Our reviews of many green event planning guides

Please contact us if you a) know of a guide we don't list here, b) need guidance different from any guide we've found.

EventGuide TypeYou

National Recycling Coalition's Green Meetings Policy

This very useful 22 page pdf Green Meetings Policy was developed by the National Recycling Coalition and covers printed materials, food, conference hotels, educating attendees, recycling and waste prevention, site selection and more. It is an in-depth and extensive guide with links for additional resources and checklists for post event green evaluations.

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TreeHugger's Complete Guide to Green Funerals

If you're planning a green funeral, make sure to read this guide. Here you can find their top ten basic tips plus additional tips for going above and beyond, some statistics on the environmental impact of funerals, and links for further research.

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Independent Traveler's Green Resource Guide

An extensive site for travelers with a variety of resources and tips including transport, trip ideas and green destinations. It includes articles on volunteering abroad, eco-lodges and green hotels, eco-friendly tour operators and more! There is a message board for people to exchange tips of their own.

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Green Event Guide and Checklist from Environment Canada

This detailed guide is 54 pages long so it is best for event organizers who are very serious about greening every aspect of their event. There is a table of contents and a checklist which make it more accessible. The guide has a check list for products, service contractors, paper use and green office tips, accommodations, food, transportation, energy, hazardous materials, security, sponsorship, media, and special events. It doesn't have tips geared specifically to outdoor events, but any event planner should find some useful information in this guide.

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Convention Industry Council's Green Meetings Report

This 14 page PDF report can be found at www.greenmeetings.info. The report is their main resource, but the Green Meeting Industry Council website also includes very basic tips on greening your event, including the benefits of greening your event and it organizes tips by "minimum best practices" and "strongly recommended best practices." The website has green practices for event suppliers as well as event organizers. It covers transportation, accommodations, food and beverages, recycling, venue selection and how to market your green event. As their name says, they are focused on meetings: indoor business-related events. GMIC is a leader in the field, and you might consider joining, attending their yearly conference, or participating in their online forum.

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Research about Green Events

You can find studies and statistics from IMEX.

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It's Easy Being Green!

This 12 page pdf guide was created by the EPA for those planning very large events, mainly conferences. It's written like a short book rather than a punch list of suggestions, and discusses three case studies of past green events. There are suggestions for greening all the basic aspects of your event, from waste reduction to buying products to promoting your event. There is a short checklist at the end that covers waste, energy, food service and more. Our first impression: this might be useful early reading before you get serious about the details, but most professional meeting planners will want a longer document to make your planning easier, and it's a bit out of date (resources from the early 1990s).

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Greening Guide for The Democratic National Convention

This brief, simple guide focuses on sustainable food, managing waste, and raising awareness for your event.

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Planning a Memorable, Yet Nature Sensitive Business Conference

These quick tips for conference and meeting planning are brought to you by Eco-Coach, a sustainability consulting company. They touch on signs and banners, travel, food and drink, and handouts. The tips are very basic info with a handful of links for further reading.

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Burningman's Environmental Guide

Burning Man's Environmental page discusses what the project does to be green and has numerous resources on biofuels, composting, energy, transportation and more. You can read about their six "R's" of being green, or explore the number of links in the right-hand column. It has info for Burningman travelers on how to green their art installations and theme camps and links for getting involved.

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Learn from the Greenest

Besides exploring guides, check out some great examples:
Whole Earth Festival,
SolFest,
EarthDance and
various green Burners and Earth Guardians,
or explore the work of festival greening super-activist Green Mary.

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Sustainable Life Media's Model for Green Events

Sustainable Life Media leads by example and outlines their steps to greening their events in this guide. It's short and most tips are basic, except for waste reduction which is pretty thorough. It also has tips on ways attendees, event sponsors and vendors can get involved and help out.

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Environmentally Responsible Conferences, Meetings and Events

This list from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality organizes tips into "before the event," "the facility," and "during" and "after the event." The tips are short and easy to read but also thorough and advanced.

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Guide to Rid Your Event of Water Bottles

This essential guide from Food and Water Watch discusses the social, health and environmental reasons why tap water is better than bottled. It outlines ten steps to includes ridding your event of water bottles and includes case studies of events that have gone water bottle free.

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How to Throw a Green Party From the Party Spot

This short guide has a list of tips for invites, decor, food, drinks and clean up. There are some useful links and creative ideas, especially regarding invitations, but the guide leaves out some important green practices, like providing vegetarian options.

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Guidelines for a No Waste Celebration

This 9 page PDF guide from the Recycling Council of Ontario has very helpful general information for event planners. It focuses on waste reduction and is split up into two sections for small events and is more relevant to parties and weddings, while the second part for large events is more relevant to conferences and festivals.

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David Suzuki Foundation's Carbon Neutral Events

This Guide discusses identifying and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from you event, measuring and off-setting the event's carbon footprint, and engaging event participants. It is written article style and gets a little wordy -- you might find it a good guide to read first as a warm-up exercise, then choose a checklist.

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Twelve Green Event Planning Tips from SouthFace

These twelve tips are a great place for meetings planners to get started. The tips are basic and more useful for beginners, but do a good job of covering all aspects of event planning.

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10 Tips for Greener Travel

Check out these 10 basic tips for green travel, brought to you by Fodor's.

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David Suzuki Foundation's Green Weddings Guide

This Green Wedding Guide contains detailed information on carbon-offsets with some helpful links. Don't miss the link at the bottom of the page, which leads to more tips for green wedding planning, including suggestions on location, food, invitations, rings, the dress, decorations and more! While this guide is more thorough, it still makes for quick reading and should be helpful to anyone planning or considering a green wedding.

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