Learn how to make your events and programs more sustainable.
- Establish specific sustainability goals for the event. Here are some to get started: waste minimization; easy accessibility for participants.
- Make food sustainable (local, healthy, fresh and plant based).
- Ask the caterer to supply composting; otherwise, contact R5.
- Develop partnerships with relevant campus departments, including Buildings and Grounds Maintenance, the Sustainability Office, Cornell Dining / Cornell Catering and R5 Operations/Cornell Recycling early on in the planning process.
- Create a plan – Develop a planning timeline and use this checklist to consider outreach and communication, location of the event, energy use, giveaways, transportation, food, waste, and clean-up in the initial phase of planning.
- Schedule your event at Scheduling@Cornell for event locations on Cornell’s campus. Be sure to include sustainability goals.
- Designate a green coordinator – All members of the planning committee will need to be involved in the efforts to create a sustainable event but establishing a point person to coordinate recycling and composting efforts will ensure successful implementation of the plan.
- Confirm vendors – After developing the green plan, the coordinator can select approved vendors and event supplies that fit sustainability goals.
- Create a website for the event and consider using online registration to limit paper use.
- Use online advertising and social media to promote event, instead of printed materials.
- E-mail fliers over listservs.
- Reuse banners.
- When printing is unavoidable, use responsible printing techniques:
- Use double-sided printing for promotional materials and handouts.
- Use recycled paper and soy-based inks.
- Avoid laminating and keep your signs and posters recyclable.
- Provide reusable name badges.
- Communicate the sustainability efforts – Inform attendees, exhibitors, and speakers of sustainable event standards.
- Promote waste reduction efforts with well-labeled signs located by compost, trash, and recycling bins. Find downloadable signs and posters here.
Where & When
- When choosing a time and place for the event, try to use rooms that are energy efficient and let in natural light.
- Cornell has many LEED-certified buildings, including Weill Hall, Alice Cook House, Martha van Rensselaer, the Physical Sciences Building, Cornell Plantations Visitor Center, and Milstein Hall.
- If the event involves multiple locations, ensure they are within a walkable distance of each other to limit car travel.
- If participants need accommodations, recommend hotels that offer recycling and re-use programs.