How many festivals or events have you attended where you'd wish they'd provided recycling?
What about when you go to a restaurant or fast-food takeaway and you're given your food in plastic containers, styro-foam (polystyrene) cups?
Or maybe you get frustrated with plastic straws at your local bar?
This is exactly why Tara Dodson, founder of Full Circle Resource Management set up her business out of frustration that businesses & event organisers weren't thinking about small, basic changes they could make to improve the environment and increase their businesses bottom line.
What making changes to my business with an environmental ethos will make me money?
Yes! And Tara has proved it working with two very different organisations she's demonstrated how it can actually attract new customers or make existing customers happier and more loyal by having more consideration for the environment, reducing waste and using non-plastic packaging.
In this podcast Tara's talk about two organisations she's helped 'green'. The first a Tiny-House Festival who provided no-recycling, even though 85% of their customers thought that this was the least they should be doing with a 'tiny-house' ethos.
The second business was a golf & country club who wanted help running their business in a more sustainable way. The changes Tara helped them implement actually attracted new members.
Tara shares her top tips for you when organising events and just growing your social enterprise. As well as how she has successfully convinced businesses taht what she offers will essentially save them money, as well as help the environemnt.
"Waste management is disgusting....[but] the beauty of it is it's a quantifiable thing - you can measure exactly how much you're diverting from landfill [and impact your making through recycling]" Tara Dodson.
The key points we've covered in this podcast:
- What prompted Tara to create Full Circle Resource Management
- Two very different examples of organisations Tara works with
- How you can gain more customers from making more sustainable changes by thinking about your packaging and waste
- The importance of going out to where your potential customers and showing them what you have to offer
- Top tips for when your organising your events
- How to approach and sell to businesses as a social entrepreneur / consultant
- The difference be doing and coordinating change for your clients
- Learning how to communicate effectively with clients to achieve results
Tara's tips for greening your events:
- Implement a recycling programme, have volunteers check bins every hour and have a booth that promotes the recycling programme
- Coordinate with the event organisers or coordinate with the vendors to eliminate plastic bags for shopping, single use plastics like straws and encourage plant-based containers for food to-go
- Eliminate single use water bottles by providing water stations where water bottles can be re-filled
- Advertise the "greening" of the event on every media outlet you can, the public will appreciate this and support your efforts!
- Network - talk to everyone about what you do, don't just rely on email - pick up the phone or go and speak to them
- Provide a sample to potential clients so they can see exactly what you're talking about
- Talk about how you help them improve their bottom line (and make money whilst helping the planet)