Planning an event is all about identifying problems and solving them. Whether you are organising a large concert or a romantic outdoor wedding, you can view every step of the planning process as a series of problem-solving exercises. For the event to be successful, you have to go deep into the details.
In recent years, one of those details is making the event friendlier to the environment. While events don’t generally add a lot of harm to the environment, they are not always the friendliest either. Festivals, for instance, consume a lot of energy and produce too much waste at times. Fortunately, recent festivals are taking steps to become greener.
The shift to digital tickets and QR codes is one of the best advancements in the event and festival industry. Rather than selling paper tickets and introducing more waste, event organisers are now using cloud-based ticketing solutions to help them.
Digital tickets aren’t just safer for the environment. They are a lot easier to manage thanks to the centralised database. Checking attendance and reviewing the validity of each ticket is also easier since each QR code is unique and can be verified easily.
Digital marketing is also a part of how events can go paperless, or use less paper at the very least. Leaflets and large posters are now replaced by social media posts and digital ads. They reach the same market segment and they are much more measurable in terms of return on investment, or ROI.
In fact, digital marketing is one of the most powerful instruments that festivals now use to expand their reach and boost exposure. The instruments available are immensely flexible. For example, more festivals now use social media or influencer marketing to target specific market segments.
The switch to LED (and other energy-efficient) lights is the next big move we are going to cover in this article. In the old days, big generators and multiple power sources were required to produce the thousands of Watts of power needed by all the lights and equipment. That’s no longer the case.
LED lights use a fraction of the energy while producing greater light output. They are much more efficient to run over an extended period of time too; LED lights reach their maximum brightness immediately, unlike older lights that require warming up.
Better waste management is also crucial, especially for larger festivals with thousands of attendees. While the majority of festival-goers know how to separate their waste for easy processing, adding an extra layer of waste management to protect the environment is never a bad idea.
Portable compactors, for instance, can help festivals manage their waste in a more meticulous way. Festival management can use compactors to reduce the waste footprint of the event substantially; be sure to read more about clean-up efforts using compactors to better understand the process.
Minimising Food Waste
Aside from general waste, there are also steps that can be taken to reduce food waste at a festival. There are venues that offer analytics from previous events and insights designed to help future festivals run more efficiently, including in terms of managing food and food waste.
Rather than letting excess food go to waste, set a cut-off time and donate the remaining food to charity and social movements. The event can do more than saving the environment; it can help communities around the venue and those in need.
Watch the Plastic
Speaking of waste management, it is also a great idea to limit the amount of plastic that enters the venue in the first place. Instead of plastic cups, use paper cups as replacements. Rather than relying on plastic bottles and packaging, provide on-site alternatives.
Water bottles, for instance, are a serious problem at almost every festival. Many festivals now offer water stations and paper cups, allowing attendees to stay hydrated without carrying their own plastic bottles. Those who do can refill those bottles too.
Location, Location, Location
On a larger scale, there are more things that festivals can do to be friendlier to the environment, starting with choosing the right location based on their target audience. Asking attendees to travel to the venue isn’t always a good thing, especially when you consider the carbon footprint that comes with the commute.
Instead of sticking with a venue far away, move closer to the target audience. There are plenty of venues to choose from regardless of where the festival is hosted. Getting closer to the audience also helps festivals take further steps to be greener, including….
Focusing on Sustainability
When choosing partners and sponsors for the festival, festival organisers now focus on sustainability as well. Not all hotels, venues, brands, and potential supporters of the event are friendly to the environment. By focusing on sustainability as organisers plan for the event, they can further reduce the festival’s carbon footprint.
Another thing that organisers are now doing is going local. They try to source materials and other needs of the festival locally. This is a move that brings three major benefits. For starters, they are supporting local producers and their businesses. They are also saving money on shipping and transportation costs. At the same time, they lower the event’s carbon footprint further by going local.
Work with Recyclers
At the end of the event, there are a lot of things that can be recycled and reused. Reusable items can either be kept for future festivals or be donated to good causes. As for recyclable materials – including the compacted waste we discussed earlier – festivals can partner with recyclers for better disposal.
Even binders, leftover posters, cups from the water station, and other items used in the festival can be collected and recycled. Non-recyclable items should be disposed of properly to cause minimum harm to the environment. That’s how today’s best festivals push for maximum friendliness to the environment.
It may not be possible to go zero-waste with your festival, but – as we just discussed in this article – there is a lot you can do to get close. Use the tips and tricks we covered in this article to make your festival greener and kinder to the environment.