We care for our environment and specialize in sustainable event management. Please let us know if you have any sustainable request for your event or any specific interest that you care about, and we’ll be happy to implement it in your event.
Shaping the world we live in
Throughout event planning at Cottage Tent Event, our main focus lies on the following areas:
1. TRAVEL / TRANSPORTATION
This topic already shapes the pre-planning stage as it affects the selection of the event location, because we keep in mind every travel and transport aspect from in-person to online event, means of transportation for participants and staff as well as shipping of supplies. Therefore, with every project we consider the following aspects:
- Use video conferencing for planning purposes, whenever possible
- Select venues with easy access to public transport
- Provide easy information and maps to help facilitate usage of public transport
- Provide shuttle service when suitable to minimize individual travel
- Offer carpooling services for arrivals by car
- Incentivize eco-friendly modes of transport
- Choose event venues within walking distance of each other, when possible
- Choose accommodation options within walking distance of the event venues, when possible
- Use hybrid or e-vehicles to reduce emission, when possible
- Offer carbon offsetting options
- Select local suppliers, whenever possible
- Choose venues which offer many in-house services suitable for the event (e. g. catering, A/V, accommodation) to minimize transport requirements related to these services
- Pack any equipment (technical or other) efficiently to increase cargo capacity of shipping vehicle
- Avoid unnecessary shipping by inquiring about event equipment used by client’s before or after our event in the same venue, and booking/sharing equipment via same suppliers whenever possible
- Minimize return shipping by selling/donating as much as possible at the end of the event
2. USED RESOURCES / RECYCLING
For maximum benefit and least environmental impact, we consider and plan the following aspects in early planning stages, also to avoid additional costs which could occur by implementing these at a later stage.
- Opt for digital invitation, registration, and ticketing
- Use (existing, reusable) digital solutions for branding, signage, communication, whenever possible
- Create more minimalistic décor/staging solutions
- Reconsider all event items handed out before/during the event and reduce to essential items and give-aways
- Avoid (over-)printing and (over-)production whenever possible by providing material digitally or by handing out items to guests only when needed
- Encourage guests to bring their own material, such as writing material or bottles to refill
- Avoid single-use packaging and individual wrapping whenever possible by opting for bulk containers, ask suppliers to follow these guidelines
- Save costs by reusing or upcycling previous event items
- Opt for designs that avoid using dates or individual messages to reuse for future events
- Collect meeting collateral materials at the end of each event and reuse (name badge holders, pens, generic signage)
- Donate used materials to local community, charity groups, or as ‘thank you’ to involved stakeholders
- Ensure that the venue/caterer processes food correctly to donate leftovers to local organizations or disadvantaged communities, when possible
- Request vendors/venue to use reusable items, such as linen, china, water saving devices, etc.
- Recycle paper/cardboard, plastic, glass, and organic
- Implement visible, clear, and easy recycling options for attendees
- If necessary, use disposable plates, cutlery, and cups made of eco-friendly, compostable material
- Inform attendees about ‘green’ practices and how they can play their part to contribute to an eco-friendlier event waste footprint
It is quite difficult to control energy usage throughout an event because not many venues or vendors have reliable measuring systems in place. However, by adapting our choices in some items and choosing suitable suppliers we can have a great impact on the final energy consumption and save some money as well.
- Consult suppliers/venues and check ‘green’ alternative solutions (e. g. LED, energy-saving devices)
- Consider date and time of your event to reduce use of air conditioning or heating, when possible
- Ask venues to turn off heating during move in/out, and reduce lights to a setup setting
- Ensure all is switched off when not in use
- Select venues with good insulation
- Select venues with energy saving policies in effect
- Use solar-powered items, when possible
4. LOCAL RESOURCING
Purchasing eco-friendly items and hiring equipment from sustainable suppliers is one part of the sustainable supply chain. The other is to constantly adapt to new best practices and learn as well as educate along the way. We love to hear about new solutions, and consider the following aspects in the mean time.
- Resource as much as possible locally
- Benefit from knowledge of local suppliers regarding what is available, possible or not possible
- Reduce emissions with less travel of supply and delivery of local goods and services
- Consider collaboration with local partners/businesses for mutual benefit (e. g. reduced cost for material or labor for us, positive effect on the community for them), when possible
5. FINANCIAL IMPACT
While some eco-friendly measures may involve more costs, other measures result in saving money because processes are run more efficiently or production numbers are reduced to reasonable amounts. We ensure to do our best when negotiating for sustainable alternatives to get our clients the best solutions at the best price possible.
Sometimes it can be difficult to see the financial benefit right from the start because first time purchases of new eco-friendly material may cost more. However, over time, by reusing items again and again, the price per use is reduced significantly.
OUR OFFICE POLICIES
We embrace sustainability not only when working on event concepts, but also during our daily working schedule.
- We recycle resources in our office (organic, glass, recycling, and mixed materials)
- We switch off devices when not needed and use energy saving supplies, whenever possible
- We only turn on lights in rooms when required
- We open our windows in the mornings and close the curtains in the afternoon to minimize use of air conditioning and heating
- We use video conferencing to avoid unnecessary travel, whenever possible
- We use public transportation to do site visits, whenever possible
- We have a paperless office and work digitally
Why I care so much about sustainability and how I came to sustainable event management:
Being raised in humble circumstances, I learned early to value my belongings, care for them, and make them last. In fact, people would wonder if I ever touched an item because it looked brand new even years after. No, that is the result of appreciating what you have and not tossing it around to buy it new the next day. And if something gets broken, there’s no better feeling than to fix it and make it work again. Sometimes I’m astonished myself when I think back how long some items have been with me already. Most products are not made for single-use!
Being raised in an economy that offered everything one can desire – and very often very cheap – my basement filled up with every move I did over the years. In 2016, I moved to a neighborhood that had a tiny ‘exchange house’ on the square around the corner where you could bring items that you didn’t need but someone else might still enjoy. And suddenly I had the chance to reduce my belongings by giving them away to my community. I had kept items for years unused simply because they were ‘too good to be thrown away’. Slowly, I gave away more and more because I realized how many unused things cramped my flat and how happy they made others. Halfway into minimalism in 2019, I ever since reconsider every new purchase I make to bring only items into my life that I plan to keep for a long time to come.
Being raised in a country where recycling was always part of my life, I never had any trouble separating trash correctly or feeling too lazy to do so. It comes absolutely naturally to me. Even more so, it feels weird and terrible when I cannot separate paper from plastic from organic trash and have to throw everything in only one bin. Or learning that even though I separate trash in differently colored trash bags, they will be collected and end up in the same landfill. So sad, really sad.
I love traveling. But I don’t love sailing through polluted oceans nor visiting beautiful natural sights littered with cans and bottles. After having seen plastic leftovers in the middle of deserts, far away from any civilization, I realized even more so what an impact we’re leaving with everything we do.
Therefore, with my event business Cottage Tent Event, I want to raise awareness among my clients and suppliers, and show them how to do something green today by getting inspiration from our Sustainability Policy.
For a more respectful treatment of our environment!
(Founder of Cottage Tent Event)