Planning Green Events

Resources for hosting your own green event, including signage for compost, recycling, and garbage containers, can be found here.

Photo by Meg Bodnar

Make “zero waste” your goal and you will be on your way to a greener event.


    A Green Event
  • Can cut your disposal costs in HALF by reducing the waste stream.
  • Generates less pollution by sending less trash off-Island to the incinerator.
  • Demonstrates your commitment to a more sustainable Martha’s Vineyard.

Planning your event

Designate a Coordinator

  • This will be your most important decision. A well-organized person with good communications skills is critical to the success of any GREEN EVENT.

Waste Management
  • Retain a waste hauler who clearly understands how to implement your program and can arrange for the proper recycling of materials.
  • Pick a Bin Design
  • Two-bin systems accommodate RECYCLABLES and TRASH. Three-bin systems accommodate FOOD COMPOST as well. Decide what your plan and your venue will accommodate.

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
  • Set rules for your vendors, making clear the “zero waste” goal. Direct them to find recycled and biogradable alternatives.
  • Don’t waste leftovers. Coordinate pickup; refer to website list of contacts.
  • Ensure that vendors recycle or carry out what they bring in.
  • Work with an Island farm willing to add the food scraps and other compostables to their compost pile. See the website for contacts.

Paper or Porcelain?
  • Advertise COMMUNITY POTLUCKS and similar gatherings as “Bring Your Own” basket with non-disposable place settings, water bottle and glassware.
  • If you choose disposable, use Biodegradable cornstarch based utensils and plates that can be composted.

  • A firm carry in carry out policy will reduce waste AND bring awareness to attendees on the importance of reusing.

Draw a Site Plan
  • Draw a map showing locations of collection stations. Strategically place stations in high circulation areas. Locate larger bins behind-the-scenes for consolidation.

Be Consistent
  • Make it easy for the user. Use consistent signage at all collection stations. Use your creativity to make signs educational and fun!

  • Assign people to monitor each collection station.
  • Ensure that waste and recyclables are placed in proper bins.
  • Empty and re-line bins frequently and move waste to consolidation stations behind-the-scenes.

Day of event
  • Be Prepared
  • Make sure vendors are with the program.
  • Arrange bins and signage well in advance of start.
  • Familiarize monitors with their assignments at the recycling stations.
  • Be prepared to move or add stations in
  • response to demand.
  • Keep notes as the event enfolds.

  • Clean up & Press
  • Clean up and consolidate all waste and
  • Recyclables into large bins for hauling.
  • Note quantities of each component of the waste stream.
  • Include these waste stats in any media reporting to gain interest and the positive exposure on Green Events!
Call us for more information at 508-693-9588