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Tacoma Events to be Green Events

Tacoma Events to be Green Events
May 27, 2014


Gwen Schuler, Media and Communications, gschuler@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5160
Carrie McCausland, Media and Communications, cmccausland@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2005

Tacoma Events to be Green Events

As Tacoma heads into a summer rich with engaging events, this year residents have even more reason to be proud of the array of activities being offered. 

Starting in June, all large events held on public property and events hosted by the City will be asked to determine if they meet Green Merit or Green Excellence recognition requirements. Events at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center will also have the opportunity to participate. 

Events with Green Merit or Green Excellence designation will be ones that are taking steps toward honoring Tacoma’s environmental ethic by generating less waste and applying sustainable practices. Residents will be able to recognize these community leaders by their use of the Green Merit or Green Excellence seals in marketing materials. 

A community event can obtain certification by providing such things as water fountains for refillable water bottles, additional temporary bike racks, food waste recycling for food vendors, recycling centers staffed by volunteers, and using recycled content paper promotional materials. Conventions and conferences can obtain voluntary certification through such initiatives as using only durable plates and flatware, supporting tree-friendly conventioneer travel through the Green Tacoma Partnership, choosing sustainable menu items and purchasing green energy through Tacoma Power.

The City has developed a green event guide, webpages and recycling kit to help event organizers with resources, tips, and materials. Next year community special events obtaining a special event permit that don’t meet either the Green Excellence or Green Merit thresholds may not be eligible for City sponsorship, which would preclude event funding and trigger having to pay for trash, recycling and portable toilet services the following year. 

“We think these steps will prove positive for attendees and event attendance. Yet, ultimately the policy is about making sure our limited resources support those who are taking the extra step to move us in a positive direction,” said Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Manager Kristen Lynett. “We have community-established waste reduction and alternative transportation goals and ultimately we hope all of Tacoma’s events align to help us meet them.” 

City staff have been working with community event planners and 2014 Green Merit or Green Excellence-certified events, including Freedom Fair, will soon be listed on the City website

The Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability plans to expand the program to support green event efforts at other facilities throughout the community. 

Tacoma’s Office of Environmental Policy & Sustainability develops, promotes and implements sustainable practices through education, community partnerships and performance management. Tacoma is a 4-STAR sustainable community.