Here are a few tips to help sell your green message and reduce your environmental footprint.
Summer is the time of year when many companies take advantage of the nice weather to plan outdoor social activities such as a company BBQ or picnic. Here are a few steps you can take to reduce your company’s impact on the environment and promote its commitment to reinforce its sustainability goals:
Choose an eco friendly location – A facility needs to be chosen that is both cost effective and respectful to the environment.
E-vite your guests – avoid printing invitations. If not all your employees and guests have access to a computer, print posters and place in common areas such as a cafeteria or change room. Use paper that is made from a high recycled content to print your posters.
Serve local food – Summer is a great time to support local farmers. Fresh products grown locally support the local economy, reduce greenhouse gases to transport the food and often reduce the amount of packaging that ends up in landfill. If you use a caterer, make this part of your requirements. If your guests are providing part of the food, ask them to respect this request.
Encourage recycling – Have recycling bins clearly indicated and located in convenient locations throughout the venue.
Use reusable dishware if possible – Using reusable dishware is an excellent choice over disposables. Rental of dishware can be interesting option if your facility does not have adequate supply of dishes on hand. If you choose compostable disposable products, ensure that the sorted compost waste will end up in an appropriate compostable waste site. Very few commercial compost sites exist. Ensure guests understand how to dispose of their compostable dishware to prevent possible contamination.
Green your decor – Choose decorations that are either reusable or recyclable. Avoid having decorations that will end up in your solid waste stream.
Avoid building new – Use existing structures if possible and use rentals. Rentals by nature are a green option. These can be tents, canopies, dishware, stemware, tables, chairs and linens. Seek out caterers that have a green business plan in place and have a track record for putting them into practice
Educate Staff, vendors and guest about what you are doing and why – the key to greening an event is successful education. If guests know the goal ahead of time they will make smart choices that will enhance your green event. You may ask your guests to refrain from bringing individual water bottles and pop cans by indicating on the invitation that water and refreshments will be provided. You may provide a reusable beverage container that guests can refill with water or pop.
A successful sustainable company BBQ or picnic can be green, can be fun and can be cost effective. Set your goals ahead of time and communicate them effectively with everyone involved and your party is sure to be a success!