

Venue

  • What types of food waste management options are available? (e.g. composting, food-to-animals, food-to-people)

 

Travel and Transportation

To provide event transportation options and resources to minimize carbon emissions.

Event Venue

  • Do you currently have easily accessible bicycle racks or storage? If not, can temporary racks be rented?
  • Is the venue easily accessible by transit, walking or biking?
  • Can preferable parking be provided to alternate fuel vehicles and car/vanpools?

 

Event Planner

  • For on-site transportation needs, can vehicles powered by alternative fuels or technologies (such as electric power, bio-diesel, or hybrid technology) be used?
  • Can bus, bike and walking routes be provided to attendees prior to the event?
  • Can a park and ride be provided?
  • Can complimentary transit passes be provided as part of the event?

 

Lodging

To select and/or promote lodging establishments for your event that practice environmental responsibility.

Event Venue

  • What kinds of sustainability practices are you using at your facility? (e.g. water conserving fixtures, guest opt-out for daily linen change)

 

Event Planner

  • If lodging is required for the event, can only 'green' hotels be promoted?

 

Resource and Energy Use

To reduce energy consumption at your event.

Venue

  • Is your venue powered by renewable energy?
  • Does your facility use energy efficient lighting?

 

Event Planner

  • Can carbon offsets be purchased for the event?
  • Use energy efficient mechanical systems.