Title: University of Florida sustainable event planning guide
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089905/00002
 Material Information
Title: University of Florida sustainable event planning guide
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Office of Sustainability, University of Florida
Publisher: Office of Sustainability
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089905
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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University of Florida

Sustainable Event Planning Guide

Thanks for your commitment to sustainability at UF!
Sustainability can be defined simply as meeting contemporary '
needs without compromising the ability of future generations to
satisfy their needs. Any event on or off campus can be made more ;.
sustainable. .....,
The following guide should help get you started in planning ". I
your event. You can find further resources at the UF Office of
Sustainability's website at mtljlNb IIUA ..
Incorporating sustainability into campus events not only saves resources for the university, it also sends an
important message to colleagues, demonstrating that "green events" are the norm, not the exception. You'll
impress those involved, demonstrate a commitment to sustainability to our campus community, and educate
your participants.
The planning checklist at the end of this guide will also help you in setting priorities. Just remember,
implementing even a few of these ideas will make a difference!

-0b S2r~d... pg. 2
Involving Members of Your Planning Committee
Choosing Your Meeting Site(s)
Publicizing Your Intentions

anLmlg0p R ... pg. 3
Choosing a Venue
Indentifying Presenters
Publicizing and Beginning Registration
Preparing Event Materials
Choosing Food Services

SThNo Wt... pg 4
Conserving Energy
Educating Participants
Recycling and Managing Waste
Evaluating and Celebrating Successes

aC1ldb I Iw~M~dB aItW ... pg. 5

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University of Florida

Sustainable Event Planning Guide

Getting Started

1) Involve Members of Your Planning Committee
Show your commitment to inclusion and collaboration by inviting
wide participation in planning the event. Together, you can set
goals for the event and define a method for measuring whether
you've achieved them. This will increase your chance
of getting creative and unique ideas. You'll also get more
buy-in for shared goals and more volunteer commitment.

2) Choose Your Meeting Sites
Choose meeting sites that are easily accessible for everyone
involved in the planning process. If meeting on campus, choose a building that is within easy walking or
biking distance from planning committee members' offices.
If meeting downtown, send everyone instructions on how to take WTS go-rts.com) or organize your own
carpool from campus.
The inObi lUMi Dilat the J. Wayne Reitz Union (union.ufl.edu/eventservices) is a convenient place to book
a centralized meeting room.

3) Publicize Your Intentions
Let everyone know about your commitment to sustainability! Include information about your sustainable
initiatives when you send outreach materials or communicate with potential presenters, sponsors,
participants, or contractors.
When publicizing your event, use several strategies to reduce waste:
Z Choose recycled paper for printed materials
Z Replace full brochures with small postcards or even better, e-mail notices
Z When mailing information, print addresses directly onto postcards or brochures, as opposed to using
stickers or labels
Z Leave dates off of signs and displays so they may be reused for future meetings and conferences
Z Use e-mail and the Internet for publicity

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University of Florida

Sustainable Event Planning Guide

Planning Your Event

1) Choose A Venue
Choose a site near public transportation. The Reitz Union has
frequent bus service and a hotel, so participants can attend without
using personal vehicles. Contact the information desk early on to
book the rooms you'll need. Publicize all options for public transit
on your website and materials. Arrange for private bus shuttles to
the location if off-campus by calling RTS at (352) 334-2600.
If you are planning an event off-campus or are using off-campus
vendors, talk to management about sustainable practices. They
may be able to improve site performance before your event.
Questions include: How do you conserve energy and water? Do you recycle and minimize waste? Do you use
recycled and/or reusable event materials?

2) Identify Presenters
Look for local experts to use as presenters to highlight Gainesville and UF initiatives. If you are bringing in
presenters from a distance, determine whether they can book other engagements in the area. This will make
the trip more worthwhile and you may be able to share travel expenses. Consider offsetting the carbon
footprint of speaker travel through www. flyneutral.org. Explore the possibility of creating a live webcast for
some or all presenters. Organize biographical information and presentation materials through e-mail.

3) Publicize and Begin Registration
For registration and publicity, utilize online communication as much as possible. If you need help organizing
online registration, you can contact UF TREEO Center's roeI ftrtg at
www.treeo.u fl.edu/services/GreenConf.aspx.

