Four Ways to Make Your Event Eco-Friendly and Sustainable
One of EP’s business pillars is our dedication to creating eco-friendly and sustainable events, doing our best to minimize footprint and better the future with our clients. We believe every decision we make can be neutral, harmful, or beneficial to the environment. With the hope of inspiring our readers to be more eco, we are sharing some eco-friendly and sustainable event tips we implement in EP’s events.
To start, let’s define what ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainability’ means. Eco-friendly means not harming the environment, and sustainability takes it one step further to benefitting the environment moving forward. Events of all sizes can be very wasteful and damaging to the environment, but here are ways to change the narrative and nature of events.
Extra food and composting
It’s important to have a surplus of food at events since guest counts can easily fluctuate between 10-20 guests the day of. With this being said, caterers often plan for several additional meals, and if these go uneaten at the end of the day, the food often ends up in the trash. We recommend discussing in advance how to compost food waste with your caterer and wait staff in coordination with companies such as Conscious Cleanup, Compostable LA, and LA Compost (if you need compost organizations specific to your city, message us directly for suggestions!).
Another idea is to pre-coordinate with your caterer and a local food bank to accept unused produce, uneaten meals (and arrange the packaging/delivery logistics). This ensures perfectly good produce will benefit people in need.
Our love for a well-designed and thoughtfully curated bar knows no bounds. We’ve discovered this event element can create a lot of harmful waste unless we’re intentional about reducing.
Instead of plastic stirrers, choose bamboo or paper stirrers or recycled plastic stirrers (no new plastic!). We suggest forgoing straws of any material all together.
We suggest veering from serving any beverages in plastic glassware or cups. Plastic glassware has become more popular the past couple years especially for summer-y outdoor events to avoid breaking glass without the compromise of elegance. However, we suggest sticking with glass and ceramic glassware (or custom paper cups for hot beverages). These items can simply be washed and reused and if there happens to be a shortage of glassware, it’s easy for the back-of-house catering team to wash and dry a couple onsite.
Purchased Furniture and Customized Decor
If there is a need to purchase furniture rather than rent and you have no use for the pieces afterward, consider donating the furniture to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Dream Center Foundation, and Harvest Home. These organizations would surely appreciate the furniture to serve those in need around Los Angeles. If there are custom seating chart, stage, and bar backdrops, consider donating these to a local church or school to be repurposed in their arts and theater programs or after-school care.
Flowers = Joy
Florals bring fresh life and unmatchable beauty, and one easy way to pay-it-forward and be sustainable post-event is to arrange for florals to be delivered to a convalescent home, hospital, or nonprofit organization. To continue the effort to sustainability, arrange for your florist (or ask some friends) to pick up the nearly dead flowers a week or so later and take it for composting.
Mother Earth needs us to be conscious global citizens and we at Ellamae Productions are here to contribute and inspire those around us to do what we can to create a greener future. We would love to hear any tricks of the trade you have implemented to be eco-friendly or sustainable.