Here’s what you can do, rated on effort involved:


  • Encourage volunteers and staff to use reusable mugs, to bring “litter free” lunches to work, and to carpool 
  • Create a green ambassador or green team – set up a committee and ensure someone is delegated responsibility for implementing the green initiatives for the festival
  • Allocate time and resources toward implementing the green initiatives for large festivals and events. Set specific goals, objectives and targets for the greening initiative, e.g. zero waste
  • Begin environmental initiatives early to ensure they are included in all the stages of planning
  • Post/email information about any new sustainability initiatives to employees to ensure they are aware of new policies and are implementing them
  • Ensure new staff receive information on the festival’s sustainability initiatives
  • Have regular green team meetings and report to the rest of the organization on goals progress (monthly)
  • Establish a ride-share carpooling program
  • Encourage and support staff to attend conferences on sustainable tourism and environmental management to increase skill 
  • Install bulletin boards at photocopy areas with notices about sustainability facts
  • Provide coffee mugs for staff to reduce waste
  • Create a green champion competition for employees/volunteers and recognize outstanding efforts
  • Provide incentives for staff to cycle/carpool to work
  • Organize a “clean out your files day” with lots of recycling bins on hand
  • Train staff on sustainability initiatives, such as reducing and recycling, and host lunch and learns on the importance of sustainability
  • Give staff time off to volunteer for local community or environmental initiatives
  • Communicate the expectations of employees with an adopted sustainability program/plan
  • Ensure the environmental initiative is a priority at the highest managerial levels, and communicate this commitment to all employees, contractors and suppliers
  • Have designated staff that have sustainability goals as part of their job descriptions
  • Have an employee recognition program for individuals who have contributed to the local community
  • Have volunteer days where the whole organization volunteers together toward a chosen cause
  • Discuss sustainability achievements at staff meetings and annual general meetings
  • Provide ongoing support and training for employees so they are engaged and informed of your businesses sustainability policies and activities
  • Provide other opportunities for staff to pursue professional development or local volunteering (at least 2 days/year)
  • Engage with employees about sustainability ideas and interview them on their ideas on how to make the company more sustainable
  • Implement a program of accountability for environmental decision-making, together with formal recognition for responsible decisions at all levels
  • Link social and environmental improvements to incentives (financial, giveaways, etc.) to motivate employee’s 

Volunteer Facts

Welcome to the Future festival has used volunteer days to plant over 2,000 trees.

Best Practise Case Studies




Greener Trader Award

The Falls Music and Arts Festival, Australia

Greener Trader Award – All traders must use biodegradable utensils and source local products wherever possible. All scraps are composted. Left over food is donated to charity. The most innovative trader wins an award each year and is promoted onsite.

Environmental Coordinator

Cambridge Folk Festival, UK

There is a dedicated environmental coordinator who advises and oversees all environmental initiatives. The festival also ran a highly successful award for caterers and traders looking at all aspects of their environmental impact including transport, energy, waste and purchasing ethics.

Volunteer Pancake Breakfast

Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival, Canada

The Maple Syrup Festival rewards volunteers for their hard work by offering them a free pancake breakfast both days of the festival.

Green Team

Bestival Camp, UK

The Green Team at each hub will be rewarding those who pack up their own tents with medals, goodies and names in a prize draw for next year for those who pack up their own tents.

Environmental DIY Workshops

Lightning in a Bottle, United States

The festival’s environmental lineup of workshops focuses on easy, low cost, do-it-yourself (DIY) ways that people can lower resource use and learn to grow their own food and make their own resources.