JLP’s Sustainability Project aims to strengthen community knowledge, connections, and action in support of environmental sustainability and climate resilience in the Pelhams. In support of this goal, this Sustainable Events Checklist will be used by JLP to mainstream sustainability within JLP’s own meeting and events planning.
Benefits of using this checklist when planning a meeting or event:
Reducing JLP’s costs
Promoting social responsibility
Minimizing JLP’s negative environmental impacts
Supporting local suppliers/ makers
Enhancing JLP’s reputation as a sustainable organization
Venue and set-up
☑ Choose a venue that uses resources efficiently and limits its impact on the natural environment, and is close to public transport and/or has bicycle racks.
☑ Offer services such as videoconferencing
☑ When decorations are needed, use reusable ones or ones that can be donated (for instance, via Buy Nothing Pelham FB Group)
Registration, promotion and communication
☑ Use online registration process for attendees
☑ Use electronic communications to communicate with attendees (email, website, social media) to reduce paper usage.
☑ Create reusable, long-lasting signage that isn’t throw away after the event.
If a vinyl banner is created to announce an event, it can be repurposed into many items, including reusable tote bags. Consider working with a local seamstress/crafter and offer the totes as an award / prize at a future event. You can also offer vinyl banners to a local scrap store or Freecycle.
☑ Encourage use of electronic presentations and share on a website rather than print-outs to eliminate waste.
☑ Collect and reuse name tag holders, lanyards, etc.
☑ When printing is necessary, choose recycled content paper and print double-sided. Only print the quantity needed to avoid excessive quantities of unwanted paper.
☑ Promote car-pooling, public transport options, walking and cycling routes to the event.
☑ Educate attendees about the sustainable aspects of the event/ what is in place for good environmental practice.
Food and Drink
☑ Get an estimated headcount of attendees to determine the types and quantities of food. Reduce waste by not over estimating final numbers – do not over cater.
☑ Avoid bottled water, juice or other drinks in single-use plastics. Request/ arrange for tap water or other drinks in pitchers and reusable cups and ask invitees to bring their own water bottle bottles and/or coffee/tea mugs.
☑ Plan menus using local, fresh/seasonal, and bulk food; avoid individually wrapped items. When possible, serve food buffet style rather than in individual box lunches.
☑ Use napkins made from recycled content paper (for example, Seventh Generation) and designate a focal point in advance to collect them for the compost.
☑ Use reusable dishware and cutlery (or request from catering services if possible) rather than disposables. If not possible, use compostable plates and cutlery and designate a focal point in advance to collect them for the compost.
☑ Make a plan in advance for leftover food so it does not go to waste. Encourage attendees to take leftover food home or share with a local food pantry.
☑ Choose venues with energy efficient measures in place for lighting and ventilation.
☑ Ensure energy efficient lighting and sound.
☑ Consider the local community – diffuse lighting and sound where possible.
☑ Ensure lights, equipment and appliances are turned off when not being used.
☑ Reduce waste by tailoring operational supplies according to final numbers.
☑ Reduce printed handouts. When you must print, use recycled paper and alway printed back-to-front. Make sure all left-over paper is properly recycled at the end of the event.
☑ Ensure waste and recycling bins have clear signage and are placed in prominent locations. Learn what is and isn’t recycled in Westchester so you can inform attendees.
☑ Use biodegradable trash bags; avoid the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags.
☑ Eliminate giveaways or offer only consumable giveaways, gift cards for local businesses/experiences, and/or local, sustainable made gifts that can be used more than once.
☑ Make informed purchasing decisions. Research and prioritize supplies, equipment and give-aways that support the use of recycled materials and have end-of-life recycling potential.