Planning guides: festival.

Green Food Tips

  1. Offer local, organic and vegetarian food!

    After travel, the biggest impact of a typical event is food.

  2. Catering

    • Be sure to ask every caterer you consider about their recycling, composting, waste minimization and local/organic sourcing. Educate them about your preferences, even if your location and budget don't allow perfection this year.
    • To find green caterers, check out our services page.
  3. Dishware

    Don't forget to provide reusable dishware & water pitchers -- no plastic bottles, of course. more »Ideally refill glasses only when requested so you don't waste water, a small but noticeable change.

  4. Reduce food waste.

    • Avoid single serve containers and unnecessary items, such as straws and stirrers for coffee.
    • Make arrangements to donate leftover food to a food bank.
      America's Second Harvest lists foodbank locations.
    • Put out compost bins for leftover food scraps.
  5. Water

    We shouldn't have to mention that shipping and wrapping water in plastic (which still leaches chemicals, even if you avoid BPA) is a bad idea. A great green step for conferences -- simple and off your budget -- is to let attendees know whether the local water needs to be filtered or not. Especially if your conference has a similar group of attendees each year but moves from city to city, talking about where the local water comes from and how clean the local ecosystem is creates local, memorable connections between your attendees and the ecosystem surrounding the walls of your conference center.