Sustainability, why is it so hard?  

We’re doing our bit; we’re working as a team to develop solutions that make our events more sustainable. We’re working with suppliers to reduce the impact of our events. We explore how we can make transport to events carbon neutral, how the materials used in our badges can be sustainably sourced and responsibly recycled, we create sponsorship packages to offer digital branding to avoid single-use print and we work hard to repurpose event materials that could have another life following an event.

These are just a few examples of what we adopt as standard, but it’s tough. You just have to google ‘eco anything’ to be inundated with options on greener choices for anything you could ever need for an event, but hours and hours of research then have to go into finding out why it’s a greener choice, if it is in fact a more ecologically sound option and how the product can be recycled following its use. It’s no secret that words like eco, green, recycled, reduce, reuse are all buzzwords used to attract you and make you feel like you’re making the ‘right choice’ but where’s the resounding reassurance that it’s not just marketing and that there’s substance behind the wording?

‘Greenwashing’ is a term you might be familiar with; when information is provided about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound, but the information is an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that the products are environmentally friendly. It’s a minefield.

Sadly, if you’ve read this far hoping for some conclusion, I apologise – there isn’t one. This blog was fuelled by frustration and fatigue, why is it so hard to feel reassured that you’re actually making consciously sound decisions when it comes to purchasing and protecting the environment? We’re open to suggestions, we’re here to learn, we’re prepared to put in the time and effort to find the resolution and we pledge to make changes that don’t fall short – we just need the support from our network to help us on our quest.
It’s not all doom and gloom – there are many who are leading the way, there are free resources that exist to help you when you don’t want to contribute to landfill. Here’s a few that we use: is made up of more than 5,000 local town groups with over 9 million members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Membership is free, and everything posted must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages.
Facebook marketplace – if you have a facebook account this is a great way to find, sell and repurpose items that have otherwise served their purpose.
OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.
Magic Hat rescue surplus food destined for landfill. Their mission is to show you that this food should never have been wasted, and with a little love it can instead be transformed into fresh, colourful and delicious meals and drinks through their kitchen and market in Newcastle upon Tyne, an online shop and catering for events.
Shout out to the events industry – what can we do across our networks to make real, sustainable choices that make us feel good?