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Skidmore College

Zero Waste Guide

You can make a positive impact with your event by eliminating landfill-bound materials wherever possible and replacing them with reusable, compostable or recyclable options. To be a "zero waste" event, 90% of the waste generated is recycled or composted and 10% landfilled by weight.

Any event can be turned into a Zero Waste Event by following the guide below. Reference the steps below, and reach our team at with any questions.

How To Make Your Event Zero Waste

  1. Consider what waste will be generated at your event, from catering, tabling, and activities. Ask your caterer for reusable or compstable wares. Skidmore Dining is well versed in compostable options.
    > Reusable is preferred. Compostable is an easy and affordable switch.
    > Skip bottled or boxed beverages and buy canned! Aluminum cans are the most readily recyclable packaging option.
    > See the Alternative Materials Guide below for tips on avoiding landfill-bound items, like balloons and giveaways.
    >Reivew the Full PDF Guide on Zero Waste below for more soup-to-nuts details on event planning and alternatives.
  2. 3 weeks ahead of your event, fill out this so we can support your event by dropping off a compost collection bin and signage.
    > If you have a large outdoor event of over 200 people, we may staff the event with our team to ensure the compost collected is clean and not contaminated. You can indicate this on the form.
  3. Spread the word to your attendees! In your event advertising, note that the event will be Zero Waste, and if releveant, encourage attendees to bring their own reusable water bottles. If you have announcements, note that the event is zero waste and that 90% of waste will be diverted from the landfill to recycling or compost.

Link to full PDF guide.

three smiling student staff with waste bins at an event

You can eliminate single-use, landfill-bound event materials from the get go. Consider these alternative options below. 

images of disposables with reusable alternatives, including balloons with a suggested alternative of flag signs