Host a Green Event

Use our Green Events Checklist to help you plan your event to be green and hopefully save you some green!  


Use the Level 1: The Basics Checklist (PDF)

Recommended steps include: 

  • Ways to reduce paper waste 
    • Send invitations and accept RSVPs electronically. 
    • Post agendas and other on-site communications on projectors, white boards, or chalkboards. 
    • Avoid printed handouts when possible. 
  • Ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the event 
    • Choose a venue with sustainability features like energy efficiency. 
    • If ordering food, choose at least one plant-based option. 
  • Ways to reduce waste 
    • Avoid boxed meals and serve food in bulk to allow attendees to choose preferred food items and quantities. 
    • Avoid single-use plastics like bottled water and individual condiment packages. 
    • Buy reusable event items (e.g. decorations, event banners) and avoid buying junk swag to give out. 
    • If there aren’t any, put up waste, recycle and compost signs at your waste stations. 
    • Request zero waste food packaging (e.g. reusable or compostable utensils and plates) from your caterer or buy your own. Not sure how to buy? Check out these Sustainable Purchasing resources, or contact
    • Ensure your venue has sufficient waste, recycle, and compost bins for your event size. Not sure how to order more? Contact
    • If ordering food, use a registered caterer and right-size orders to avoid food waste (buy enough for 70% of registered attendees). 
    • Bring containers for attendees to take home leftovers, or contact a food recovery service at least 2 weeks in advance to arrange pickup. 

Ready to do more with your green events?

Level 2: Raising the Bar Checklist (PDF)

The Level 2 checklist adds additional steps on: 

  • Ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the event 
    • Encourage attendees to walk or take sustainable transportation to the event. 
    • Print any necessary handouts on post-consumer recycled content paper. 
    • For attendees that need lodging, provide options with sustainability features like LEED certification. 
    • If ordering meat, dairy, and seafood products, choose sustainable options (e.g. cage-free, range-free, humanely raised, sustainably harvested). 
  • Ways to reduce waste 
    • Before each meal or refreshment break, announce the location(s) of the compost and recycle bins along with any special instructions. 
    • Check with colleagues and other event planners for equipment and decorations you can borrow before buying something. 
    • Hire or recruit waste bin monitors to ensure proper waste sorting. For free waste sorting training to train the monitors, email
  • Ways to create norms 
    • Let your attendees know about your sustainability efforts and related benefits in your communications before, during, and after the event. 
    • Encourage attendees to bring their own reusable cups/mugs/utensils/food and use them during the event to reduce waste.