Green Event Details: Sustainable Design Awards

sustainable_salad_2011If you're a green organization, it goes without saying that you'll be especially considerate of the environment when planning any special events. We asked our events manger, Nina Storm, for the scoop on the green event details of our 12th Annual Sustainable Design Awards in New York City. FOOD

General green event rules: Serve organic and sustainable food. Whenever possible, use produce from local farmers and merchants.

Tonight's event: The menu included items from local Long Island farms, including vegetables provided by Phillip A. Schmitt & Sons Farms (Riverhead, NY) and Satur Farms (Cutchogue, NY), and pumpkin from McKay Farms (Aquebogue, NY). The Atlantic Halibut was sourced from Sambro, Novia Scotia (Chebukto Peninsula, Halifax Region).

DRINKS

General green event rules: Serve organic alcohol, juices, and soft drinks and wines that are organic and biodynamic. Use reusable glassware.

Tonight's event: The event's signature drink, the Sustainable Citizen, was provided by one of our event sponsors, 36o Vodka. The drink was made organic 360 Vodka with Serrano peppers, fresh orange, and fresh lemon. Biodynamic, organic and sustainable wines were also served for dinner: Pinot Noir from Paul Dolan and Chardonnay from Benziger Sangiacomo.

VENUE

General green event rules: Book your event at a venue that is energy-efficient and practices sustainability.

Tonight's event: The Hilton New York's sustainability objectives for the next two years include reducing energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and output of waste by 20%, as well as reducing water consumption by 10%. In addition to low-flow toilets and shower heads, LED lighting, and a recycling program, the hotel also has a green roof garden for growing vegetables and capturing rain water.

DECOR

General green event rule: Choose table arrangements that are composed of organic and reusable plants, flowers, and other materials.

Tonight's event: Centerpieces by Quatre Couer were sustainable, reusable arrangements of seasonal gourds and persimmons, and seed pods. Some of the mini pumpkins were natural white, others were gold-leafed, and they were displayed on a bed of moss on a footed glass tray.

TRANSPORTATION

General green event rules: Encourage public transportation, carpooling, or travel in hybrid or electric vehicles.

Tonight's event: Private car services were provided by UrbanRide and Ozo Car, and both reserved hybrid vehicles for the event.

PRINTED MATERIALS

General green event rules: Enlist a printing service that uses recycled paper and non-toxic ink for necessary printed materials, such as invitations and event programs.

Tonight's event:  The menus and journal were printed on 100% recycled paper with soy/vegetable inks.