4) Prepare Event Materials
Carefully consider which materials must be included in a packet and print these double-sided. You can post
the rest online. For nametags, request that participants bring holders from previous conferences or request
for them to be returned at the end of your event. Use dry erase boards with non-toxic markers as opposed
to flip sheet pads for signs and presentations.
Ask participants to be prepared with their own pen and paper for notes, as opposed to setting places with
full pads and new pens. Use reusable cups or water bottles that can be taken home by guests or reused at
future events. For table decorations, use potted plants (or other unique reusable items) as opposed to cut

5) Food Services
If your event is on campus, you can use CjggCgpa (gbsd.ufl.edu/dining/cfc) through Gator Dining.
Contact Classic Fare about organic and local food menu options. Carefully estimate your food amounts to
minimize the amount of wasted food. Classic Fare offers low-waste service options with reduced disposables
and packaging and Gator Dining works with local organizations to donate unused food to local donations
and shelters.

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University of Florida

Sustainable Event Planning Guide

At the Event

1) Conserving Energy
Look for naturally lighted rooms and plan for appropriate times
of the day to conserve energy. Turn off projectors in between
presentations to save energy and increase the life of the bulbs.
Create a forum on the event website where out-of-town
participants can contact each other to arrange carpools. Groups
like eRideShare.com can coordinate this service.
Choose an event hotel close to your event site and provide
information about public transportation or a shuttle if necessary.

2) Education for Participants
Announce your goals during opening and closing speaking events and ask for assistance in meeting those
goals. Report your accomplishments at the end of the meeting or conference in the form of statistics on
energy reduction, waste avoidance, and other sustainability objectives attained.
Educate participants on any extra efforts the event site has made to be more sustainable.

3) Recycling and Managing Waste
Place recycling bins in prominent locations at the event site. During announcements, remind everyone to
recycle and explain where this can be done. On campus, you may need to provide your own containers and
then drop off materials in the recycling bins around campus.
For more information, contact Physical Plant's Solid Waste Coordinator, a amo[damorris@ufl.edu).
Collect food-waste in a bin or W m 1oflPIr -- (see livinggreen.ifas.ufl.edu/waste) or contact
rl.AMlM [acwilkie@ ufl.edu) for more information on large-scale composting.
Some important questions to ask when purchasing disposable dinnerware for your events:
Z Are the products made from recycled and/or renewable resources?
Z Where were the products produced?
Z How easily will they biodegrade once they have been disposed of?
Cost is also an issue, of course, and some meeting planners have found that 100% compostable dinnerware
is feasibly priced.
Find reused event materials including paper, pens, and other office products. Check the website at
fa.ufl.edu/am/surplus for used electronics and other supplies. For new materials, follow departmental
channels and request options made from recycled materials.

4) Evaluate and Celebrate Your Success!
Conduct an online survey asking participants to evaluate the sustainability initiatives and their success. You
can display these numbers on the website after your event.

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University of Florida

Sustainable Event Planning Guide

Sustainable Event Checklist

Waste Prevention and Reduction
O Post materials on a website and print only as needed
O Print necessary materials and handouts on double-sided
7 Provide receptacles for paper and container recycling
O Provide only reusable or compostable beverage containers,
silverware, and plates
7O Provide reusable containers for water and coffee
O Serve accurate amounts of food in order to avoid unnecessary
O Request that participants bring name badges or provide reusable badges and invite guests to bring
reusable event bags from previous conferences

Energy Conservation
O Use natural lighting for exhibit and meeting areas
O Publish local public transportation routes
O Provide shuttle and carpool options from off-site hotels

O Select products that can be reused
O Use recycled paper for materials and handouts

Participant Education
O Encourage participants to reuse (again!) bags and nametags at other events
O Encourage recycling during the event
E Announce goals and achievements at opening and closing ceremonies


Additional Resources:
Office of Sustainability TREEO Center
su0IbKluf7e* wwWhaI l s-id va.eensmipr
Public Surplus GreenBiz Sustainable Event Planning

Sustainable Event Planning Guide by UF Office of Sustainability

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