Where to start with sustainable events  

Can I have a sustainable event? 
What does it even look like? 
Does sustainable mean I’ll pay more? 
Where do I start making my event sustainable? 
These are just some of the questions I get asked about when asked about the ever increasing question's around sustainability & having an event.We're going to have a brief look at these points & in later blog posts we’ll delve into the detail further. 

Lets Start By What Inspires You  

So in short the answers are absolutely you can! 
What it looks like is totally up to you & it definitely doesn’t have to cost you more. 
So how do you go about it? 
Inspiration is all around us but sometimes filtering it out can be the hard part. 
I always ask potential clients about what they like doing, eating, colours they like as well as what they’re not so keen on in a consultation. I encourage them to bring along any ideas in whatever form they have or would like to. For some it’s a goal they’d like to achieve particularly business clients. This helps to build a guide & form ideas as to what’s important, what are the must haves to maybes & no way. 

Where To Start 

You can gather your ideas as notes in a notebook, adding recipes, images from magazines even leaflets! 
Keep petals from flowers or even leaves. 
Swatches of fabric & ribbons, photos - the possibilities are endless. 
You may prefer to do this on a board often referred to as a mood board or even putting some things together in a box. 
For those who are more digitally minded, sources such as Pinterest or Instagram where you can save images on a board or a file to refer back to. 
Even putting your ideas together on tools such as Canva. 
So you have your inspirations. Ideas, loves & maybe even things you hadn’t thought of! 
This is when you start to filter through all those inspirational ideas that you’ve put together. You’ll find that there are patterns of ideas. This could be colours, foods, certain looks & from here you’ll build a clearer picture of what you want. 
You may have even had some clear ideas from the outset & this information gathering will help you hone down those ideas. 

What About Sustainability? 

When it comes to sustainability this can mean different things to everyone & I would go with what this means for you. This could be from buying a pre worn outfit, using & hiring vintage pieces to collecting bottles & jars to use as décor for example. Borrowing items to making some things yourselves. How about even making it part of the event itself if appropriate? 
It could even be where you have your event. From your own back garden to the beach or a local venue. Some places such as cafes & bars are also available to hire. Just ask. I know of some independent shops that would also make great event spaces for some events. 
Small things can not only make a difference to the impact we make but can make your event memorable for many reasons. 
At our own wedding it was the vintage china, selection of various bottles & jars which we used for flowers & our confetti cones that we made out old music scores that were a big talking point & became the catalyst for our business!! 

Budget & Cost  

When it comes to cost, always have an idea of what you’d be prepared to pay. Do some research so you have an idea of what to expect. Some things may cost more than you anticipated so this is where you look at your must haves, maybe etc. It could be for example, a rare piece of vintage jewellery, a set of decanters or even hiring a band. If its your must have you can look at other areas where you may be able to reduce. Maybe you won’t have canapes, you’ll have your event on a different day of the week, you’ll look at your guest list & rather than invite everyone you’ll decide to invite those that are part of your lives rather than a relative or friend of a friend just because someone else has said you must invite them. Remember it’s your event not theirs! Your costs will also have a 
sustainability impact not just on your purse strings. 
If you’re a business, you’ll look at maybe joining up with another business to share the costs or doing a collaboration in which both parties can benefit. Be open to ideas & possibilities; you’ll never know where it can take you. 
Be clear about the whys & how’s. Support small businesses where you can & enjoy it. 
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this introduction to sustainable events & look forward to sharing some ideas of how to introduce sustainability into your events & who knows, maybe beyond into your every day living. 
Best wishes 
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On 18th December 2021 at 16:54, Sue wrote:
Given me some great ideas
On 6th December 2021 at 14:51, Maria wrote:
It's given me some great ideas on where to start planning for my mums 80th birthday!
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