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These 7 Green tips will help you minimise food waste in an event

  1. Make minimising food waste part of the decision-making process. Whether you want to reduce it or if you’ve found a way to avoid food waste completely, it should be part of the conversation from the start.

  2. Learn from others previous experiences. Similar-sized events will help you understand the needed quantities and the potential waste.

  3. Minimize the carbon footprint. Always choose organic and Fairtrade products before all else. Choosing local vendors and in-season food is key. Lakto-ovo-vegetarian should be preferred because it is less resource-intensive than meat. Always serve fresh tap-water in jugs. Check with your country’s Fairtrade association to order signs for the table.

  4. Choose reusable plates and flatware when possible. If you must use disposables, choose serving ware and utensils that can be recycled or composted (biodegradable plastics) as an alternative, and provide labelled waste/recycling bins. Zero waste should end up in landfill.

  5. Have waste stations that are accessible and easy to spot, with properly labelled bins so it could be composted (at some places turned into Biofuel).

  6. Communicate with your attendees before, during, and after your event, should have clear signs and explaining all processes during the day of the event will help you to achieve your goals.

  7. Consider partnering with food donation programmes or ask the caterer or the venue if they have done anything similar before since they might be able to help you with it.

It may seem an extended list of actions but it is clear that most of these steps are already part of the planning process. It is important to embed sustainability in all the decisions when organising an event. Some aspects of it are more straightforward than others, and of course, some have a higher environmental impact. 

If disposables are necessary please use the ones least harmful to the environment. Never use disposables made of plastic produced with fossil ingredients.

Other aspects to take into consideration during the event

  • Distribution - coordinate all transportations to achieve efficiency.

  • Cleaning - Detergents or similar must be labelled with EU Ecolabel. More info1

  • Venue and accommodation - easily accessible from public transport and ensure accessibility from all perspectives, digital as well as physical.

  • Energy - Use daylight and choose appropriate electronical devices for the event (turn off after use).

  • Equality -Promote equality, inclusiveness and diversity in the staff.

Planning, hosting and evaluating a sustainable event/conference

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