The Value of Hiring a Green Event Planner


What does “green event planning” mean? It means that event organizers should take initiatives to avoid depletion and degradation of the earth’s natural resources.

Waste generated from parties and social events are often taken for granted.  Statistically speaking, each event produces major waste and leaves a large carbon footprint on our environment.  For example on average, a single guest discards 1.89 kg of waste per day, of which 1.16 kg is landfill materials. (http://eventmanagerblog.com)

Fortunately, there are few green strategies and guidelines to reduce solid waste and reduce costs as well. For example, The Best Management Practices Guidebook for Special Events, generated by the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc. (NERC), is focused on guiding event organizers on how to utilize recycled and recyclable resources to minimize and reduce cost of disposing waste.

The United States Federal Government has been actively participating in environment protection acts. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 states, “Federal agencies are required to systematically assess the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and consider alternative ways of accomplishing their missions, which are less damaging and protective of the environment”.  NEPA also states, “It is the government’s continuing responsibility to ensure that federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of their actions and decisions; federal government must use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of national policy to avoid environmental degradation, preserve historic, cultural and natural resources.”

Each agency designates a “responsible official” who must ensure that National Environmental Protection Agency issues are addressed as part of the agency’s rules and regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more wasted food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other solid waste, constituting 21.6 percent of discarded municipal solid waste. (https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/wasted-food-programs-and-resources-across-united-states)

There are many strategies to reduce waste and become cost effective. If each one of us follows the RRR rules – Recycle, Reuse, Reduce – we can create an revolution of green resources. Few RRR methods when it comes to events include:

  • Sending e-vites instead of printed invitations
  • Selecting venue that uses solar system and LED lightening
  • Using biodegradable plates and cups
  • Preparing meals according to the headcount of guests, as accurately as possible
  • Promoting carpooling
  • Using reusable silk floral arrangements events instead of fresh flowers
  • Discontinuing rubber balloons and utilizing recycled paper decorations
  • Using washable cloth table covers instead of the plastic ones

Maria Obeid, founder of Marmoura Event Planning, joined the few green event planners in Houston after 18 years of experience at Fluor’s Process Department.