Volunteers Going Green

Written by on 08-30-2010

Volunteers can make an environmental impact during an event. Here are a few ideas generated by event volunteer managers at two recent TRS workshops:

1. Ask volunteers to bring their own water bottle. Event must supply readily available water refill stations for this to be effective. (Saves $$)

2. Talk to your volunteer t-shirt vendors. Shirts made of recycled and bio-degradable materials are now readily available.

3. Go paperless. Volunteers can register online. (Saves $$ and time.)

4. Eliminate snail mail. Confirm volunteer schedules automatically online. Send waivers, maps and updates by e-mail. Most online registration systems have these features. (Saves $$ and time.)

5. Recycle volunteer credentials.

6. Create volunteer t-shirts that will be re-worn because they are clever and fit right! (Great event promo!)

  • The Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati has volunteer t-shirts are coveted. The printing is basic. They simply say “the Grunt Squad”.
  • No too tight or baby tees. Not a good look on the majority of the population.
  • Tight supply? Have a t-shirt trading table. If shirts don’t fit request a trade by size.

7. Set up volunteer car or shuttle pools online.

8. Establish a beautification program with the neighborhood surrounding the event facility. In the weeks prior to your event have volunteers plant trees, bushes or flowers. Ask the neighbors to join in and help with picking up trash. (Community spirit!)

9. Bring in fresh food for the volunteers. Ask vendors to eliminate wrappings and packaging as much as possible. (Healthy!)

10. Ask volunteers to help keep electricity use to what is required. Turn off lights when not needed.

Get your staff, sponsors and volunteers involved.
Ask for ideas on how to make your site/event more green!

The above recommendations are part of an article for an International Festival & Event Association magazine article, Volunteer Management Best Practices: Going Green (Part 4). The article was authored and owned by Florence May, President of TRS.

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