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Running sustainable events

Kylie Hobday

Public events can produce significant amounts of waste material, much of which is potentially recyclable, including paper, cardboard, glass, metal, plastics and organics. Furthermore, event patrons are increasingly expecting access to recycling services at ACT events.
 

Event organisers can play a positive role in implementing and encouraging sustainable activities and behaviour, both at an event and in the broader sense of educating the public on sustainability issues.

Sometimes making your event more sustainable can seem too hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with a single initiative and work from there.
Things to consider:

  • Well managed recycling services can enhance the profile of your event and, as landfill charges continue to rise, you will also save money by maximising the material that you recycle. Aim to minimise waste at
    every stage of your event and encourage your event team to reuse and recycle wherever possible.
  • A large amount of the greenhouse gases emitted from your event will be generated by people’s travel to and from the venue, so it makes sense to think about how your patrons might arrive and
    provide information on greener options.
  • Research venues and select one that demonstrates sustainable practices.
  • Reducing energy and water consumption at an event will have a positive effect on our environment and save money. Try to educate your patrons on how much water they use – conduct an audit of your energy and
    water consumption to identify the areas that most need effort and attention for the following year.
  • Consider composting (water less) or low-flush toilet systems. If you are using generators, investigate using Bio-diesel or solar to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Making socially and environmentally responsible purchasing decisions for your event demonstrates to staff and contractors that you are serious about environmental responsibility. Purchasing is often one of
    the first tasks undertaken and therefore sets the tone for decision making across the whole event.

The ACT Government’s Actsmart Public Event program is a great way to get advice and assistance and best of all it is FREE and available to any public event in the ACT. These events can range from small to large – such as a
school fete, festival, show or sporting event.

Sign up to the Actsmart Sustainable Public Event program and you will be provided with access to advice and a wide variety of equipment, including water stations, signage, the Actsmart Public Event Sustainable
Events Guide and Checklist and other resources that will help you with every step of the planning process to assist with strategies to:

  • Reduce energy and water usage
  • Reduce waste and increase recycling
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Educate and raise awareness of sustainability issues to event patrons

For more information about the Actsmart Public Event program, visit www.actsmart.act.gov.au or contact the Actsmart Team via www.actsmart.act.gov.au or 13 22 81 (Access Canberra) to help make
your event a more sustainable and successful one.

ACTSmart

For more tips, information and resources visit the Actsmart Sustainability Hub www.actsmart.act.gov.au and follow us on: Facebook: Actsmart – Canberra Twitter: @SustainableCBR Contact number:13 22 81 Email:www.actsmart.act.gov.au
Actsmart – helping your business make changes for a sustainable future.

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