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  1. Use reusable, recyclable, or compostable serving items.
    1. Ask your caterer to use reusable plates, glasses, linens, etc. in place of disposable options.
    2. Offer water in pitchers with reusable cups or glasses, instead of single-use water bottles or plastic cups.
  2. Reduce food packaging and utensils when serving food.
    1. Ask your caterer to serve foods on platters instead of providing boxed lunches.
    2. Ask your caterer to provide drinks and condiments (ketchup, mustard, salad dressings, etc.) in bulk instead of individual packages and servings.
    3. Consider serving foods that do not need utensils (e.g. sandwiches or wraps, veggies and dips, etc.).
  3. Make sure your meeting room has a “waste station” with clearly-marked recycling, compost, and trash bins.
    1. If you are conducting a zero-waste event, remove or cover all stand-alone trash cans to encourage attendees to place their waste into one of the other receptacles.
    2. Contact the Event Scheduling and Support Office to acquire the correct bins.
  4. Coordinate with your caterer to donate leftover food whenever possible. Remaining food and compostable waste should be composted.
  5. Provide handouts and meeting materials electronically (online or flash drive) to minimize paper usage.
  6. When giveaway items are necessary, choose items that are useful and actively promote health, such as water bottles or reusable tote bags.
  7. Ask companies to limit packaging of materials when ordering giveaway items.
  8. Use recycled/biodegradable paper.
  9. Try using strings of lights, potted plants, and cloth banners and garlands as decorations, instead of disposable decorations such as balloons and items made from polystyrene.
  10. For more ideas, check out the Harvard Sustainable Meeting and Event Guide online.