Planning an Ocean- Friendly Event
With more information being released about how important our oceans are; companies are spending billions trying to ensure they can operate in the most sustainable way possible. But how does that relate to the ocean and what can we do to make our events as friendly as possible to protect the planet?
An event that doesn’t take sustainability practices into account will find itself contributing to the growing problems. But there are many things that you can do to make your event planet-friendly, and lower any contribution to damaging the ocean.
Sustainability doesn’t need to be boring, it can enrich the delegate experience, provide a chance to be creative and save costs. It also creates a sense of pride, not only in the planners but in the delegates too.
Provide branded glass water bottles
Rather than providing glasses which will need to be put through the dishwasher multiple times a day at each breakout, why not provide each one of your attendees with a reusable water bottle.
Re-useable water bottles are much better for the ocean than single-use bottle which go straight in the bin after one use and unfortunately often end up in the ocean.
Take it a step further and provide your attendees with a reusable glass water bottle as opposed to plastic. The lifetime of a re-usable glass bottle will be longer and not to mention the bottle will appear more premium.
A premium glass bottle isn’t only better for our oceans but it’s also an item that your company can brand and be sure that it will look great. Your attendees will be carrying around those premium glass water bottles long after your conference has closed.
It’s also a great surprise for guests when they set their eyes on them. It’s a nice takeaway from the conference that they can reuse in their personal lives, whether it be to the gym, in the car on the school run or to use at their desk at work. It also means your delegates can keep hydrated during those long conference sessions and not have to worry about savouring their small glass of water until the break.
Depending on how large your budget, you could also provide reusable coffee cups for guests to refill throughout the day. This will have the same positive impacts as providing water bottles, less waste and energy to wash cups.
If you don’t choose to provide re-useable coffee cups, provide cups that can be washed up and encourage guests to reuse their cup rather than getting a clean one each time.
Nowadays, it’s rare for a conference to provide delegates with badges and lanyards that are simply thrown away after the event. Most events collect back the lanyards and other materials at the end of the day to use for the following year.
This is a great opportunity to recycle and reuse last year’s supplies. Not only is it more sustainable and means less waste is going into our ocean but it also means you can spend more on premium lanyards and still save costs in the long run – it’s a no brainer!
Partner with suppliers, venues and planner who have the same goals
Choose venues and suppliers that are committed to clean energy and ocean sustainability. By choosing venues and suppliers who have the same goals and vision, you’ll be sure that your event is ocean-friendly in all areas and you’re not being let down in one area.
A venue and supplier who share your sustainable vision will be taking more steps behind the scenes to ensure that the waste produced by your event is minimal and practised sustainably, having as little impact on the ocean as possible. Sustainable venues don’t just recycle, they put sustainability into all their processes including added uniqueness, such as having their own herb garden on-site for the kitchen.
Make sure you communicate your ocean sustainability goals with your venue and suppliers. There may be more that the venue can adapt to be in line with your goals and they may even go on to adopt these practices long term.
Your venue and suppliers will also be able to suggest sustainable things you may not have thought of. Suppliers are usually experts in their field and by finding a supplier with the same goals as you, you’ll be sure to propel your ocean sustainability even further.
Use local venues and suppliers
Using local venues and suppliers is not only a great support to the community but it also ensures that you’re not creating additional energy emissions by choosing suppliers who have to travel several hours to the event location. The less CO2 that an event creates the less impact it will have on our oceans.
Not only is it more sustainable by cutting energy emissions but independent local suppliers are more likely to use locally sourced supplies which in turn is more sustainable to both the land and sea.
The other bonus of using local supplier for sustainability is that you’ll save costs in your budget as you won’t be paying for suppliers to travel large distances. Suppliers who have to travel to an event will add this into their quotation and you could save several hundred pounds by using a local provider.
Offer shared transport
The best venue for your event, that is green and practical isn’t always going to be on the doorstep of your workplace. Particularly as working from home becomes normal once social distancing ends. This means companies aren’t only hiring people from the local area but from much further afield.
If you’re asking your guests to travel to your conference one of the best things you can do to reduce your impact on the ocean is to reduce the number of cars driving to your event, which will, in turn, reduce the amount of CO2 your event is contributing.
Make sure you give sufficient details of public service links to the venue you’ve chosen. If you have multiple guests travelling from a similar area, then consider providing private transport. Find a mutual meeting point and have guests travel to that location before hopping on a private coach. This will reduce the number of people that choose to drive to the event.
Provide vegan and vegetarian options
This might sound like a dietary requirement as opposed to ocean sustainability but it’s not. Information is continuously being published about the environmental damage that eating meat and fish can cause.
By offering the option of vegan and vegetarian meals to everyone rather than only those who specifically request it will ultimately increase the number of guests who choose the option.
Bowl food can be a great way to do this, as people tend to have 3 or 4 bowls. By providing a mix of meat, fish and vegan options you’ll in turn use less fish and meat as delegates often sample most of the options available and not just one.
Reducing the amount of fish & seafood that is eaten at your event will go a long way in making your event kinder to the ocean. This doesn’t mean your need to take it off the menu altogether but by offering other options you’ll lower the overall consumption.
Creating events that are ocean-friendly is the key to success. Sustainability standards are becoming more important and it’s becoming a high priority for businesses large and small. It won’t be long before each event must meet a minimum sustainability requirement, which will include various practices to protect our oceans from further damage.
There are many ways to make your event ocean-friendly and a lot of them will also save you time and money in the long run! It’s easy to think making an event sustainable is a boring task but it’s an opportunity to get creative along with saving the ocean.
Looking for more sustainability tips? Check out our post on Reducing the Environmental Impact of your events.
If you’re looking for ideas to make your event more ocean-friendly then get in touch, we’d love to help your event achieve its sustainability goals.