Often, the best ways to save the planet are to consider it in our daily lives. The same goes for the global event planning industry—it’s often the smallest changes that make the biggest impact. When the global events industry and sustainable tourism work together, they often yield great results environmentally and for better living conditions the world over. Here are some ways sustainable tourism can be featured in events around the world—for a healthier world:
1. Use recyclable materials
One of the easiest ways to make sure that an event isn’t causing too much waste is to consider using plates, cups, and utensils made of recyclable materials. A number of different cities throughout the United States, like in New York and California, are putting together events that include silverware with materials that are easily biodegradable. Items that can be recycled should also be considered during events, since large events tend to create a lot of waste after multiple meals. It’s a small adjustment, but it can mean saving the environment from tons of trash.
Even sporting events have jumped on providing recyclable items at events. A study from Advanced Flexible Materials showed that many participants are starting to seek out events that support the environment through their use of organic dish ware and composting.
2. Consider events based around volunteerism
Many companies are looking to combine these two popular activities in order to make a difference. With the rise of “voluntoursim,” there is now a wide interest in traveling to new places for events that help others. Putting together events that are centered around helping the local people (or animals, as well!) is a great way to bring awareness to some of the troubled locations in the world. Places where attendees can come and volunteer some of their time and skills, such as teaching English or creating a sustainable farm for residents of the area, have become hotspots for those looking to make a difference during their travels.
Volunteering is not only good for the destination and its surrounding areas, but it can also be a great way for individuals to improve their skills and build both professional and personal relationships, too. Idealist.org states: “Volunteering can be a great way to develop skills, learn more about career options, make friends, garner new professional contacts, get exercise, spend time outdoors/with animals/with kids, or even just shake up your routine.”
Raising awareness can be the first step to more conscious guests or those looking to help the world by volunteering their time and money.
3. Donate a portion of an event’s profits
Sometimes, a local organization knows what is best for a certain group of people or area than those throwing an event there. If you want to make a difference, it might be worth it to research which organizations have done good work where the event is being held and donate some of the profits from the event. SustainableToursim.net reports that the global travel and tourism industry brought in more than $1.4 trillion dollars—money that could be put toward sustainable uses and raising awareness about the impact the travel industry has had on the environment. Donations can be used for a number of different purposes, whether to help with the building of a new school, sanitation services, and much more.
It seems only logical that the global events industry and environmentalism should go hand-in-hand. One can only benefit from another, and by working together, they can create small changes that can directly affect the planet. When you attend your next event, be sure to look out for ways that sustainable tourism can be involved in your next event.
Written by: Alex Schnee