Group of people at an outdoor festival

Sustainable Event Planning Trends: A Green Vision for the Future

Planning an event can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences ever. Planning that event sustainably with a focus on it being green makes it more so in both ways.

What should you know about sustainable event planning?

More and more people, especially event organizers, have begun considering environmental concerns when planning events. This comes with a movement toward making various other aspects of life sustainable, too.

More and more people and organizations keep their carbon footprint in mind and use sustainable practices when planning eco-friendly events. While this is a recent trend in the event industry, it’s not likely to go away any time soon.

What are some of the things you should consider when planning a sustainable event?

Zero Waste

The closer your event gets to zero waste, the better. The more you can encourage waste reduction at the event venue, the less you’ll have to clean up. You can do this at your event by making recycling and composting easy and choosing eco-friendly materials whenever possible.

This includes biodegradable or reusable materials for dining, decorations, event marketing, and more. Many green event planners have also paired with local waste management companies to ensure the proper disposal of items after the event. 


If food is part of your event, you’ll want to consider choosing locally sourced food and drink options whenever possible. If possible, it’s also a good idea to choose organic foods.

This allows you to provide the healthiest food possible to event attendees while supporting local farmers and reducing the carbon footprint of transporting your food.

Focusing on locally sourced catering for your event is a great way to plan a community-friendly event. 

Green Transportation

In addition to transporting food, consider how you can make all transportation associated with your event sustainable. Are people traveling to your event?

Encourage them to do so in the greenest way available to them. Offer benefits for carpooling or using public transportation for event attendees.


Most events require a significant amount of energy to run. This includes sound, lighting, and other technological needs. Choosing renewable energy sources to power your event is a great way to make it as green as possible.

This reduces the carbon footprint of your event while also allowing you to promote the use of clean energy and showing people it’s possible to accomplish on a large-scale level.

If event attendees see that using green energy options for large events is possible, they’ll feel confident looking for ways to upgrade their personal energy consumption. 

Event Materials

Creating a sustainable event starts during the planning phase. Upgrading to digital event materials sets the tone right out of the gate. Everyone will know from the start that the event will be green.

Digital event materials, including invitations, brochures, flyers, and agendas, reduce the environmental impact of your event. You can use a variety of digital tools, including digital signs, social media ads, event websites, and mobile apps, to share news about your event. 

Carbon Offset Programs

If you really want to plan sustainable events, consider how you can use carbon emissions offset investments. More and more event planners are beginning to invest in these programs that support environmental projects, including:

  • Waste management
  • Renewable energy
  • Reforestation

This “offsets” the impact of your event indirectly. A good approach would be to get your event to 90 percent sustainable. Then, you can donate 10 percent of the profits from your event in recognition of the 10 percent of the event that couldn’t be green.

Why Is It Important to Plan an Event Sustainably?

Some event planners might consider suggestions to make their events more sustainable and wonder why it’s worth their time or money.

Why invest time and money in doing so?

Events, especially large ones attended by many people, significantly impact the environment and contribute to carbon emissions, pollution, and the depletion of natural resources.

Planning sustainably also allows you to conserve resources – something that could save money in the long term when planning events. Using energy-efficient lighting, water supplies, and other materials is often less expensive than going the traditional route.

Another example of how green planning helps you save money is incorporating digital invitations instead of paper. You can use the money you save on printing and mailing to support sustainability initiatives.

Another reason to consider event sustainability is because it helps your business or organization’s reputation and social impact. More and more consumers are considering whether or not the companies they do business with care about the environment.

Green planning shows customers and event attendees that you care about issues that are important to them. You might even inspire other event planners to implement green practices for their next event.

Finally, you might want to consider planning a sustainable event because you’re required to. Many states and countries have implemented regulations and guidelines for event planners to follow.

Even if your area hasn’t done so yet, it’s likely coming, so you might as well begin exploring your options now. Sustainable event planning is a responsibility to embrace.

Incorporating these sustainable event planning trends into your next event will contribute to a better planet and create a positive and memorable experience for all attendees.

If you’re interested in a sustainable way to provide water to event attendees, we can help. Contact us to learn more about sustainable practices to keep your next green event hydrated.