Planning public events is about more than just the here and now, because no matter what kind of event you’ve got in mind, keeping attendees engaged and building awareness aren’t the only key criteria for hosting a successful event. Sustainability is equally important, and decreasing your carbon footprint in a forward-thinking way is the first step.
Reducing carbon emissions is no small challenge, but it’s not an impossible task. Here are some effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the public events you host – without harshing anyone’s buzz too much!
Strategies for reducing the carbon footprint of public events
Feed your attendees a plant-based diet
Going plant-based isn’t just healthy — It’s also greener.
One 2021 report found vegetarian diets to be associated with 59% lower greenhouse emissions than non-veg alternatives — so you don’t even have to go all the way vegan to do your part!
This isn’t some fluke either, as a follow-up assessment of 54 high-earning nations found that promoting plant-heavy diets could reduce agricultural emissions by as much as 61%.
Remember, the gains aren’t limited to what you’re feeding your attendees: it’s also about what they’re not consuming. Lowering the demand for animal-based foods also reduces the amount of land, water, and other resources needed to produce food — leaving more ground free to sequester carbon naturally.
Boost your recycling efforts to the max
Recycling doesn’t just mean chucking the right rubbish into the right bins — although that’s a good start. Truly green event planners make recycling as easy as possible for attendees as well as staff.
This works in numerous ways. For instance, you can pick foods packaged in eco-friendlier recyclable containers or utilise post-consumer recycled paper for decorations, invitations, and printed materials. You can also strategise your food ordering to reduce the number of packages you generate per event.
Also, devote some time to education — Post signage and assign staff to help your guests know which trash goes where. Making participation simple and fun is the key to any good event, particularly if your attendees care about going green themselves!
Limit and handle food waste better at public events
What about the things you can’t recycle? Fortunately, you don’t have to settle for making a complete mess of the environment.
One good strategy is to contract with responsible disposal companies. Inquire about whether your service supplier offers composting to keep rubbish from entering the permanent waste stream.
Another smart move is simply doing the math — sorry, we know it’s not much fun, but there are multiple benefits. Tracking how much people eat at events makes it easier to provide appropriate portion sizes that keep everyone satisfied and generate less waste. It also improves your bottom line, so what’s not to like?
Devise more economical transportation strategies
This is another multifaceted way to keep things carbon-low with an eye on neutrality. For instance, it’s good thinking to partner with ride-sharing services that can get your guests from their hotels to your events in fewer trips.
Another possibility is to pick better venues. Sites accessible to public transit let you leverage existing facilities inherently designed for efficiency. As the pandemic proved, there’s nothing wrong with telepresence.
Reassessing your transportation strategy also works wonders after people have entered the doors — or passed through the tent flaps. Smart layout and planning that accounts for foot traffic can help you reduce the number of trips your staff have to make during setup and potentially minimise the amount of time delivery and service vehicles spend idling.
Shift your thinking on energy consumption
Public events require energy — this is unavoidable. Once again, however, you can make positive changes without too much work.
Efficient LED lights and controls outlast fluorescents, halogens, and other alternatives, lowering your replacement and upkeep costs. All told, making the change can help you save tonnes of CO2 annually.
Finally, consider renewables. Switching energy providers is becoming easier as more people install solar in Ireland, so there’s never been a better time to get on board.
Run carbon-neutral public events with our TerraTrak Plus
Carbon neutrality doesn’t just happen by magic. It takes diligent planning, and thinking ahead is a lot easier when you start with the right logistics tools – starting with world-class ground protection and temporary access solutions.
Ground Protection Ireland offers industry-leading ground protection and temporary access tools that ensure your event is as traversable and eco-friendly as possible. Our TerraTrak Plus heavy-duty flooring solutions are perfectly suited to all sorts of ground conditions, so it’s simple to plan an efficient, accessible, and accommodating site layout.
So, if you want your public gatherings to be safely accessible while promoting sustainability, get in touch with our experienced team today, and don’t forget to also visit our blog and resources to witness the myriad of ways that our products help SMEs and organisations all over Ireland every day.