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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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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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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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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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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Bridging the Gap Green Event Guide

This 40 page guide, from Kansas based non-profit Bridging the Gap, focuses on different types of events: large conferences, small social gatherings, neighborhood get-togethers, and larger festivals. The conference planning tools are similar to the other thorough guides listed here though with less tools for working with hotels and contractors. But if you're not a professional event planner this guide really stands out: we highly recommend this for non-professionals planning a personal, neighborhood event or a small festival. It's a creative guide: ever thought of starting a “tableware cooperative” with your neighbors?

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Green Event Planning Guide for Duke University

This guide, originally created for Duke University, is a 4-page checklist. It touches on waste reduction, energy conservation, food service and purchasing environmentally aware materials. It also has links for green caterers plus additional resources.

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The Recycling Advocate's Guide to Reducing Waste

This helpful Guide to Reducing Waste at any event has basic and advanced tips for event planners. It focuses on reducing food waste, site logistics, and recycling materials. It covers pre-event planning, steps to take during the event and evaluation after the event. It also has links to other resources, some of which are specific to Portland Oregon.

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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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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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MIT's Zero Waste Party Planning Guide

This Guide from MIT has guidelines for large events focusing on event advertising, waste management, food service, energy, and participant education.

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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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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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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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