What Are Zero Waste Events And How You Can Organize One

Community events are always fun, even more so is preparing for it with your friends, neighbors and family members. A day out in the sun with fun and frolic, an entire day of relaxation – that is something everyone can use quite a few of. While all the fun in the sun is great, it is the aftermath of the event that does not look so appealing. Just take a moment to think about all the clutter that will be scattered across the area after the event. Heaps of paper plates, cups, cans and bottles – each one of those, whether recyclable or not, will be heading for the landfills, eventually clogging them up and harming the environment in more ways than one.


An event does not necessarily have to be this harmful and with a little more consideration on the organizers’ part, it won’t be. In order to avoid the accumulation of huge amount of waste, attention must be turned towards zero waste events. Zero waste events follow a sustainable practice of sending only a minimal amount of waste to the landfill. By planning ahead of time and making proper use of tools and services provided by local environmental centers, a zero waste event can be easily organized.

Your pre-planning considerations should cover points like:

• Are you aiming for a very zero waste, a moderately zero waste, or a minimally zero waste scale for your event? Choose the most feasible and appropriate option.
• What should be the desired outcomes for your event?
• Does your budget adequately support your commitments?
• Do you have enough staff and volunteers to manage waste, recycling, and compost?

Know that all of the waste at your event can be classified into three types of materials:
• Recycling: Mixed paper, aluminum cans, tin cans, and plastic water bottles.
• Composting: All food and drink and compostable food-ware which includes stuff made from plant based substances such as corn and potato starch, but looks just like traditional plastic or paper
• Landfill/Garbage: Stuff that cannot be composted or recycled, like plastic wrap or a regular paper coffee cup that someone brought with them from outside your event.

Note that an ideal zero waste event will minimize the waste production by using reusable durable food ware and reducing the use of paper by sending email invites and email flyers. Plastic wraps should be avoided as much as possible and paper wraps can be used as they are recyclable. Provide appropriate food servings to avoid wastage. Avoid individual drink containers and go for beverage stations with reusable/compostable cups. Use bulk containers for things like ketchup and sugar to avoid single-serving packets of products.

Make sure all the wastes go in the right bins and are properly hauled by the waste management brokers. At the event, you can also make an attempt to educate the attendees about the need and benefits of zero waste events and other environmentally responsible procedures.