Insights/ The 3 R’s - recycle, reduce, reuse

Author: Francesca Gorvin, Powwow

The UN recently warned that we have 12 years to limit climate change, before the impact will become irreversible and lead to higher risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

It’s not however as gloomy as it sounds if we all do our bit now to implement change. Companies are committed to creating more sustainable solutions and as consultants and advisors we see it as our responsibility to ensure sustainability is no longer an afterthought but an informed decision made within the event lifecycle.

Here are our tips to consider:

1. Is it necessary?

Eliminating unnecessary single use items such as plastic water bottles and plastic straws can dramatically reduce the amount of waste.

2. Can it be reused or is it biodegradable?

If water bottles are a must, why not have a branded reusable bottle as a giveaway? Be sure to have lots of refill points throughout the event to eliminate the need for single use.

3. Can items be stored and reused for future events?

Many branded products can be made to be reused, reducing waste and saving costs.

4. Can event tech lend a hand?

Gone are the days where we need print outs of presentations, leaflets and agendas. Investing in event technology such as apps and RFID badging eliminates the need for printed copies.

5. What can we do with the leftovers?

Whether its food, stationery, furniture or props, there is an organisation that will be happy to take any unwanted items. We contact local shelters, schools and charities in advance of events and arrange for any remaining items to be collected or delivered.

Start the dialogue with your key partners early on, challenge the current practices, and if necessary, focus on easy to implement solutions. It may not happen immediately but by engaging and educating our partners and stakeholders we can all help to make that necessary change.