Why is it important?
Whether you are an eco-conscious business planning a corporate event or an eco-conscious couple planning a wedding, one of the first steps you can take when organizing your events is choosing a venue that shares your desire to protect the planet.
Event venues are commonly one of the worst offenders when it comes to the negative impact on the environment. On average, every event guest produces about 1 - 3 pounds of waste. Just think about that. A venue that averages 2-3 events per week with 100 guests per event generates 6 - 20 tons of trash per year! If a large portion of that trash is in the form of plastic cups & bottles, straws, food containers, disposable decor and party favors that is a huge impact on the environment. Remember, plastic never goes away, every piece of plastic ever made is still with us today.
As we learn more about the detrimental effects of plastic pollution on our marine environment, it’s more important than ever to incorporate sustainable practices into our lives and that includes choosing an ethical, eco-friendly venue when planning an event.
What makes a venue eco-friendly?
Organizing a sustainable event requires selecting a venue with a sustainability policy in place that puts protecting the planet and oceans above convenience and cost.
The Event Venue at Shreveport Aquarium is one of the few eco-friendly venues in the Arklatex region (North Louisiana, East Texas and southern Arkansas). The Event Venue holds the same high principles as the Aquarium and is passionate about protecting marine life, the environment, and our rivers, lakes and oceans. The Event Venue adheres to the following policies:
Single-use plastics No single-use plastics are allowed in the facility. This means no plastic straws, cups, eating utensils or to-go food containers. The Aquarium uses products that are either reusable or compostable, made from renewable sources.
Source Local When it comes to food, we are proud to say that our Chef uses seasonal and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible to perform his culinary art.
Décor The Event Venue offers a reusable décor package that guests can customize with their own organic and natural materials. No plastic glitter, confetti or balloons are allowed (sea turtles, birds and other wildlife mistakenly eat the balloons and/or become entangled in them). Anything that was once a part of a marine habitat is also not allowed (removing shells, starfish and sand dollars from their natural environment wreaks havoc on the ocean’s ecosystems).
Recycling The Aquarium disposes of waste properly by having recycling bins throughout.
Energy Efficient All of the lighting within the aquarium is LED (light emitting diode) which uses 70% less power than fluorescent fixtures. Low-flow restroom fixtures, high-efficiency HVAC systems and irrigation controls are additional ways we conserve resources.
What you can do on your end
Now that you know your venue supports the environment, what else can you do to reduce your carbon footprint:
Reduce paper Instead of notifying your guests with tangible invitations, send digital invitations ones or work with vendors who use recycled paper.
Event décor When it comes to event décor, choose wisely. Use reusable décor items or organic and biodegradable elements like fresh flowers, fruit, twigs and branches
Party favors Send guests home with potted plants or wildflower seed bombs as memorable souvenirs instead of plastic bags filled with disposable items.
Swag options Choose eco-friendly items: branded stainless steel pint cups, reusable bags, recycled cotton pouches, branded travel mugs or tumblers, reusable straws and more.
Transportation Plan some group transportation options to reduce your carbon footprint.
Menu Choose some vegan or vegetarian options.
Giveaways Include contributions to environmental or wildlife causes or charities and have a donation made in the prize winner’s name.
In conclusion, selecting an eco-friendly venue for your event not only reduces your environmental footprint but also sends a message to your guests, partners, and stakeholders that you care about the environment. By making sustainability a priority, you can ensure that your event leaves a positive impact on the world, and sets a good example for others to follow.
We are happy to talk about our eco-friendly venue practices and event booking options, so if you wish to know more, contact us or explore our website!