Comparing CDC Guidelines to Event Sustainability Practices

Can you plan a sustainable & safe event? The answer is yes! The MeetGreen sustainability experts compared event sustainability guidelines against projected or potential COVID-19 impacts as we know them to date from the CDC. Fourteen out of the sixteen guidelines are “all clear” to include in your planning. While the other two guidelines can be included, we do recommend you “proceed with caution”. The sixteen areas of planning  sustainable & safe events we looked at include:

Ask for recycling at the venue


Ask for Recycling at the Venue

Recycling bins reduce the amount of secondary separation in municipal systems and stock supply chains.

Request no individual bottled water be served

No Bottled Water

Request no individual bottled water be served

Bottles are only as safe as the last time it was touched or surface disinfected.

Ask for towel reuse program


Ask for towel reuse program

Reusing your towel and linens limits potential points of transmission by reducing outside contact and saves water.

Ask for all condiments in bulk


Ask for all condiments in bulk

The CDC recommends limiting shared surfaces touched. It is possible a condiment dispenser could carry more risk than disposable packets.

Leftover Food Donations

Leftover Food

Request leftover food be donated

Presently there is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted by food. Event food donation is critical for supplying local food banks.

Request Water Glass Not Be Pre-filled

Water Glass

Request water glass not be pre-filled

What better way to decrease water waste and improve attendee safety than filling your own glass of water as needed?

Request Reusable Service Ware

Service Ware

Request reusable service ware

washed plates would be equal to or safer than most disposal scenarios, as each would be handled at a minimum prior to use.

Ask for Electronic Signage

Digital Signage

Ask for electronic signage

Using electronic signage not only reduces material waste, it is one less physical point of contact for shipping, installation, and disposal.

Ask About Sustainable Local Food

Local Food

Ask about sustainable local food

Sourcing food locally is a best practice with numerous social and environmental benefits under almost all circumstances.

Reusable Signage


Reuse signage

Signage would be handled under either scenario: whether single-use or when saved for reuse. Storage does not pose an increased health risk.


Printed Material

Reduce printed material & use recycled content

Reducing the use of materials on the front-end results in reduced risk and opportunity for possible contamination.


Conference Swag

Reduce conference swag

Source reduction continues to be the most effective for limiting exposure and transmission of COVID-19 and it can save carbon too.



Minimize packaging

Minimizing packaging reduces the downstream effects of high volumes of both wrapping and packaging waste handled by venues, haulers, and recycling facilities.


Leftover Materials

Find a donation stream for leftover materials

While CDC guidance suggests that risk is minimal for transmission via surfaces, enhanced measures like wiping down donations, may further mitigate risks.


Back of House

Attend back-of-house tour

Conducting a back of house tour will help you observe and verify that safety and sustainability measures have been implemented to the highest degree.



Sustainability Communications

The majority of MeetGreen’s sustainability practices are not impacted by COVID-19. Continue your sustainability efforts and communicate both safety & sustainability.

A Quick Reference for Sustainable & Safe Events

The MeetGreen sustainability experts compared event sustainability guidelines against projected or potential COVID-19 impacts as we know them to date. Download our infographic to see how you can plan your next in-person or hybrid event safely and sustainably.

Download Infographic

Talking Through Sustainable & Safe Events

Safety Event Snapshot

Do you want to learn more about event safety? We have a resource for you! Our “Safety Event Snapshot” newsletter will bring up to date newsworthy items to keep you informed on event safety.

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