Tips for Planning Sustainable Events

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Theme, check. Date, circled on the calendar. Location, secured. By this point, event details occurring during the Democratic National Convention are rapidly coming together as it comes to town in just two months.


If you’re an event organizer and have everything squared away, go you! If not, we’re here to help guide you toward some of the best local and more importantly (in our humble opinion), sustainable options. These suggestions can help make a standard event both memorable and responsible, a combination both your attendees and well, the earth, will appreciate.



Whether you’re planning to supply a complete spread or sticking to small bites, food is irrefutably a crucial element. My MilkCrate, our sustainable directory app comprised of 1,000+ businesses and services in Philadelphia in more than 20 lifestyle categories, can be a great resource for locating vendors, including dining options and caterers.


Opting for a vendor that values sustainability, not only lessens your event’s carbon footprint (green caterers will often compost, use biodegradables, etc.), but it typically means extra nourishing, delicious, local foods, too.


12th Street Catering, a full service catering company with a green philosophy, is dedicated to offering local fare, says Genna Viozzi, its director of Special Events.


“We even pick fresh veggies, flowers, and herbs from our own rooftop garden in Philadelphia,” she said.


Eating this way, Viozzi continued, simply means, “Fresher food [and] cleaner air.” Plus, the decision to cook using only local ingredients will ultimately result in fun, unique dishes as cooks are forced to get creative with what’s available seasonally and regionally.


12th Street’s already received inquiries for the Convention, and are prepared to book events through the beginning of July.

Contact Info:

Call 215-386-8595 or email

MUST PROVIDE: Event date, number of guests, details of your event, and venue if you have booked one.

For more information, check out their My MilkCrate profile here.



Hosting an early morning get together? Coffee will be in order. And some yummy, complimentary treats can’t hurt either. Mugshots Coffeehouse also happens to offer a robust catering menu. And, they don’t call it “Farm to Office Catering” for nothing.


From locally-farmed goods to compostable and recyclable disposables, they take their triple bottom line philosophy very seriously. And they offer vegan and gluten-free options, too, if you choose to consider all dietary preferences and restrictions in planning your menu.


For the early morning necessities, they offer Uber Street coffee, decaf or a seasonal selection from Counter Culture Coffee, according to their website.


Contacts Info:

Fill out this contact form or call 267-514-7145.

INFORMATION: According to their site, orders must be placed with a 48-hour notice.

For more information, check out their My MilkCrate profile here.




And, inevitably, all your event’s waste will need to get tossed. Tim Bennett of Bennett Compost, says most of that waste — think food scraps, coffee filters and most paper products — however, can be composted. (Composting is nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil.)


Bennett, whose compost collection services are available for events large and small, says that proper waste disposal is about keeping food scraps out of landfills, a source of methane gas emissions. The harmful greenhouse gas, he said, “is 17 to 22 times as harmful as carbon dioxide, depending on who you ask.”


And in the case of events, food waste is notoriously high as food is usually prepared in excess. Bennett said that if you can’t hire a compost service, a food waste reduction and diversion plan should be considered.


It’s safe to ask the caterer not to over order, he recommended. He also suggests securing a place to donate leftover food, opting for biodegradables and not disposables, and recycling whatever is possible.


Contact Info:

Fill out this form.

MUST PROVIDE: Number of attendees, date, time, location, and time of compost pickup


For more information, check out their My MilkCrate profile here.


To make your event that much more sustainable, consider some of these smaller steps you can do as event organizer to lessen your impact:

  1. When choosing a vendor, pick a location that’s within walking distance of public transportation and ensure they have a recycling service with clearly marked bins already in place.
  2. Go paperless for guest check-ins. Ticketleap, allows for a completely paperless process.
  3. Promote your goals, i.e. “We will be composting at this event,” so that event goers know to participate.

For a full list of green businesses and services, be sure to check out My MilkCrate on the web, or download for free for iOS or Android.


This post was authored by the MilkCrate team. MilkCrate is a mission-driven company that builds technologies to support and grow sustainable communities. Its first product, My MilkCrate, is an app that connects consumers to local, sustainable businesses, services and local events, similar to a green Yelp. Its newest product, MilkCrate for Communities, is an enterprise platform that measures and grows a community’s social and environmental impact.