Industry News

5 ways to reduce, reuse, recycle at events

Published: 02 Oct 2019

The theme for this year's Recycle Week was: “Recycling. It’s in our own hands” and we couldn’t agree more! Recycling is part and parcel of our sustainability strategy. However, we think that prevention is better than cure. We try to reduce the number of items we purchase or reuse them before turning to recycle.

The event industry can be very polluting. Travelling delegates and single-use plastic can sometimes generate a huge carbon footprint and amount of waste. So, what can event professionals and venues do to minimise waste and improve recycling rates? Here are 5 ways to reduce, reuse, recycle at events.

1. One word: Refill!
With the threat of having more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, ditching plastic is more important than ever. We don’t provide plastic bottles anymore at Friends House. Water is served in glass bottles in our meeting rooms (and has always been). In the café, Belu glass water bottles are available to purchase. What’s more? We encourage our customers and visitors to use reusable bottles. We sell them in the café too. However, there’s nothing more frustrating than having a reusable bottle but nowhere to refill it. So, we have six refill stations in the venue. Our stations are listed on the Refill app.

2. Cardboard takeaway boxes: cut plastic and waste reduction at once
At Friends House, we are committed to a zero waste to landfill policy. So, what’s better than reducing waste and plastic at the same time? We use biodegradable cardboard takeaway boxes in our meeting rooms and our café. Delegates and customers can take left-over food with them. And we even encourage them to do so! Bags made of recycled paper are also available.

3. Sustainable stationery for sustainable meetings
Deforestation is an important factor in climate change. We think that every little action counts when it comes to protecting the environment. We chose to provide stationery made of recycled paper and backboard in our meeting rooms. Pens are also made of recycled materials: plastic and cardboard.

4. The right cutlery matters
We only use stainless steel cutlery and ceramic plates for our events. We think this is more sustainable and provides a better event experience. In the café, customers who want to take away their food are offered wooden cutlery. They can throw it away in one of our many dedicated recycled bins in the café and venue.

5. Set yourself sustainability objectives
As an event professional, you need to set your green agenda. Where are your priorities? How can you measure results? We have a clear sustainability agenda at Friends House. It’s all set in our Sustainability Strategy Plan 2030. We also talk to our partners to come up with sustainability objectives. For example, we signed the MIA 20% less pledge. We are committed to reducing our use of single-use plastics by a further 20% by 2025.

6. Bonus: choose a green venue, choose Friends House!
Green venues should have a clear sustainability and CSR policy. Green certifications, such as Green Tourism, can also tell you how well venues are doing with their eco-friendly initiatives. Friends House is a Green Tourism Gold venue and is shortlisted for a Sustainability and CSR award at the London Venue Awards 2019. With us, events don’t cost the earth. Enquire now, for your next event, contact our Sales and Events Team on 020 7663 1100, email events@quaker.org.uk or make a booking enquiry here.
Posted by: Friends House

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