any clients put sustainability at the heart of everything they do – and at front and center of their company values. And that informs all other areas of their business, including events. These days, attendees expect events to be eco-friendly, at least to some extent, and planners aim to minimize their environmental footprint as much as possible. So, how can elaborate events and experiences reflect those ideals? Here, we highlight how DCi weaves sustainable solutions into event design through digital signage, repurposed decor, living centerpieces, and recycling initiatives.
1. Reduce, Reuse
Decor and furniture pieces are one part of an event you can’t skimp out on. Dining tables, lounge seating, bars, lighting figures, table settings, and plants are essential in creating an inviting atmosphere. Instead of purchasing new furniture pieces to fill the space at the venue, in-house furniture rentals offer a curated and fresh look while remaining environmentally friendly. DCi planners can pull from their own product stash to help clients reduce excessive trucking, fuel usage, and manufacturing, which reduces carbon emissions and the overall eco-footprint. From lively faux plant walls to soft velvet chairs and delicate table settings, clients don’t have to rely on outsourcing their furniture to make a strong visual statement.
2. Bring in Natural Elements
Similarly, repurposing live florals and plants for a multi-day event not only reduces the environmental impact, but it also saves on cost. Opt for living potted plants over fresh cut florals – they last much longer, are typically less fragile, and transport easier. Plants can also be shared between clients and within a single program, reducing the need for fresh flowers for each separate event within a program.
3. Share Resources
Once a program ends, the final guests depart, and the setups come down, florals and plants can get a new life. DCi prioritizes giving back when possible, and one simple way to do that is by donating flowers or other program decor that’s no longer needed to local organizations. The donated products are often still in tip-top shape and deserve a second life. DCi frequently receives requests from clients who want to make sure their investment into elements of their program can extend beyond itself and into the community. Donating is the simplest way to breathe new life into these pieces.
4. Upgrade Your Gifts
Gone are the days of sending guests off with branded plastic water bottles or drawstring bags; upgrade your gift bags with sustainable swaps like embossed bamboo straw, recycled cotton totes, or an eco version of your favorite swag. Another option for a DIY green gift is to set up a make-your-own succulent bar where attendees can craft their own terrarium. It’s another way to make your event memorable in their minds.
5. Foster Sustainable Relationships
Recruiting vendors whose actions align with your sustainability goals is an easy way to incorporate more sustainable practices. Take, for example, one of DCi’s linen suppliers who recently announced its partnership with UPS’s Carbon Neutral Program – an initiative that offsets carbon dioxide emissions created by the transportation of their packages. Through this program, vendors can ship their products to programs and feel better about the environmental impact.
6. Champion Green Dining
Selecting sustainable food and beverage vendors that focus on seasonal, local produce and meat-free options can also help cut back on the impact of your event. More and more individuals are open to lowering their meat consumption, so swapping out a salmon dish for a hearty plant-based alternative won’t deter guests from enjoying their meal.
Food and beverage can be one of the most wasteful components of an event, but there are a handful of easy ways to negate this. Avoiding single-use plastics and opting for biodegradable alternatives, like compostable plates and cutlery made from bamboo, donating leftover food to local organizations, and providing water refill stations and composting and recycling bins can help reduce the environmental impact of events and promote sustainability.