Zero Waste Community Event Toolkit



Effective signage and messaging are essential to your zero waste event. As soon as a patron arrives, the “culture of conservation” must be nurtured. Signage is usually the first indication a patron will get that your event is zero waste. Your event may require various types, sizes and numbers of signs. The keys to communicating effectively are consistency, simplicity and engagement.

Action Checklist

  • Develop a look and feel for the zero waste component of your event and include it on all communications pieces.
  • Develop your key message for your sign that articulates your environmental goals and objectives, perhaps you’ll want to state your new environmental policy.
  • Develop a plan for your signage/messaging that includes:
  • Numbers, sizes and types of signs needed
  • Posting locations
  • Deadlines for graphic design and printing
  • Messaging required for each sign
  • Use durable signage at waste collection sites, for event tents/locations, for directional signage, etc. that can be reused at future events. Seek environmentally-friendly options [see sidebar] where possible.
  • Use simple and clear messaging on all signs. Pictures of acceptable materials will work best, especially in a multilingual community.
  • Post signs at high traffic routes on event site and where needed to direct specific actions (e.g., recycling).
  • Focus attention on areas where waste generation potential is the highest (e.g., dining areas).

Global Best Practice

Environmentally Friendly Signage

Many companies now offer environmentally-friendly options for signage materials and printing. Examples include:

  • eco-friendly fabrics for banners and displays that contain no heavy metals, PVC resins, phthalates or fungicides
  • soy-based ink for printing
  • biodegradable PVC banners
  • energy-efficient electrical signage
  • signage made from recycled or recyclable materials

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FIFA World Cup - Germany

During planning stage for this event, organizers kept media apprised of their zero waste plans. All media centres on the site were paperless and used an electronic media “channel” where information could be accessed online. Paper flyers and giveaways were kept to a minimum; staffed information booths were used along with notice boards to keep the zero waste message up front; volunteer staff wore t-shirts with symbols representing different waste streams.

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Related Tools

Zero Waste Policies