The #1 Question
The #1 question we received from the last Serendipity Catering newsletter was:
"What exactly is a 'green event'?"
A popular definition for a "green event" is: an event that does not harm the environment or negatively impact the environment where the event takes place. A "Green Event" does not cause undue stress on the local ecology.
I like that definition, but I also know that doing "no harm" to the environment, or having a "zero-impact event" is practically impossible. So, my answer to "what exactly is a green event" is: an event that has been carefully planned out and has reduced waste (by first and foremost not creating it in the first place), encouraged eco-education of its guests, and brings all available energy efficiency resources to the table.
Proper planning -- for example, having an accurate guest count by using electronic invitations & the use of affordable composting services -- makes the difference between trash cans full of uneaten food and relatively little food waste in compostable bins. Food waste that goes to "the dump" does not break down like food in a commercial composting facility. Food needs light, air and "turning" to breakdown into soil enriching compost. Landfills are designed to prevent such a breakdown from occurring.
Events are all unique. They have unique circumstances, budgets, purposes, etc. Planning is the key to ensuring there is no undue harm brought to the environment. For example, something that gets overlooked as a "green item" in planning an event --plan parking services for guests, instead of allowing a back-up of cars waiting to find a parking spot. Many event planners don't consider this point as having anything to do with the "green" nature of their event. However, check out this information:
"Idling cars are a major contributor to urban air pollution. Motor vehicle emissions account for approximately 77 percent of the carbon monoxide (CO), more than 35.6 percent of the volatile organic compounds (including hydrocarbons) and forty five percent of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) in our nation's air. The American Lung Association has cited vehicle exhaust as a prime contributor to respiratory problems. Make a commitment not to idle for more than 10 seconds and you'll improve your community's health, save gas, save money, and help reduce global warming gases." ~Stanford University School of Earth Sciences
My Passion: Green Event Planning
I am the "Green Event Specialist" here at Serendipity Catering. I have a Masters degree in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. I worked as a renewable energy marketing specialist for the US Department of Energy in the Clinton Administration. I am so fortunate to have my education and experience under my belt to bring to the event planning industry. My passion for reducing waste, incorporating alternative energy into everyday activities, and using energy efficient technology in new ways, has been my passion for two decades. Now, I get to bring that passion to my other passion: event planning. Call me to discuss your next event, big or small. I am sure we can find ways (sometimes surprising) to "green up" your event. I guarantee the experience will be gratifying for both you and your guests.
Feel free to send me your green events questions, tips, or interesting links. [email protected] I would love to hear from you (even if it is to tell me to write shorter letters)!
Co-Owner/Green Event Specialist