While much of the United States and the world seems to be “getting back to normal”, there is still a heavy need for increased cleaning protocols.
Unfortunately, many events are so focused on speed that they opt for disposal items that are not always sustainable or quick solutions. However, with a bit of pre-planning and a commitment to safety and sustainability, it’s completely possible to find the right balance of event sustainability and safety.
Event sustainability and safety can work together
It’s easy to look at disposal wipes, paper towels, napkins, silverware, takeout containers, and other convenience items these days and think they are the perfect solution. After all, they are a one-person, onetime use item. It’s perfect for safety, but it isn’t sustainable.
With only one planet to live on, we can all do our part to push event sustainability without sacrificing safety. When an event organizer focuses on sustainability and safety, event attendees will be inclined to make conscious choices while having a blast at your event.
Sustainable ideas that work with COVID-safe events
Sustainable options are not a one size fits all solution after all events.
However, many events can take tips and change them to fit their own needs. Below, find the top four ways any event can be more sustainable while remaining COVID-safe.
#1 Use recycled materials when possible
Whenever possible, recycled materials should be used before, during, and after the event to remain as sustainable as possible.
For example, using flyers made of recycled materials is a cost-effective, sustainable option. For those who are not promoting with flyers, it’s still easy to use recycled materials at your event. Use old cardboard cutouts to create fun photo areas, for example.
During the event, place recycle bins in easily accessible areas. For optimal use by attendees, place them next to the trash receptacles. Leave a sign letter guests know what items can be recycled rather than tossed out (like takeaway containers).
#2 Opt for local and hybrid options to reduce your carbon footprint
Odds are, you have over one local shop or store that has products and prints that have a reduced carbon footprint.
For those who need to set up on the day of the event, consider local companies with or transportation with hybrid vehicle options. Not only are they eco-friendly, but they have enough horsepower to get your set up team and items from A to B without a hitch.
Not only will you put on a more sustainable event, but you will also be supporting a local business or two. After 2020, they can use all the business they can get.
If you want to keep your budget low, partner with them for discounted pricing. In exchange, offer free advertising for their business at the event. This is another great way to help them during these tough times. Attached to the advertising, mention what steps you are taking with your local business partner(s) to create a sustainable, safe event for attendees.
It's a cool way to reduce your carbon footprint, while introducing a local business to your customers so they can do the same.
#3 Properly dispose of, donate, or recycle elements
After the event is complete, make sure all materials are properly handled.
Items that can be recycled should be placed in a different area than those that must be disposed of (like bags of trash). When possible, see if any of your event’s elements can be donated. Schools, local clubs or DJs, or even theaters may reuse some of your donated items for their own productions; think of equipment, chairs, etc.
Also consider renting versus purchasing decorations and furniture if you don't plan to use them again.
#4 Consider touchless/paperless options to meet demands of COVD-19
Another excellent way to balance sustainability with safety during your COVID-safe event is to go touchless and paperless.
Require the use of digital tickets at the door. If your event has food or drink options, have receipts emailed or texted. This reduces the need to provide paper receipts, which also means there will be less trash to pick up after the event. Yay!
Sustainability and safety can meet in the middle
No one could have predicted this would be the way of the future for putting on memorable events. However, we can only adjust with the times and do everything we can to ensure fun, safety, and sustainability are balanced.
Recycling materials, using local businesses, and donating event elements are just some ideas for how nearly any event can opt to be more sustainable during the COVID-19 era.
We also mentioned going touchless/paperless. If you aren’t sure where to start with your digital ticketing options, consider Purplepass. Our easy-to-use program is user friendly for everyone, including attendees and event hosts.
We offer a free demo, if you would like to learn more. Once you see the demo, you will understand why Purplepass is an exceptional option for a sustainable, safe ticketing program!
Preparing for a safe event site as live events return
Principal at The Event Ally, Andrea Ramsey, joins the podcast to discuss event safety as live experiences start to return. This episode is all about getting back to live events and creating safe event sites beyond COVID-19 concerns...but in-person safety in general.