• Require registration to get an accurate headcount and prevent over-ordering  
  • Encourage attendees to “BYOE” (Bring Your Own Everything) including plates, utensils, glassware, and cloth napkins 
  • Order food that does not require utensils (sandwiches, pizza, etc.)

Need to Cater Your Event?

Preferred Green Caterers are vendors that are screened annually and commit to providing fully compostable service ware for JHU events at no extra charge, as a means to reduce waste from catering and support local businesses.

Know a Green Caterer?

If you own a catering company or food truck, take our Preferred Green Caterer (PGC) certification survey! Commit to providing only compostable service ware at no added charge for JHU events and gain exposure through the Hopkins network! If you host events, share this survey if you don't see your favorite caterer on this list.


  • Request proper recycling and/or compost bins from your campus Facilities Office (contact list here
  • Communicate proper JHU recycling guidelines using detailed signage including these table tents
  • Bring reusable bins and bags to transport event supplies

Have Extra Food?

Johns Hopkins is the founding member of the Free Food Alert– an innovative platform established by three JHU students in 2017 to reduce food waste from campus events. Recently redeveloped, this platform provides a mobile alert system for notifying JHU community members of excess event food. Subscribe to send and receive Free Food Alerts below!

Décor & Energy 

  • Use recyclable or reusable decorations 
  • Consider using natural décor, such as plants or floral centerpieces  
  • When possible, omit dates and location from banners and other event materials, so they can be reused  
  • Limit use of balloons  
  • Provide reusable name tags and collect them at the end of the event  
  • Shut off A/V and lighting when not in use

Good Weather?

Host an event outside and enjoy the bright green spaces on campus.

Planning & Hosting

  • Create event signage on recovered and reusable materials like cardboard or old vinyl banners 
  • Save leftover signage for future zero waste events  

Digital Marketing

Utilize JHU’s digital marketing tools such as Today’s Announcements, Hub Event Page, OrcaTV, and sustainability listserv to avoid generating paper waste and gain better exposure for your events and communications!

Making a purchase for your event?

Visit our Purchase Responsibly page for more ways you can make sustainable choices for your event.