How to organize a zero-waste event- 5 easy tips
As we are nearing the end of the year, the Zer’0 Waste team is back again with some quick tips to help make your holiday parties the ultimate “zero waste” event everyone will be talking about!
Why not BYOU?
You have heard of BYOD (bring your own drink). Why don’t you let your guests know about BYOU? Instead of spending some kuai on single-use plastic forks, spoons and knives, you can suggest that attendees bring their own utensils! Not only do you save on some party costs, you also reduce the amount of the plastic utensils that will be thrown away at the end of the party. Remember that they’ll most likely end up in the Residual Waste bin (for Shanghai readers) which goes to landfill.
你可能听说过BYOD这个派对习俗:Bring Your Own Drink - 自带饮料。与其让你的客人们自带饮料，不如让他们自带刀叉碗筷吧！这样就可以避免使用一次性餐具啦。你不仅可以节省一些派对开支，还可以减少开趴完产生的塑料垃圾。上海的读者请注意：这些塑料属于干垃圾，会被送往填埋场。
Politely asking your guests to bring along their own eating utensils is one easy way to make your event more “zero waste”.
Cater to zero waste
We heard you. We know how hard it is to feed a hungry holiday crowd. If you decide to cater for your party, consider asking the caterer a few important questions first. Do they use recyclable or compostable materials for their food service ware? Or alternatively, can they provide the food in reusable containers? Maybe you and the catering company can figure out an environmentally-friendly win-win situation for both of you. Instead of delivering individual lunch boxes, the food could be combined in a large tray to serve. With just a quick WeChat call or message, your party waste can be greatly reduced and clean-up can also be a lot easier at the end of the party!
So, where is the recycling bin?
Another simple tip is to make sure there are clearly marked trash bins placed in strategic spots in the venue. Most people would probably want to help with trash sorting, but they just can’t seem to find the right bin to throw away their trash. Let everyone know in the beginning of the event where your food waste bin(s) is, where the recycling bin(s) is and which piece of trash goes into which type of bin. Also, in order to reduce the number of trash bags, pick a spot in the venue where people are more likely to stand around or walk by. Why have two half-filled trash bags when you can have one full bag?
Engage your team!
Reminding your guests about trash sorting is definitely a good start. But it is also equally important to train your own team about how to sort trash. Unless you are a superstar host, we assume that you probably have a few volunteers helping you with setting up and running the party. Make sure that each of your helpers also know how to correctly sort the trash and where the bins will be placed in the venue. This creates awareness among all attendees and further ensures that waste management mistakes are minimized.
Feedback, feedback and feedback
At the end of the day, you’re probably worn out from all the planning and stress of keeping your guests engaged. To wrap things up, you can ask your attendees for suggestions on how to reduce waste at the event. Maybe all those extra paper cups you gave out weren’t even necessary. Some of the guests may have suggestions on a better way to divide up the food so there are no leftovers. Everyone has had some experience in hosting a gathering and they understand how tiring it is to oversee every detail. A casual discussion about lessons learned can go a long way in helping both the host and the attendees organize even better “zero waste” in the future.
Holidays are a time of joy and fun. Keeping them “zero waste” makes it even nicer, knowing that you had a good time without adding more waste to the environment.
The Zer’0 Waste team will continue to find ways to help our readers lead a more resourceful lifestyle.
If you want to organize a Zero Waste Event with funny learning activities for your friends or employees don’t hesitate contact us! WE have zero waste workshops to reduce plastic and waste at home or office; board game to learn how to divert trash in Shanghai; tips for help you to organize a Zero Waste New Year Party …. and more.
E-mail us to: firstname.lastname@example.org