5 ways to reduce, reuse, recycle at events

Recycle Week 2019 is on and the theme this year is: “Recycling. It’s in our own hands.” We couldn’t agree more! Recycling is part and parcel of our sustainability strategy. However, we think that prevention is better than cure. We try to reduce the number of items we purchase or reuse items before turning to recycle.

The event industry can be very polluting. Traveling delegates and single-use plastic can sometimes generate a huge carbon footprint and amount of waste. So, what can event professionals and venues do to minimise waste and improve recycling rates? Here are 5 ways to reduce, reuse, recycle at events.

Water bottles in the meeting rooms

1. One word: Refill!

With the threat of having more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, ditching plastic is more important than ever. We don’t provide plastic bottles anymore at Friends House. Water is served in glass bottles in our meeting rooms (and has always been). In the café, Belu glass water bottles are available to purchase. What’s more? We encourage our customers and visitors to use reusable bottles. We sell them in the café too. However, there’s nothing more frustrating than having a reusable bottle but nowhere to refill it. So, we have six refill stations in the venue. Our stations are listed on the Refill app.

Cardboard biodegradable take-away boxes

2. Cardboard takeaway boxes: cut plastic and waste reduction at once

At Friends House, we are committed to a zero waste to landfill policy. So, what’s better than reducing waste and plastic at the same time? We use biodegradable cardboard takeaway boxes in our meeting rooms and our café. Delegates and customers can take left-over food with them. And we even encourage them to do so! Bags made of recycled paper are also available.

Pads and Pens

 

3. Sustainable stationery for sustainable meetings

Deforestation is an important factor in climate change. We think that every little action counts when it comes to protecting the environment. We chose to provide stationery made of recycled paper and backboard in our meeting rooms. Pens are also made of recycled materials: plastic and cardboard.

Rawnola pot

4. The right cutlery matters

We only use stainless steel cutlery and ceramic plates for our events. We think this is more sustainable and provides a better event experience. In the café, customers who want to take away their food are offered wooden cutlery. They can throw it away in one of our many dedicated recycled bins in the café and venue.

Beehives at Friends House

5. Set yourself sustainability objectives

As an event professional, you need to set your green agenda. Where are your priorities? How can you measure results? We have a clear sustainability agenda at Friends House. It’s all set in our Sustainability Strategy Plan 2030. We also talk to our partners to come up with sustainability objectives. For example, we signed the MIA 20% less pledge. We are committed to reducing our use of single-use plastics by a further 20% by 2025.

The Light auditorium

6. Bonus: choose a green venue, choose Friends House!

Green venues should have a clear sustainability and CSR policy. Green certifications, such as Green Tourism, can also tell you how well venues are doing with their eco-friendly initiatives. Friends House is a Green Tourism Gold venue and is shortlisted for a Sustainability and CSR award at the London Venue Awards 2019. With us, events don’t cost the earth. Enquire now, for your next event, contact our Sales and Events Team on 020 7663 1100 or email events@quaker.org.uk.