YOU’VE got the power. Yes, you do.

YOU’VE got the power. Yes, you do.


How to create sustainable events

That minute or two of sudden darkness when load-shedding hits a public place? It used to be super-awkward. But now? While you wait for the generator to kick in, you and those around just get on with it. Maybe you whip out your phone torch to continue your activities, maybe not. South Africans are so used to load-shedding that we don’t even go “Aah, man!” anymore. These days, it’s barely a sigh…

And yet, while we mourn our own energy crisis, the rest of the world is facing one too – not identical, of course, but reminiscent. So let’s talk eco-savvy events, shall we?

Just because an event doesn’t have power doesn’t mean it’s powerless. And besides, there’s charm to be had from candles, hot chocolate and fluffy blankets.

Here’s how to take the power back:

1. Energy efficiency as a theme

Try planning an event that uses little to no electricity and make this the focal point of the day or evening. For example, challenge attendees to try to cook the best food on a gas stove or decorate the venue with LEDs. You can even create a romantic experience with warm blankets, hot drinks (or sherry) and cheese plates. And if you want a band, opt for an unplugged acoustic show – or an a capella group.

2. Eco-friendly products only

We’re all a bit cross about the danger of plastic straws, and the weird taste of paper ones, but there’s no use crying over disintegrated paper. Support local, sustainable businesses with recyclable corporate gifts – think Consol jars, succulents, custom stainless steel accessories, ad QR-coded info packs instead of printouts.

3. The next best fashion trend

According to Fashion Revolution, about 14m tons of garments are thrown away by Americans each year – that’s 36kg per person! South African Fashion Week (SAFW) plans to develop an ecologically sound local design culture by 2025, to reduce the fashion industry’s harmful impact. SAFW is even developing sustainable fashion curricula to educate designers on eco-friendly business models and production.

4. Look (hard) before you book

Carry out proper research to determine if a prospective venue is on board with your sustainability goals. It’s no good marketing a “green” event when the venue uses more plastic confetti than a gender reveal party – or typically releases bunches of helium balloons into the sky. Be crystal-clear about your greenspectations.


Want 360° event advice? Contact us for more.


Speaking of sustainability, did you know that KAMERS/Makers has prevented 430,000 plastic bottles from populating South African landfills, rivers, and oceans? Its partnership with Ardagh Glass Packaging means each K/M shopper gets a Consol water bottle on entry. And if that’s not enough, K/M has eliminated single-use plastic bottles from their markets altogether. Kudos, KAMERS/Makers!


Today, happy hour can mean a tea menu and tiered cake stands. That’s right, you can re-think your wine-tasting because High Tea is back and bigger than ever – and nothing says YUM like a Coco Safar experience! Now that this Cape Town staple has finally opened a pop-up café at Rosebank Mall, you can swing by for out-of-this-world coffee, pastries and the irresistible Fall-Winter Pâtisserie Collection. Nothing about this is a copy and pastry experience.


What if, instead of getting angry about load-shedding, we were able to re-frame it as a humbling experience? Take time, in the darkness, to think about the people who light up your life or your work. Phone your grandma, knit a sweater or ask your children about their day. (They’ll say “Fine”, but it’s a start.)


Want 360° event advice? Contact us for more.