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Green Events Guide

Simple Steps with Huge Impact

For more information on sustainability at Swarthmore, including helpful waste sorting resources and guidelines, visit the Sustainability website.

Download a PDF of this information here.

This Green Events Guide provides information for event organizers to reduce the waste and carbon footprint of their events. 

Before Your Event

Advertising

  • Use digital communication ( social media or email) to promote the event. 
  • Communicate beforehand whether this is a green event or a sustainable event.
  • If you have to print materials, do so double-sided and on reused/recycled paper; otherwise, tell your guests to bring personal devices instead.
  • Choose sustainable and reusable decorations and signage for the event.

Booking YOUR LOCATION & GREEN ADVISORS

  • Book your events on Swat Central with the specific start and end times; heat and A/C schedules are based on those times.  
  • When booking space on Swat Central, request waste bins, especially compost bins, for locations where they are not normally available.
  • Request zero waste support from a Green Advisor by contacting zerowaste@swarthmore.edu.

Purchasing and Catering

  • Review the Sustainable Catering Guide.
  • Aim for a "plant-forward" menu.
  • Ask your caterer for reusable or compostable wares.
  • Have people RSVP ahead of time so you know how much food to order to reduce food waste at your event.
  • Request compostable utensils, plates, and cups from the catering provider or buy compostable tableware at the Swarthmore Campus and Community Store.
  • Ask guests to bring reusable utensils and mugs.
  • Use reusable nametags and decorations when possible.

During Your Event

  • Make sure waste receptacles are conveniently placed.
  • If not already displayed on waste receptacles, put up the College's newest waste disposal signage
  • Remind guests of sustainability intentions and announce this is a green event.
  • Explain to attendees how to sort their waste.
  • Collect name tags at the end for reuse.
  • Encourage guests to take leftovers with them and have a plan to deal with leftover food not taken by guests.

After Your Event

  • Check that guests have properly sorted their
    waste. Re-sort if necessary.
  • Turn everything off when not in use.
  • Send a thank-you note to guests letting them know how successful their waste reduction efforts were!
  • Post about your event on social media! Make sure to tag your friends.
  • Consider collecting data from your events, if possible.
  • Reflect on and make note of what worked well and what can be improved upon for next time!

If you have any questions or need assistance in planning a sustainable event, please reach out to: sustainability@swarthmore.edu or
space@swarthmore.edu.