Tips for planning sustainable events

Tips for planning sustainable events

By Life@TheU

Tips for planning sustainable events

By Life@TheU
Learn simple steps that will help make your next event more “green.”

From promoting to catering and beyond, planning an event can entail a number of components that lead to unnecessary waste. To help you and your team practice more sustainable planning habits, the University’s Office of Sustainability—or Green U—created a guide with simple ways to curb your carbon footprint. Learn more.

Here are some tips for incorporating environmentally preferred products, recycling programs, and sustainable habits in your event planning process.

Print responsibly

Avoid printing agendas, but if you do, choose double-sided printing and use recycled paper. After the event, remember to recycle any leftover paper goods—including invitations, flyers, agendas, and cardboard. Learn more about single-stream recycling.

Fend off a feeding frenzy

When planning for catering, choose finger foods or edibles that don’t require utensils. Or select biodegradable plates and utensils, like bamboo, if necessary. For example, UM Dining’s InStyle catering offers a “green menu,” which offers some minor adjustments you can request for your next event. Reduce the number of plates you order and opt for extra napkins instead, or use leftover supplies from previous events.

Reduce meat consumption by providing vegetarian and/or vegan options. For smaller gatherings, suggest that individuals bring their own water bottle or coffee mug. Instead of ordering bottles of water, provide paper cups and pitchers of water. Plan ahead and decide where to donate leftover food from your event. Ask your caterer to supply compostable to-go boxes for your guests.

Minimize waste

As a rule of thumb, avoid Styrofoam and single-use plastic items—including plastic bottles, utensils, cups, stirrer, straws, plates, and bags. Aim to utilize reusable or biodegradable items; andwhen you have the option, always choose aluminum cans instead of plastic bottles. Shop for local products that are in season and have third-party certification by groups such as USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Marine Stewardship Council, and Rainforest Alliance.

When decorating your space, opt for degradable decorations like flowers. Avoid balloons and glitter, which often litter the environment and are difficult to clean up. Contact custodial services and arrange for both recycling and trash bins during your event by attaching this form to your work-order request. If using name badges during your event, recycle them by placing a bin at the exit to collect them before guests leave. When it comes to signage, create durable displays that can be reused.

Want to do more?

If you’re considering adding compost bins to dispose of food waste, contact greenu@miami.edu to organize this request. To recycle non-conventional plastic and other items, contact Terracycle and learn how to work with them. Let others know about Green U during your event by including their “Green Event Certified” logo on any promotional or event materials. Contact the team and share your feedback about the University’s Green Event resources in a quick survey.

 

By following these guidelines, your team can commit to making decisions that are better for the environment. For any questions, contact greenu@miami.edu or call 305-284-8520. Learn more.


Graduate School

Graduate School