Going Green: How to Choose an Eco-Friendly Venue for Your Next Meeting or Event

Planning a green meeting or event has become more accessible than ever, thanks to a growing number of venues and hotels that are embracing environmentally friendly initiatives. In fact, many properties are taking significant steps towards sustainability, making it easier for meeting and event planners to organize eco-conscious gatherings. In this updated guide, we’ll explore how to choose a green venue or hotel and provide insights into the latest sustainable initiatives you should consider when planning your next event.

1. Start by Asking

When searching for a venue or hotel that aligns with your green event goals, begin by simply asking about their sustainability initiatives. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that many properties are already going above and beyond what you had in mind. These venues may have initiatives that encompass energy efficiency, waste reduction, and water conservation that exceed your expectations.

2. Negotiate Sustainability into Your Contract

In cases where a venue or hotel does not have existing green initiatives or doesn’t offer the specific services you need, don’t be discouraged. Instead, negotiate these sustainability measures into your contract. Many meetings and events carry significant influence and can prompt properties to make substantial changes. However, even smaller gatherings can find that most venues are willing to work together to make the event more environmentally friendly. If a property is unwilling to cooperate with reasonable requests for a green event, it may be a sign of how they value your group as a whole.

Sustainable Meeting and Event Initiatives

Here are some green meeting initiatives that venues and hotels are now implementing, which you should consider incorporating into your next event:

1. Towel and Bed Linen Re-Use Program: Encourage guests to reuse towels and bed linens during their stay to reduce water consumption and laundry waste.

2. Low-Flow Shower Heads: Install low-flow showerheads in sleeping rooms, spas, workout areas, and pool areas to conserve water without compromising comfort.

3. Programmable Thermostats: Use programmable thermostats that adjust room temperatures based on occupancy, reducing energy consumption when rooms are unoccupied.

4. Bulk Water and Condiments: Serve water and condiments in bulk containers rather than single-use plastic, significantly reducing plastic waste.

5. Environmentally Friendly Cleaning and Personal Products: Choose cleaning and personal care products that are eco-friendly, including shampoo, soap, and cleaning agents.

6. Recycling Bins: Place recycling bins in common areas, meeting rooms, and sleeping rooms to encourage guests to recycle.

7. Energy-Efficient Lighting: Utilize energy-efficient light bulbs and room lighting systems equipped with motion sensors to reduce electricity consumption.

8. Sustainable Service Ware: Opt for environmentally friendly service ware, cloth napkins, 100% recycled paper napkins, and boxed lunch containers to minimize waste.

While these initiatives may seem minor on their own, their cumulative impact is substantial. Water saved through linen reuse programs, plastic waste reduced by serving water in bulk, and carbon emissions lowered by motion sensor lighting systems all contribute to a greener event. Even if your meeting is relatively small, consider the ripple effect across all meetings and events held in the United States throughout the year. Collectively, meeting and event planners have the power to make a significant positive impact on our environment and the future of our planet.

In conclusion, when choosing a venue or hotel for your next meeting or event, prioritize sustainability. Look for properties with existing green initiatives, and don’t hesitate to negotiate for eco-friendly services if needed. By incorporating these sustainable practices, you can contribute to a more environmentally responsible future, one event at a time. Your efforts, when multiplied across the industry, can play a crucial role in protecting our planet.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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