How to make celebrations more sustainable

By Billy Bishop, 1st November 2022

In this article Travelife for Accommodation will be provides tips and ideas for how you can plan celebrations that have a better impact on people and places.

We have celebrations throughout the year for many major events, including, Easter, Diwali, New Year, Christmas and many more, but also for smaller, individual events such as birthdays, christenings, work parties and weddings.

Unfortunately, whether big or small, events usually have a negative effect on the environment. They generate excessive food waste, consume large amounts of energy and water, result in transportation emissions and use large amounts of paper and plastic, to name but a few. Most events subsequently have a relatively high carbon footprint as a result of these factors. Despite the negatives, events exist to bring people together for reasons related to family, friendships, work and they are hugely beneficial for our wellbeing.

Two important strategies when hosting an event are reduce and reuse. When organising the event, think in detail about what you really need to host it successfully. Do you need to purchase unnecessary table cloths or plastic cutlery? Secondly, think about reuse. Many of your friends will have hosted events before and will likely have many of the items you already need, or you may have them in a cupboard somewhere! Another way of reducing is to hire equipment from a local supplier, this will reduce the unnecessary purchases you make.

Planning an event is often stressful without adding in consideration of how to make it sustainable. These tips will help you to plan a sustainable event without too much difficulty, ensuring that making it sustainable doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of organising or increase costs!

What can you do to improve the sustainability of your event?

Choose a sustainable venue: If you need a venue for your event, you should try to use one that has sustainability credentials. If you can’t find one but still need a venue, do some research on the venue and see whether they use renewable energy, have recycling station or have policies relating to the environment, the community and human rights.

Change your invitations: Instead of sending paper invitations which result in emissions from shipping and production, instead, send your invites over email or create an event on social media.

Avoid single-use items: Balloons, confetti, banners, cutlery and plastic cups to name but a few are some of the common single-use items at events that you should avoid. There are lots of companies who rent out the essentials for a party, including glasses and plates. If you can’t find any, bamboo or sugarcane cutlery and plates are the best alternatives due to their extremely quick growth.

Minimise food waste: Food waste is a major problem not only at events, it is estimated that one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted or lost. By ensuring your guests RSVP, you can reduce the amount of wastage by providing less to start with. If you do have leftover food, you may be able to give the food away to a local charity or ask your guests to take it with them.

Reduce food emissions: This can be done by using local products if you are making the food yourself, or by using a caterer who uses local produce. If you want to have a greater impact, then opt for all vegetarian food, or even vegan.

Encourage guests to use sustainable transport: Reduce the number of people arriving in low occupancy cars by providing sustainable transport advice or perhaps arranging group transport.

Encourage donations instead of gifts: Rather than presents, why not suggest on your invite that guests donate to a local charity. This will reduce the number of unnecessary gifts and it’ll have a positive impact on your community.

Implementing sustainability shouldn’t take away the fun or impact the feel of your event, it should feel the same, with less of a negative impact! By following a few of our tips, you will be able to host an event that has reduced its environmental footprint and increased its positive impact on the local community.

Enjoy your celebration planning!

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