In this day of digital promotions, mobile communication and an all-around awareness of earth-friendly best practices, incorporating elements of green into your event is easy.
Here are a few eco-savvy ideas and sources to help win environmental thumbs up at your next gathering:
Tap into community programs such as the Living City Foundation to help rally the troops around good environmental practices and creating awareness through hands-on support. As the charitable arm of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the organization is designed to educate and connect Torontonians in supporting the natural setting we live in including offering environmental teambuilding and education stewardship activities such as river clean ups, tree planting and habitat building to protect wildlife. An excellent corporate social responsibility partner, the foundation is also a prime source for gift ideas that support and give back to our local nature.
Earth Message Keynote
Use the conference podium to inspire environmental awareness. Alex and Tyler Mifflin of the eco-adventure documentary series The Water Brothers deliver dynamic presentations while sharing their passion for water conservation. The duo, creators of the award-winning TVO series that heads into its third season this month, travels the globe exploring interactive, educational stories related to water-related environmental issues and solutions to preserve our most precious resource. The brothers are also the masterminds behind Quench, a downloadable app that connects reusable water bottle users to the closest source of free water refill locations.
Be one with nature. Surrounded by 200 acres of the Niagara Escarpment’s natural habitat and adjacent the Bruce Trail, the Ecology Retreat Centre in Hockley Valley near Orangeville, ON, is a tranquil setting for all kinds of events including corporate strategy planning sessions, teambuilding and meetings. Open year-round, and an advocate for good environmental practices, the centre accommodates groups of 12 to 70 with on-site lodging, dining and several meeting spaces such as the Creekside Room, a spacious light-filled room with fireplace and adjacent deck. Take advantage of soul-restoring activities and amenities such as meditative trail hiking, walking the ground’s elaborate stone-built labyrinth and gathering by the fire circle, perfect for team bonding.
Plant A Gift
For over a decade, Botanical Paperworks has been slipping Mother Nature a helping hand with its ever-expanding collection of beautiful seed paper stationery, invitations and gifts that, when planted, compost into the ground leaving the embedded wildflowers, herbs or vegetables to germinate and grow. Check out its latest nifty green product – seed bombs. A round moulded mix of clay soil and compost packed with wildflower seeds, the bombs or “green grenades” are armed and ready for guerilla gardening tossing wherever nature needs to grow. Promotional packaging includes nine seed bombs, available in a wide range of colours, cello wrapped with a custom imprint branded topper.
Fair Trade Blossoms
EcoStems, located in Corktown by the Distillery District, goes way beyond a promise to source and sell only local, fair-trade or organic flowers and plants. Being green for the full-service flower shop translates into a full commitment to eco-smart business practices including being on the green electricity grid, using biodegradable and recycled packaging, and offering a vase and container program that puts customers’ unwanted pots to reuse. Along with custom event and special occasion arrangements, EcoStems offers unique fair-trade gift items and décor plus a collection of vintage, industrial, repurposed and reclaimed furniture items and other oddities from Toronto’s sourceD & sAlvaged.
Stock the bar with drinkable options that promote local suppliers using organic growing and production practices. Southbrook Vineyards was one of Niagara’s first wineries to meet the stringent standards of organic and biodynamic viticulture. The winery’s 150-acre property is fully certified organic and loaded up with environment-friendly accreditations including Demeter, Pro-Cert Organic, Sustainable Winemaking Ontario, and Gold level of LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for their hospitality pavilion. A full range of award-winning wines including their signature fruit wines is available through the LCBO or direct from the winery.
Hearty Catering believes what you serve is a direct reflection on your environmental values. The Toronto-based caterer is committed to good eating practices that promote sustainable food systems by choosing local, organic, seasonal and sustainable produce and ingredients wherever possible to create special event, meeting and corporate menus. Along with its green food choices and kitchen production, the team’s business practices are certified by Coalition for Canadian Farm Animals, Local Food Plus and Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Food Service.
Help reduce the carbon footprint of event guests with Green Path Transfers and its local partner Eco Taxi, the city’s first all-hybrid taxi fleet serving the airport and corporate travels to and from events. The fleet comprises taxi-certified Toyota Prius Hybrids with room for three passengers and a van that can handle heavy equipment transport. Each Eco Taxi emits less than 50% of the carbon dioxide typically produced by other gas-guzzling and high carbon-emission cars. An online booking system makes reservations simple. A mobile booking app is coming soon.