Reduce and divert garbage
No one wants to go to a fun event and see mountains of garbage! Proper waste management is to everyone’s benefit.
Here are some ways to reduce the amount of garbage your event generates:
- Use reusable food containers, dishware, and cutlery where possible.
- Source equipment and supplies with reduced packaging.
- Eliminate unnecessary printing.
- Ask your vendors to identify ways they can reduce garbage.
- Ensure remaining waste is recyclable or compostable.
- For annual events, consider printing signs without any dates so they can be re-used.
- Ban styrofoam (polystyrene) from your event – there are alternative materials that are less harmful.
Have staffed recycling and waste stations
Develop a waste management plan in advance that includes recycling and composting. Create recycling and waste stations by clustering recycling, compost, and garbage bins. Aim to not have any stand-alone garbage bins.
Avoid contamination by separating recyclables, food waste, and garbage. Recycling and compost facilities refuse contaminated loads, such as food scraps containing garbage. To ensure the waste at your event gets properly sorted, assign volunteers or staff to waste stations, to help guests use the right bin, or to a back-of-house waste-sorting area.
Confirm if your compost collector accepts plastics labelled as biodegradable or compostable. Use compostable paper plates to avoid plastic.
Encourage guests to walk, bike, or take public transit
Choose a location that is convenient for people to get to your event on foot, by bike, or via transit.
On promotional material, highlight transit and cycling routes, and the availability of extra bike racks and secure, monitored bike valet parking.
Use tap water instead of bottled water
Vancouver tap water is glacial mountain water purified in a new state of the art filtration plant, so why not serve it at your event?
While plastic water bottles are recyclable, bottling, packaging, and shipping billions of bottles creates a large environmental impact. Instead, provide water in jugs or try using a water cooler. Highlight water fountains with signage. Encourage attendees to bring a refillable bottle to further cut down on waste.
Tap into renewable energy
Many events require power to run sound systems, lighting, food preparation, or other equipment. Use electricity from hydro or solar power instead of gas- or diesel-powered generators. Did you know Vancouver's hydroelectricity is more than 90% renewable?