Foundations for a Green Festival

  1. Determine your motivations.

    Have a team meeting where you discuss greening, starting with your motivations both as individuals and as an organization. more »Before developing a green plan, it helps to know why you are making that decision, and what resources you are willing to commit. Are you a personally committed individual in a larger organization that doesn't care, a company that sees this as the latest fad and wants to offer carbon offsets to give yourself a green coat, an organization aiming to meet the highest standards?

  2. 80/20 Results/Effort

    For light-green events, focus on your biggest impacts first: transportation, waste/recycling, and food. Choose a site with public transportation, and as close as possible to the city most of your attendees travel from. Even if you can't budget for green, just asking all potential venues and providers for their green plan helps. Provide a carpool system, and encourage public transit, trains, and green hotels. Composting? Talk to your food vendors about your recycling and composting plan. Make sure that all are on the same plan: you'll ruin both recycling and compost if you have plastic and compost cups and utensils that look similar.

  3. Team, Resources, and Budget.

    Explore the following questions before you start, and you'll find it much easier to find the advice tailored to your needs: Will you have a greening team, or will everyone participate together? How is greening factored into your workflow? How do your food vendors and exhibitors participate? Can you insist on green, budget for it, hire a green planner to do it for you? Outperform competitors »Socially Responsible companies keep outperforming their supposedly budget-minded competitors. Go ahead and inspire your clients, your suppliers, your attendees and your colleagues and employees.

  4. Feedback: Get Everyone Involved.

    Tell your attendees who your green contact is, and ask for their advice right from the beginning. Greening is a great way to build community, to weave your management team with the festival crowd's community.

  5. Choose a Guide.

    This online guide is intended as a starting point to help you focus. Our main goal is the next step: to help you find a guide that matches your motivations and resources.

  6. Editorial:
    Community Building

    Back before "green" was awash in commercialism and offsetting, community and attention to detail were considered intrinsic. This wasn't just for hippies: even as the chemical industry took major steps towards greening ten and twenty years ago, the heart of the changes wasn't cash payments for making messes, it was paying better attention to their production process. Greening made the chemical industry much more efficient at their core mission. We believe that the events industry will undergo the same revolution when it takes these green values to heart. Focus on why your attendees are coming to your event instead of staying home and watching a low-impact video. How can you best provide those values with the least resources, from the time they walk out the door of their home until they return? Greening and event planning are related: sharing creates community; simplicity keeps attendees focused; localizing leads to more fruitful connections.