New York is a dynamic city of activity where there’s always something going on. A city that rarely sleeps, you'll find plenty to see and do no matter how varied or different your tastes and choices might be.
With tons of events - from basic office events to something more extravagant like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade - happening on a monthly basis, New York can accumulate a lot of waste.
However, the city is quite aware of that fact, and you'll also find various green events being hosted. New York is encouraging the city to go green during their events. If you’re willing to do your part, here are a few ways that you can make your event go green and make sure that people have clean fun.
Keep Recycling Bins Available
People tend to litter a lot during events. With so many flyers, handouts, drink cups and food wrappers in hand, you'll definitely want to make sure to provide litter bins for your event. However, you can step up the environmental effort by providing clearly marked bins for recycling purposes.
People can then utilize these to easily dispose of their litter in a proper manner and you can make sure that it reaches the correct disposal/recycling facility. Make sure to talk to the vendors at the event as well to determine what sort of recycling bins you should provide and any items that may not be recyclable.
If you have the means, take it one step further and provide a compost bin. If you have a drop off location or a service that will pick up this type of waste, you'll find it will greatly reduce what goes to the landfill from your event.
Promote Anti-Litter, Recycling and Compost
Make sure that you’re able to get your anti-litter message across loud and clear. Take the time to make a flyer or two to post around the entrance or mention it in a speech. Help people understand the consequences of sending all that waste to the landfill. By taking the time out to make your anti-litter message stand out, you’ll be able to ensure that people pay attention to the fact that all litter should be disposed of in a proper manner.
If you want to, you can also assign a recycling monitor. These can be volunteers who’d be willing to help people dispose of their litter in the proper manner. Having someone to assist them might also make people feel more comfortable if they’re not sure what to do, especially when it comes to composting. If you allow volunteers to attend the event for free or provide them with some other perks, you should find no problem attaining a "green team".
Try to conserve energy at your event by making sure that you utilize energy-friendly lights such as LED or opt to install fewer pieces of multimedia. If you can make do with one speaker, then there’s really not much need for two speakers to be plugged into the multimedia. You can also make sure that you’re utilizing biodiesel or other sources of renewable energy which will help to make sure that if you need a generator, you’re not adding carbon emissions to the environment or polluting the event with the smoke that comes with it.
Offer Food Options that are Healthy, Local and Organic
Going green is not just about clean energy and not creating waste. Going green can also be eating clean and healthy and you can incorporate that when you’re planning the menu for your event. You can either choose to get green vendors for your event or pick a caterer who’ll know how to utilize local, organic produce and create amazing dishes for your events. Local food is not only fresher, healthier, and tastier, it takes less carbon emissions to get it to your event.
Don’t be scared about utilizing the healthy, organic food option. While food is an important aspect in many events, picking something which is healthy and organic doesn’t mean that the food won't be tasty and delicious. You may be surprised at how many people keep coming back for more.
Reuse or Donate
Once the event has ended, you should be able to pack up everything and sort out the leftovers and either reuse them or donate them if they’re not needed. Leftover food can easily be donated so don’t throw it out. There are plenty of people who could benefit from the leftovers you have. Simply make a box and label it “Leftover food and supplies.” Once the box is full, you can easily take it to the nearest charity or anywhere else that you might feel it can be utilized.
When you’re packing up, store the banners, flyers and other promotional material so that you can use it again later for some other event. If you’re not much of a re-user then make sure that all printed media that you have is made on recyclable paper which can in turn be recycled and reused by other businesses.
The best way to limit your printed multimedia, however, would be to rely only on electronic media. This includes a lot of online and social media exposure for the event such as advertising the event through your blog, website and social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter etc.
One of the biggest carbon emitters in the city is automobiles. Try to plan your event close to subway stations or main transit hubs. This way, attendees can walk or use public transportation to avoid driving. If your guests are coming from outside the city, arrange for a biodiesel or natural gas-powered bus to pick everyone up at a central location and transport them to the event in style. As an added bonus, this reduces the stress of having to park in the city.