Going green is a goal many fundraisers are considering as part of a larger effort to turn their nonprofit into a climate-conscious organization.
Events offer a multitude of ways to achieve this goal to lower emissions, increase recycling, and support local groups focused on contributing to the effort to be more environmentally responsible. Here are ten tips to get you started thinking of ways you can turn your next fundraiser “green” in 2019.
1. Move Away from Paper
Take a big step toward making the transition to an environmentally friendly event by ditching your paper trail early in your planning. Set up email contact lists and send out the bulk of your correspondence through electronic channels, like social media, blog posts, your website, and directly through email. Cloud services, like Google Drive, Dropbox, and One Drive, are excellent ways to easily share documents with partners outside your organization. When paper is necessary, choose to use recycled paper products and when printing use the double-sided option.
2. Vet the Venue
One of the most important decisions you can make in your quest to create a green fundraiser is in your choice of event space. Many venues are already on the right path through the installation of solar panels, recycling policies, and clean water initiatives. Have your questions ready when speaking to their representatives and express your desire to make your event as environmentally-friendly as possible. And, always request that recycling bins are readily accessible to your team, your contractors and guests.
3. Think About Transportation Options
Your guests can get on the eco-train, too! Give them an incentive by finding venues with transportation options that will allow them to ride public transportation, car carpool or bike to your event. You can even take your commitment to the next level by contributing to a carbon credits program to track your carbon use and pay into a fund that will help to offset what you use.
4. Research Contractors
Asking contractors to employ environmentally sound practices and products is becoming more commonly acceptable and you shouldn’t shy away from expressing your desire to include that in your planning. From technological needs, to catering; ask your contractors how they can help you create an event that eliminates waste and supports energy saving and clean water initiatives.
5. Partner with Your Sponsors
Get your sponsors to join in on your goal to go green this year! Sharing your efforts with them could generate ideas for how they can become better conservationists in their promotions, giveaways, and programs. Provide an initiative program to encourage recycled material use, environmentally sound promotions, and low energy solutions to their presentations.
6. Go Local with a Seasonally Inspired Menu
Choosing a menu that is based around local ingredients inspired by seasonally available foods will provide you with the most flavorful ingredients. It also means you’ll be lessening the carbon footprint it takes to transfer the ingredients and process and cook the meal.
7. Create Signs Announcing Your Commitment to Go Green
Along with all the event information you provide your guests, you’ll also want to tell them about your efforts to go green. Include global facts and energy information and tips. Add it to signs you place around the venue and in the event program. You can also highlight the efforts of your contractors and sponsors and give them the recognition they deserve for their efforts, too.
8. Check Your Utilities
Dig deeper into the utilities you’ll be using during your event to find out if you are truly getting the most bang out of your conservation buck. Find out if the companies are as focused on eco-friendly policies as you are and if you are adding lights or other electronics to your presentation choose energy efficient equipment, like LED or CFL light sources. If you’ll be employing transportation equipment ask that they be electric or use biodiesel and look for the designation “Energy Offsets” or “Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)” to tip you off on which companies are dedicated to going green.
9. Donate to a Soup Kitchen
No one likes to waste food, especially when it’s been so carefully prepared. Pack up your leftover food to give to your local soup kitchen. More than likely they will gratefully accept them to share with those in need they serve.
Gather the creative members of your planning team to brainstorm ways you can incorporate recycled materials into your event planning. Use biodegradable or reusable decorations and paper goods, encourage participants and spectators to bring their own reusable water bottles when appropriate, and make recycling bins readily available.
Keep track of all your conservation efforts as your event planning turns to execution. After the event has closed, tally up you’re the results of your effort to go green and send out the results in an newsletter to your community. You may inspire others to join you in your “green revolution!”