March 6, 2019

How to run a small footprint event!

Fifteen Trees can help make you run small carbon footprint events by organising the planting of one tree for each attendee at a cost of $4.80/tree (includes GST).  The trees are planted by community groups (such as schools and Landcare) and are sourced from local independent nurseries.

With enough notice, photos of the trees can be made available at the conference for you to show your attendees. Here is an idea: pop an option onto your registration website for attendees to tick (and contribute to the cost of the tree). Once planted you will be able to see photos of the trees and read the comments by the community groups who have planted them. You are then able to use these images on your website to promote your small carbon footprint events.



Tips for running carbon neutral events.

  • Put someone in charge to ensure the small footprint theme is consistent and promote it as such.
  • Produce an environmental policy for your conferences and meetings.
  • On the registration website, offer attendees the option of buying a tree for planting by a local community group.
  • Advise speakers about your small footprint event.
  • Keep all participants informed about your small footprint event.
  • Use/promote businesses that have green policies. Ask companies (e.g. the venue) for their policies and if they don’t have one, go else but tell them why – very powerful way to make businesses ‘step up’. For example, here in the Central Highlands of Victoria we recommend Evolution Photography and Events. They make it easy for you to host eco-friendly celebrations with no waste. No more disposable cutlery, plates and tablecloths.



  • Make it a ‘paper free’ event, or at the very least use double sided paper and recycled paper (best brands for 100% recycled paper include – Evolve, Vision and Fuji). Avoid Reflex who are using our native forests for their pulp supplies. Take the ‘ethic paper pledge‘ to help protect our native forests.
  • Encourage public transport by offering prizes, discounts, free glass of wine etc when they present their train/bus ticket. Give instructions as to which tram, bus or train to take.
  • Give promotional sustainable gifts that are made from local producers (with little/no packaging).
  • Distribute a low ecological impact lanyard. Use regular thread with a knot/bead linking both extremes.
  • Encourage recycling with simple systems.
  • Offer only vegetarian meals. It won’t kill anyone to go without meat for a day or so.
  • Don’t offer plastic water bottles. Have glasses and water jugs on hand. Ask the venue to adhere to this.
  • If you must use plastic name tags, collect them at the end of the conference to reuse the next year.
  • Don’t give out plastic straws! Ditch the straw. Again ask the venue to adhere.

Here are some trees from a Linux conference. Testimonials available.




Winter. A Season for Radical Rest.
Tree Planting Season.
The Year of the Tawnys.