Zero Waste Event Exhibitor Guide

Please follow the guidelines and suggestions below to accomplish a successful Zero Waste Exhibit. 


Waste Minimazation 

  • Plan to ensure that distributed materials that will be consumed or discarded onsite (literature, candy, sample products or promotional materials) are recyclable or compostable only 
  • Read the “What Can I Recycle” document to learn what you can and cannot recycle and compost 
  • Use reusable signage, tablecloths, and other materials 
  • Avoid printing dates or locations on event signage so that it can be reused for future events 
  • Use electronic tools for promotion and information instead of print materials 
  • Prepare to take waste materials home with you if they cannot be recycled or composted on site 
  • Use products that are reusable and/or compostable or recyclable and that have minimal packaging 



  • Serve appropriate food portions to avoid food waste 
  • Use cloth tablecloths instead of plastic or paper cloths 
  • Serve food with as many local and sustainably grown ingredients as possible 



  • If providing giveaways, ensure that they are environmentally sustainable. For example, gifts could be compostable, Fair Trade, and/or made with recycled content/materials 
  • Ensure that giveaways are practical and durable rather than objects that will soon end up in a landfill 
  • Only hand out promotional items to attendees who request them 
  • Only bring the amount of supplies you will need for this event 
  • Design any promotional materials to work at other events so you do not waste the unused materials 


How do we know that we met our Zero Waste Goals?

At the end of the event, all the organics, trash, and recycling produced at the event will be weighed or estimated. Using the final weights, the landfill diversion rate will be calculated to determine if the event diversion goal was achieved. To accomplish this, all vendors and exhibitors must sort their discards carefully and place them in the appropriate containers; this helps us get accurate measurements.