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Skidmore College

Zero Waste Guide

In our 2025 Campus Sustainability Plan, the College aims to divert 60% of waste generated from routine operations to compost or recycling. One way the Sustainability Office is helping Skidmore reach this goal, is by supporting campus partners to host Zero Waste Events. 

You can make a positive impact with your event by eliminating landfill-bound materials wherever possible and replacing them with reusable, compostable or recyclable options. To be a "zero waste" event, 90% of the waste generated is recycled or composted and 10% landfilled by weight.

Any event can be turned into a Zero Waste Event by following the guide below. Reference the steps below, and reach our team at

How To Make Your Event Zero Waste

  1. Ask your caterer for reusable or compstable wares. Skidmore Dining is well versed in compostable options.
    > Reusable is preferred. Compostable is an easy switch and affordable.
    > See the Alternative Materials Guide below for tips on avoiding landfill-bound items, like balloons and giveaways.
    > Skip the bottled or boxed beverages and buy canned! Aluminum cans are the most readily recyclable packaging option.
  2. Reference our Zero Waste Guide PDF below for any questions on process, impact, and sustainable alternatives in event planning.
    >See the Alternative Material Options button below for quick ideas
  3. 3 weeks ahead of your event, email us at so we can support your event by dropping off a compost collection bin and signage.
    > If you have a large outdoor event of over 200 people, we may staff the event with our team to ensure the compost collected is clean and not contaminated. 
    > Let us know WHERE and WHEN your event will take place in your email
  4. Spread the word to your attendees! In your event advertising, note that the event will be Zero Waste, and if releveant, encourage attendees to bring their own reusable water bottles. If you have announcements, note that the event is zero waste and 90% of waste will be diverted from the landfill to recycling or compost.

Link to full PDF guide.


You can eliminate single-use, landfill-bound event materials from the get go. Consider these alternative options below. 

images of disposables with reusable alternatives, including balloons with a suggested alternative of flag signs