Updated: Apr 22, 2021
So many amazing people care about the environment and are frustrated by how we have been treating it. Are you surprised to learn that Earth Day has been around for over 50 years? I am considering our current state. It was officially official in 1970 after the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in January 1969 created enough attention that we could no longer do nothing. It gave a voice to the public consciousness emerging about how we are treating Mother Earth and ways we can do better.
Earth Day is now widely recognized as the largest secular observance throughout the world. It is a day where we can call our friends, neighbors, clients and co-workers to action to change our behaviors and focus on creating policy changes starting locally right where you are. Since we are in the wedding & private event industry, we are hoping to increase the awareness of the waste and encourage couples to find ways to do better while planning their celebrations.
Sadly, covid has forced us in many ways to take steps backwards when it comes to single servings and single use products. One time use masks and gloves are littering the parking lots at grocery stores. The once highly promoted reusable bags were banned. As events are allowed to reopen, although different in every state and even between counties within the same state, shareable items are often being banned. In Los Angeles, CA you cannot serve a wedding cake to your guests, so it is being replaced by prepackaged cupcakes. Mostly plastic containers that will land in the landfill. Even if they are recyclable, it’s extremely unlikely that the venue will take the time to separate the event trash. In New York, attendees have to provide a negative test to be admitted, which means additional traveling to and from the testing site and the materials used to conduct each test. In almost every place worldwide, a higher instance of hand washing is increasing the usage of water by 20-25%.
As you can see, we need to work double time to reverse as much of the waste as we can as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, what are ways we can all chip in and help create an event that is not hurting the environment?
5 Tips to Planning a more Sustainable Event
1. Source Locally!
Hire a florist that is willing to
use flowers that are locally grown. This cuts down on the transportation time and also ensures your bouquets and center pieces will be the most beautiful fit for your venue. Hire your caterer that also sources locally from the Farmers Market. If you are open to Vegan options, these are often better for the environment and
leftovers can also be composted.
2. Venue Selection
Confirm that your venue will sort the trash appropriately including separating recyclables and compostable food when available. If your venue doesn’t do this now, but gets this request enough, they will understand that sustainability is important to their clients and you could be the one that impacts their policy change!
3. Rent It Locally
I know you are trolling Amazon with your Prime membership and seeing all the cute wedding items, adding them to your cart and about to hit Buy Now! But wait…have you searched your local wedding FB group? Have you checked in with your local Buy Nothing FB group? Your neighbor may have the exact item or something really similar that you have in your cart. Instead of buying something like table numbers that you will not use again and will end up in a box in your garage, check locally. Can you buy it second hand or rent it locally and save on the impact of shipping?
4. Ditch Single Use
There is no need to use disposable items. Rentals companies are on top of how to sanitize their items to ensure they are a safe option. Plus, it looks so much better to use ceramic plates, elevates your event vibe and isn’t much more (sometimes it is less money.) For anything you do need to purchase, especially items that you can use after your wedding or celebration, try to purchase items at once so they ship together in one box.
5. Hire a Sustainable Planner
Allow us to help guide you through the process and identify likeminded vendors who also have a reputation and practices in place to be the most environmentally focused. If it is built into their business model as it is in ours, it will be a much smoother process!
Our planet is depending on us to step it up. These are a few simple ways to get started. We genuinely hope you will stand alongside us today. Now that you know that our climate crisis is growing, and that your event can impact it (for better or for worse), what changes are you going to make? We highly encourage you...make that challenge you to do your homework and tackle at least one of these items this week.
If you want to dive even deeper, Earthday.org is working to build a coordinated, diverse movement that is empowering individuals by providing the information and tools you need to make an impact locally in your own backyard.
We are here to support your Sustainable Event Planning Journey. If you want to learn more on how we can help, contact us today!