10 Ways to Create Eco-Friendly Venues
Eco-friendly venues are increasingly rewarded in today's market by patrons who feel sustainability and responsible stewardship of our world is no longer optional. If you are facing 2011 with primitive energy resources, excessive waste, non-recyclable materials, or eco-unfriendly habits, consider these 10 tips for creating eco-friendly venues.
1. Tree-free, Compostable Containers
Product choice provides the easiest starting point to greening your venue. Styrofoam, plastic, and other containers are the Achilles' heel of green-event planning, so introduce biodegradable and compostable items to your inventory. Look for biodegradable cups, trays or dinner ware. Companies like BioSmart Biodegradable offer tree free, compostable containers and trash bags. Be sure to research local companies first, because the shorter the shipping distance, the smaller the carbon footprint. Access to local green companies is made easier with Green America's National Green Pagesthat allows you to search green companies by zip code.
2. Promote Eco-Friendly Transportation
To promote efficient transportation to your events, add sturdy bike racks to patrolled, well-lit areas and assure cyclists their bicycles are safe from theft or vandalism. It's also a great way to show off your venue's eco-awareness at the front door.
3. Reduce Waste with Bulk Beverage Options
Instead of serving bottled or canned beverages, serve syrup based soda mixes, keg beer, or bulk wine where appropriate. These options generate little to no waste without sacrificing quality.
4. Organic and Local Food Choices
Consumers are becoming progressively aware of what they put into their bodies, and appealing to this growing demographic is wise choice. "Organic" and "local" are the main mantras of eco-advocates and farmers' markets are a fantastic way to achieve your goals by patronizing local, small farmers, preserving farmland, providing pesticide free produce, and reducing your carbon footprint. Supporting this industry is a both a fiscal and social achievement that is wholly feasible and tells patrons know you are committed to a sustainable environment.
5. Use Recycled Paper and Ticket Stock
If you are mailing tickets, switch to recycled ticket stock. Event posters are a frequent choice to get the word out about eco-friendly venues. Consider reducing the size of posters and use recycled paper where possible. Take advantage of the print-free advertising by posting important information on Twitter, Facebook or websites.
6. Recycle and Repurpose
Recyclable all possible items and reuse or repurpose items letting old steel or plastic drums double as trash receptacles. For those with a bigger budget, hiring a service that cleans and organizes trash and removes unfriendly non-recylcables from recycling containers (a challenge facing recyclers) further demonstrates your commitment.
7. Switch Your Credit Card to Benefit Local Green Causes
Consider switching your business credit card to one offered by GreenAmerica. All income generated from the card's use is shared equally with sustainable local endeavors.
8. Perform a Green Remodel
For the enthusiastic, eco-friendly remodeling is a sound investment and a quick online search will point you towards local, green architecture firms in your area.
9. Use Sustainable, Energy Efficient Energy Alternatives
You need not invest at the level of a green remodel. Energy-efficient improvements often earn local and federal tax credits and may greatly reduce utility bills. Something as small as replacing incandescent lights with fluorescent lights can reduce electricity bills by 75% and solar-powered lighting may offer a worthy investment for eco friendly venues with frequent outdoor events.
10. Compost Waste
Consider composting food and drink waste when space and local laws allow it. If you're venue's placement restricts your ability to compost at your venue, consider partnerships with local garden groups who would covet your composting material.
Create a checklist of the ways your venue embraces the commitment to a better world, and highlight your efforts. Your fans and local community will appreciate and reward your efforts, and we'll all be better off for it.