Thursday, August 20, 2015

Organising Zero Waste Events

Organising Zero Waste Events
A Quick Guide

:: Paper
·         Invitations
o   Invitations (most) can go by email with explicit instructions not to print.
o   SMS or phone calls also work for some participants.
·         Chart Paper /Flip Charts
o   More use of Green boards/White Boards/Power Points for group work and presentation reduce use of paper and ink.
·         Wrapping paper
o   Conference releases/gifts should be wrapped in recycled /handmade paper and not plastic wrappers.
·         Printing conference reports
o   All materials emerging from the event could be circulated online or circulated amongst participants through pen drives/drop box instead of printing or using CDs.

:: Food and water
·         No throw away plastic, Styrofoam, thermacol or paper products should be used to serve food and beverages
o   No packaged drinking water should be used. Boiled and filtered water kept at strategic places would totally reduce the use of PET bottles. Participants should also be encouraged to bring their own drinking bottle.
·         Food should be sourced as far as possible locally which reduces its carbon foot print and supports local economy.
·         Use locally produced biscuits or other snacks instead of packaged snacks that come in non-recyclable plastics
·         Instead of sweets in wrapping paper local hard boiled sweets could be used removing wrapping paper waste.
o   Additionally possibilities for linking food waste to people who rear pigs/cattle as feed or community compost/bio-gas units can be explored in advance.
o   Rain water and grey water use should be promoted in an event space like a community hall.

:: Stationery
·         Use cloth banner which will also promote local livelihood instead of one - time use flex banners.
·         Encourage participants to carry own stationery such as notebooks and pens. Keep only limited numbers for those who need.
·         Promote local handmade products for welcome kit of folders/ bags or make them from recycled materials
·         Reuse old materials to make name tags OR have name tags deposited for reuse post event

:: Energy
o   Car pools for transfer of participants to venues could be worked out in advance with some planning.

o   Use of electricity during event should be optimised. Promote switching off when not in use.

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