Monday, September 6, 2010

How to Green your Event

These instructions come from the MIIS Club Handbook, but they provide good suggestions for anyone putting on an event. I have altered them only slightly to remove the Club Event-ness of the original. Let me know if some of these suggestions are new to you!


Tips and resources to help make your event more environmentally friendly

In order to promote sustainability, where possible, all events should serve at least 50% plant-based food items. These are low on the food chain and require much fewer resources than animal-based food items. We also recommend that food be locally grown, organic, and minimally processed to promote more efficient resource use.


Make sure that event attendees have easy access to trash cans and recycling bins.


Your guests can easily bring a cup to your event as well. Not only will your event then produce less waste, but you will also save money by not purchasing disposable cups. Plus, everyone will know which glass is theirs.


Don‟t forget to turn off any lights or electronic equipment once you are done using them.


Some ideas for food items that meet the 50/50 criteria include:

Hummus and babaganoush spreads with crackers, pita, or bread

Snacks such as fruit, nuts, chips, salsa, and guacamole

Vegetable sushi rolls

Veggie burgers

Vegetable soups and chili without a cream base

Vegetable stir fries

Vegan salads such as pasta and bean salads

Vegetarian sandwich fixings, including baked tofu, avocadoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes

Vegetable or lentil curries


No need to go out and buy plastic plates and styrofoam cups for your event. Instead, purchase biodegradable servingware and reduce the amount of trash your event produces. For small events, check out Whole Food's selection of biodegradable servingware. For larger events, search for a green servingware provider, preferably local.

Friday, September 3, 2010

2010 Year of International Biodiversity

Now that I am in school at MIIS, in the International Environmental Policy program, I will be sharing tidbits that I learn at school.
Yesterday, for instance, I learned that 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. Did you know that? It was a date set out by the UN back when they thought, "sure, by 2010, we should have a lot of the biodiversity issues that we've created slowed or on the mend." In almost all the ways they measured success, the world has failed--it's just as bad, and often worse off than when they put forth the proposition that 2010 be the International Year of Biodiversity. A sobering example: 1/3 of amphibian species are threatened or endangered. I actually knew that, but what I didn't realize is that a whopping 70% of plant species are threatened or endangered. WTF! That's outrageous.
image from Prof. Langholz's lecture slides