Eco friendly centerpieces
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5 Ways to Make Your Events More Sustainable

April 20, 2017

Sustainable Event Ideas for your Next Party

Parties and events produce a lot of waste. According to Meeting Professionals International, 18 million events and meetings are organized in the U.S. every year, which represents $280 billion in spending and $66.8 billion in labor income.

But how many of us stop to think about the impact of those events on our environment?

Haley Lertola does think about this. We recently interviewed Haley about her company Detroit Cultivated for our April issue. She thought about it so much throughout her 10 years of planning corporate events, it inspired her to start a business — a company dedicated to producing sustainable events.

“One night, at the end of the largest event production project of my career,” Lertola says, “I walked out the back door of the venue and as far as my eyes could see were heaps of waste. There was decor, flowers, food … In our desire to come together and celebrate, we are unintentionally causing destruction to our planet. I realized that my ideals did not match my professional actions.”

So, taking a page out of Haley’s book, here are 5 ways to make your next event more sustainable and you can enjoy your celebration knowing you’re helping to eliminate the waste polluting our environment.

             1. Source local food

Image via Getty Images / iStock

  1. Work with a chef or restaurant who sources as much of their food from local farms and food producers as possible. You can also have fun playing around with your menu to take advantage of seasonal produce.
  2. 2. Donate leftovers to a local food bank or shelter

  3. Sustainable events

    Image via iStock

  4. There are food pantries and shelters in almost every city. Look up a local food pantry or nearby shelters close to your event location and make arrangements to have leftovers picked up or dropped off. This ensures your leftover food will be eaten by people who need it instead of being thrown away.

       3. Use plants that can be planted or taken home by guests instead of flowers

  1. Image via Getty Images / iStock

  2. Succulents or even herbs like lavender can make incredible centerpieces or party favors, that will live a long life beyond your event!
  3. 4. Use reusable or biodegradable party decor, favors and serve ware

    Eco friendly party decor

    Image via ecopartytime.com

    Eco friendly party supplies

    Image via Eco Party Time

    Skip the trip to the party supply store and order products from companies like Susty Party and Eco Party Time. Trust me; you won’t have to sacrifice the look you are going for as they have all the products and styles you could ask for.


  4. 5. Hire a planner with sustainable practices in place

    Haley Lertola talks with a sustainable vendor. Photo by Marina Goldi

    For the bigger events where a coordinator and planner is necessary, work with someone like Haley from Detroit Cultivated who already has processes and practices in place to do this for you. Regular planners may have to spend a lot of extra time researching sustainable practices — and will end up charging you for it.


Do you have any other tips to make events more eco-friendly and sustainable? Comment below and share your tips and tricks.

For More Information about sustainable events and practices: 

About Haley Lertola
Detroit Cultivated
(313) 444-0432

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