Each year, trade shows generate more than 600,000 tons of trash. Zero waste events attempt to eliminate or greatly reduce this by reducing, reusing, and recycling or composting. Currently, only one in five exhibitors believe going completely zero waste is doable, but every little bit helps, and the advantages are well worth the consideration.
According to an Eventsage blog, zero waste events are not only good for the environment, they’re good for business, too. Benefits of going zero waste include enhanced reputation, improved employee engagement and increased sponsorships. If you’re looking to for ways to reduce the amount of waste at your next exhibit or event, check out these ideas:
- Source smart: Using materials that contain a high amount of post-consumer recycled waste that can also be recycled helps reduce your carbon footprint. Dress staffers in shirts or polos and badge holders made from recycled materials. And choose sustainable giveaways that are both recycled and recyclable such as the ecologist notebook set or sport sipper with straw.
- Recycle everything: You’re likely already recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminum cans. Go a step further and ask your local recycling organization about recycling less obvious materials such as wood, fabric and foam from signs and displays. What can’t be recycled may be good for compost—like food waste, napkins and compostable plates and cups.
- Reuse and reuse again: Reusing displays and furnishings is good for the environment and the pocket book. If your items are out of style or off-brand, consider donating them. Charitable organizations often are happy to take unwanted furniture, flooring, frames, décor or props.
- Get digital: You can eliminate much of your paper waste by going digital. Consider directing attendees to digital versions of your catalog or handouts. Direct people there with sustainable giveaways imprinted with a quick response (QR) code.
Source smart, recycle, reuse and get digital, and you’ll be on your way to a zero waste event in no time. Who says it’s not easy being green?