Make Your Event Sustainable

Students tabling at a sustainable event.

Hosting green events is a great way for you to advance sustainability on campus. Little behavioral changes can add up to a big environmental impact!

Visit USC Facilities Planning and Management’s Events Planning page for permits, checklists, and step-by-step instructions for hosting an event.

To reduce your carbon foot print, reduce the amount of meat you serve and/or consider serving a vegetarian menu.

Stop waste before it starts. Consider not giving away swag.

Go digital by sending invitations through email lists and social networking sites. Don’t print your materials. Use computers for presenting.

Reduce single occupancy car trips and use Traveler to find alternative transportation options.

A day or two before your event, connect with local organizations such as St. Francis or the Trojan Food Pantry to set up leftover food donations.

Food leftovers end up in landfill, so be mindful of portion control. USC has eliminated single-use plastic beverage bottles from campus. Use hydration stations, water coolers/dispensers, and water fountains instead.

Work with vendors who supply reusable service ware such as plates, glasses, cutlery, stir sticks, platters, and serving materials.

Provide composting bins and contact FPM a day prior to the event to schedule compost pickup post-event. Assign volunteers to help guests recycle and compost properly.

FPM can provide waste bins with “landfill” and “recycling” signage. Check out for more waste sorting instructions and signage. Place waste diversion bins in high-traffic areas during the event, including set-up and breakdown. Make sure recycling items are clean and dry so they don’t contaminate the recycling bins.

Single-Use Plastic Beverage Bottle Elimination Toolkit

Single-use plastics are causing global problems — to help address the crisis, USC has eliminated single-use plastic beverage bottles from campus. Since July 2022, our ban on single-use plastic beverage bottles has kept over 3 million bottles out of landfills. In support of the zero waste goal in Assignment: Earth, we have eliminated single-use plastic beverage bottles from campus by:

  • Transitioning to beverage container alternatives including glass and aluminum which can be more sustainably sourced than plastic and have increased recyclability
  • Encouraging the use of hydration stations, water coolers/dispensers, and water fountains instead of single-use plastic water bottles

Help the University community by taking action in your office, in your purchases, and while at cafeterias and events on campus.

Get Visual Aids

PowerPoint slides provide a clear overview of the elimination process. Download the presentation below.

Read the Policy

USC has an official plastic bottle elimination policy. Read the full policy at the link below.

Vendor Checklist

Help your vendors and caterers choose suitable alternatives to single-use plastics whenever possible.

Look Out for Plastics

If you see single-use plastic bottles that don’t belong, let us know.

Make the Transition

Need help developing a transition plan for eliminating plastic bottle use?

Find Hydration Stations

Use this interactive map to find stations to fill your reusable water bottle on campus.