Whether you’re planning a large community event or a simple birthday party, you can take steps to make sure the occasion is an eco-friendly experience for all involved.

Sustainable Communities Online offers numerous tips for how to keep your events as low-waste as possible. Our favorites:

Host the event at an easily accessible location

By walking, biking or taking public transportation to the event, you and your guests can conserve resources. Be sure to publicize alternative transit options in your invitations (digital ones, of course. See next tip.).

Keep invites and RSVPs digital

To cut back on paper, email “save the dates” and invitations, and offer online registration or ask people to RSVP by email.

Minimize food waste

Discuss food options with your caterer or event staff. Pay attention to the number of attendees and discuss the lowest-waste options with your food provider. Put out compost bins at the event for people to toss their leftovers, then schedule a local farmer to pick up the excess food to use for compost.

Educate participants and evaluate results

Be sure to publicize that your event is sustainable to encourage attendees’ low-waste behavior. Take it a step further by giving appreciation certificates or reusable gifts to those who helped make the event sustainable. Afterward, ask attendees to fill out a survey evaluating the sustainable aspects of the event. Use this information to help plan your next green get-together.