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Apr. 28, 2010
12 Steps to Creating a Green Event
These days, hosting a entirely green event is easier than you think. But even if it's not within your means to go entirely green, every little bit helps. Here are 12 handy tips (and plenty of resources) to put green well within your reach.

Clif Bar Green Events Checklist

Embrace Zero Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost

  • 1. Recycle. Provide marked recycling containers throughout your venue. Compost too! Earth911 provides a handy search tool for locating recycling centers in your area, as well as providing other up-to-date recycling/composting news.

  • 2. Use recycled paper. And go paperless whenever possible. San Francisco-based Conservatree offers small- and large-scale paper buying options, as well as a handy manual for recycling best practices.

  • 3. Use biodegradable materials (bioplastic and paper) instead of plastics, and use materials with recycled content. You've used those biodegradable forks at the Whole Foods salad bar, right? Well, here's a great resource for ordering compostable utensils, cups and more.

Support Sustainable Transportation

  • 4. Promote transportation alternatives. Encourage the use of public transportation, ride-sharing, fuel-efficient vehicles, cycling and walking. RideshareOnline has lots of great resources to ditch the car and carpool, along with other resources. Also, you can calculate the REAL cost of your car commute with a nifty commute calculator.

  • 5. Create a “no idling” rule for busses, trucks and cars. Post signs. It's easy and often second-nature keep your car running, especially when waiting for someone in a car. But anti-idling is becoming standard, so make sure your event buses and other autos aren't idling -- it unnecessarily contributes to the problem.

  • 6. Offer a bicycle valet service. Partner with a local bike club to provide secure bicycle parking on-site. It reduces traffic congestion and entices cyclists to your event. Make biking to your events easy! San Francisco Bicycle Coalition offers a valet bike service. Your local bike shop is always a great resource to get started to see what's available in your area.

  • 7. Use biodiesel fuel for trucks, busses and diesel generators. Cleaner air, cooler planet! Our Save our Snow Greasebus runs on leftover veggie oil. Follow our lead and ditch the gasoline!

Offer Sustainable Eats

  • 8. Provide organic and local food and drink. Promote local farm products, and donate leftover food to a soup kitchen or food bank. LocalHarvest has a fantastic service to find local farmer's markets, family farms and sustainable products.

  • 9. Make your t-shirts organic, too! Did you know that conventional cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world? Using organic cotton for promotional items helps reduce toxic chemicals. Sustainable Cotton Project is a resourceful place to get started (and you can calculate your fiber footprint, including how much land, water and carbon your cotton usage uses up). Of course, even big-name brands like patagonia and American Apparel offer sustainable organic products.

Reduce your Climate Footprint

  • 10. Make your event climate neutral. Invest in new sources of renewable energy to offset the CO2 emissions generated by energy use on-site. It’s easier than you think. And NativeEnergy makes it incredibly simple to take part with initiatives like the Greensburg wind farm.

  • 11. Help people make their own travel climate neutral at event registration. Did you know that travel to and from an event is often the biggest source of CO2 emissions?

  • 12. Finally, ask questions! There are plenty of additional ways to go green and help create sustainable events. And there's a wealth of info and people out there who are willing to help. Ask and you shall receive!

Posted by:
Chris Morell

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