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How to Host Sustainable Gatherings

Last updated: June 14, 2024

Hosting a sustainable event is easier and more fun than you might think! Whether it’s a small gathering or a large conference, making eco-friendly choices can have a big impact.

In this article, I’ll share some simple tips and creative ideas to help you plan a fantastic event that’s kind to our planet.

From cutting down on waste to using local and sustainable products, let’s explore how you can host an event that’s both unforgettable and environmentally responsible.

Why you should listen to me: My name is Nick Gray. I’ve hosted hundreds of parties all over the world. After making it a habit, I can easily host a gathering and make new friends with no sweat. New York Magazine once called me a host of “culturally significant” parties.

What is a Sustainable Event?

So, what exactly is a sustainable event or gathering?

Think of it as hosting a party that’s kind to the planet, without sacrificing any of the fun.

Picture this: instead of piling up heaps of disposable plates and cups, you opt for reusable ones.

Swap out plastic straws for biodegradable alternatives or, even better, encourage guests to go straw-free.

And when it comes to decorations, why not get creative with items you already have or choose eco-friendly options like recycled paper or natural materials?

But sustainability isn’t just about what’s on the surface. It’s also about the choices you make behind the scenes.

That means sourcing locally grown or organic food and drinks, supporting local vendors, and minimizing waste wherever possible.

Tips on How to Make Your Event Sustainable

Here are some tips to throw a more eco-friendly event and reduce your carbon footprint.

Choose the Right Venue

Select a location that matches your sustainability goals. Look for venues with eco-friendly certifications or those that prioritize renewable energy and waste reduction.

You can also consider doing it outdoors or hosting your party at a park.

Hosting your event outdoors allows you to take advantage of the natural light, minimize the use of air conditioning or heating or other electrical appliances. This not only conserves energy but also saves you money — a win-win situation!

Go Plastic Free

We all know plastic is harmful. It’s made from stuff we can’t replace and ends up in our oceans if not recycled right.         

So why not go plastic free?

Use reusable glasses, metal or wooden utensils, and plates. You can also ask your vendors to use non-plastic packaging.

Ditch the Paper and Go Digital

Although paper is better for the environment than plastic, it still means cutting down trees.

Embrace technology by sending electronic invitations instead of printed materials. Not only does this save paper, but it also reduces transportation emissions linked with delivery.

Eco-Friendly Decor

If you have to use decorations, get creative with it!

Use sustainable materials like recycled paper, bamboo or reclaimed wood.

Consider using potted plants or flowers as centerpieces that can be repurposed or donated after the event.

Green Partnerships

Opt for organic, locally sourced ingredients for your snacks and drinks. Not only does it enhance sustainability but also brings delicious flavors to your event!

Work with eco-friendly vendors and partners who care about the environment. Choose companies that treat their workers fairly, support fair trade, and use methods that are good for the planet.

Instead of tossing any leftover food, consider donating it to a nearby food shelter.

Promote Environmental Friendly Transportation

Encourage your guests to carpool, bike or use public transportation to reduce carbon emissions from individual vehicles.

Provide information on alternative transportation methods and nearby parking options.

Water Conservation

Instead of those single-use plastic bottles, how about setting up some water stations with reusable cups or bottles?

Guests can fill up whenever they’re thirsty, and it helps cut down on unnecessary water usage. Easy peasy!


By following these eco-friendly tips when planning your event, you’re not just reducing your environmental impact, but also setting a great example for others.

Remember, every small step towards sustainability makes a difference!

So keep embracing eco-friendly principles and inspiring others to do the same.

Together, we can make a meaningful impact on our planet.

In my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, I provide helpful guidance on how to host a great party for any event. I wrote this book to support anyone interested in meeting new people.

When is your party? Send me an email and I will give you some bonus tips, including a pre-party checklist that you can print out. Plus, I’ll answer any question you have, free of charge. I love talking about parties, and I’m on a mission to help 500 people host their first party.

Leave a comment on this article here.

About the author

Nick Gray is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and in a popular TEDx talk. He sold his last company Museum Hack in 2019. Today he’s an expert on networking events, small parties, and creating relationships. Read more about Nick Gray here.

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