Office of Energy & Sustainability

Sustainable Events Guide

Silhouette of people meeting



  • Go paperless. 
    • Advertise your event online (distribute fliers by email and promote the event using social media).
    • Make agendas and other materials available electronically before and after the event.


  • Reuse. 
    • Use reusable name badges.
    • Create and laminate signs to use again for future events.
    • Reuse tablecloths and decorations.
    • Use reusable bowls and trays and possibly even plates.


  • Choose greener catering options.
    • Order food from businesses nearby to minimize resources needed to transport.
    • Provide buffet-style food choices rather than individually packaged items or order in bulk.
    • Serve finger food snacks to limit the need for plates and utensils.
    • Choose locally grown and/or seasonal produce, Fair Trade foods and beverages, vegetarian/vegan options.


  • Make recycling easy. 
    • Be sure that recycling bins are clearly visible next to garbage cans and are clearly labeled.
    • Assign the role of recycling coordinator. A person should be responsible for coordinating recycling and ensuring that recycling is done correctly.


  • Reduce waste.
    • Limit the usage of single-use utensils and encourage attendees to bring their own plates, utensils, bottles, mugs, or cups.
    • Avoid single-use cups and glasses by providing glasses for wine or beer in cans or glass bottles.
    • Provide beverage dispensers for water or other soft drinks and avoid buying small plastic bottles.
    • Avoid over-ordering by requiring event registration.


  • Recycle and manage waste sustainably.
    • Recycle what is not needed.
    • Take home leftovers or share them with neighbors or other staff. For bigger events, consider donating the leftover food to an organization.


  • Communicate. Tell your attendees about WCM’s sustainable efforts and explain what the institution wants to accomplish by going green.



For larger events:

  • Meet virtually if possible. 
  • Promote the use of public transportation and car-pooling or hire shuttles to transport participants.



Contact for help with your event.

Did you know

Diesel trucks carry Manhattan's garbage 7.8 million miles every year. That's the equivalent of driving more than 312 times around the Earth!

Office of Energy & Sustainability 1300 York Avenue, LC006, Box 14, New York, NY 10065