As the world finally prioritises green, eco-friendly initiatives, it’s important for organisers to do their part to make their event as low impact as possible. A recent study has shown that 85% of people surveyed prefer attending conferences with sustainable practices proving that it should be at the forefront of our minds when planning. Organisers should plan meetings and events consider the environment, using the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and keeping carbon footprints low. All events at DCU are held in the most sustainable manner possible.
1. Reduce Reuse Recycle
Every meeting and event you plan should follow the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle. Recyclables typically make up 35% of the total waste of an organised event, 21% is organic waste that includes compostables and a huge 41% of waste goes landfill. Reducing waste lessons the impact on the environment, the countries waste management services and saves both the company and the country money. Recycling and composting help but prevention is better than cure and correct planning can lessen the effort needed.
Completely eliminate single use plastic from your event. It’s needless waste that is hard to recycle and often makes its way to our oceans. Dublin City University aims to be a disposable plastic-free campus by 2022. PPE and mask-wearing will continue to be a part of safe meetings, but organisers can consider offering reusable masks stylishly branded with the company logo to keep attendees safe and for some free advertising!
2. Waste-free Event Catering
Sustainable meetings and events aren’t only related to waste, food and beverage choices play a big part. A sustainable event menu starts with knowing the origin of the food you are serving. Local seasonal food has less impact on the environment as it has fewer miles to travel from farm to fork, less resources used to cool along the way and since it is in season, it doesn’t require any artificial means to grow. As well as the quality of the food, you should consider the quantity. Use technology to create guest lists and order for individuals instead of producing and paying for food waste.
3. Eco-Friendly Transportation
80% of an events carbon dioxides emissions come from travel. In the early stages of event planning, look for a venue with eco-friendly modes of transport for attendees. DCU is close to Dublin Airport, meaning overseas attendees don’t have far to travel to and from their flight. We are well connected by public transport and have a Dublin Bikes stand on campus for an even friendlier mode of transport. Event organisers can encourage shared transport in the form of coaches or carpools to lessen the miles travelled individually. DCU rooms also offers a wide selection of accommodation options, from shared dorms to individual suites, to eliminate the commute between accommodation and the conference venue.
4. Eco -Friendly keepsakes
Post-covid, and keeping our environment always in our mind, we would hope that we have learned enough to minimise free promotional merchandise at events. Needless items that usually end up in landfill like T-shirts, key chains, pens and bottles should be omitted or alternatives offered. We recommend promoting eco-friendly gifts such as:
- Eco-friendly/recycled notebooks and journals
- Plants and seed packets
- Reusable tote bags
- Bamboo cutlery kits
- Recycled backpacks, eco-friendly USBs
- Recycled mugs and tumblers
You should also minimise paper at your event. Go digital with flyers and information booklets offering online links and QR codes where possible. Aside from being more eco-friendly, it’s also more accessible to attendees. Only offer printed copies when requested.
5. Involve Guests
No one is expecting you to reinvent the wheel. Ask attendees, seasoned event organisers and our experienced team in DCU for advice on keeping your event as green as possible. We can help you formulate your waste management plan, arrange catering that suits your agenda, and our transport links are second to none. We have accommodation on site so guests from overseas or out of town won’t need to commute to and from the event.
Author Bio: Katie Mcgarr is one of the passionate writers for Meet in DCU, a unique conference venue in Dublin Ireland that is perfect for corporate meetings, conferences, seminars, and events. Writing articles about travel and lifestyle is one thing she finds enjoyable, next to playing the piano.