Although big events are a lot of fun to plan and participate in, they can also leave a large mess behind. An acceptable plan to minimize waste is good for the environment, but it’s also good for the costs associated with your event. In fact, even a minimal recycling program can reduce waste costs by up to 20 percent. Whether you’re planning a major public or private event, use these tips to minimize and streamline waste cleanup.
Clearly Mark Recycling Stations
Recycling stations are an important part of keeping your event clean and green, but confusing or unmarked sorting stations can cause people to throw all their trash away in one container. Set up recycling stations around your event that feature one trash container, one compost container, and one recycling bin. Then create a sign to hang above each container that clearly states what should go in each. Use images or photos on your signs to keep the message simple. The clearer each station is, the easier it is for guests to sort their trash into the correct container.
Consider Reusable When Possible
If possible, consider reusable plates, cups, utensils, and linens for your event. These offer no more cost over time than disposable items, and they have a less negative effect on the environment. Making a paper plate expels around 3.8 grams of carbon emissions, requires 8 gallons of fresh water, and needs wood from a tree. Thus an event for 100 people will waste trees, use 800 gallons of water, and emit around 380 grams of carbon for just the paper plates alone. If it’s not possible to use reusable items, consider using those that are easy to recycle.
Buy in Bulk
Whenever you can buy your products in bulk, you can cut down on waste. This is especially true for prepackaged items such as snacks and cookies. Buying in bulk also cuts down on waste of single-use items such as salt, pepper, and creamer. To really reduce waste during your event, serve condiments such as ketchup and mustard in bulk containers instead of individual packets. If you end up buying too much, consider donating what you didn’t use to a food bank or charity. You can also donate items that are usually considered trash, such as cardboard tubes and containers, to a school or daycare for use in art projects.
Use Rental Equipment
Many events require large equipment such as carts, tables, and chairs. You can cut down on waste by renting this equipment instead of buying it. Additionally, renting portable toilets is another way to keep your event clean and sanitary. Having enough toilets available for your guests keeps everyone comfortable and happy. Even if you’re planning an upscale event, you can choose to rent a luxury portable toilet that is more spacious and that has a flushable unit or even a VIP portable toilet, which includes extra space, a flushable unit, a sink, and a mirror.
By incorporating these eco-friendly tips, you can put together an event that cuts down on waste and cleanup yet that is still enjoyable and entertaining.