By RON FANFAIR
As a young girl attending weddings and other social events with her family, Amalia Ward was often amazed by the large volume of unconsumed food and other waste products left behind after functions.
While pursuing an Event and Meeting Management Certificate program at George Brown College, she hooked up with Tiffany DaSilva who shared similar concerns and they decided to establish a company to focus on environmental sustainability.
Talen Events promotes environmentally conscious alternatives, reduces carbon footprint in all aspects of an event, offers advice and tips to a greener lifestyle and emphasizes a sustainable lifestyle for guests and delegates attending business meetings and social functions.
“We are going after the green market because this is something we believe in,” said Ward who also graduated from York University with a political science degree. “We want people out there to know that they can have green elements and still have what they want at their events.”
Ward understands that selling the green concept to preserve the environment is not easy.
“We grasp that because there is a stereotype that green has to do with happiness and Woodstock and things like that,” she said. “It’s even more difficult trying to sell the idea to the Black community since that’s not the first thing on their mind. I find that strange because when you look at it, the resources in the Caribbean, where many immigrants are from, are all local.”
Talen Events recommends locally grown organic food, seasonal reusable flowers for the décor, technologically produced or eco-friendly invitations produced on recyclable paper and favours in the form of monetary contributions for a charity or cause.
“A lot of money is spent on putting together favours, then the guests taken them home and put them in a corner and in most instances forget about them,” she said.
“Why not have guests make a small donation to an organization in the Black community or any organization for that matter?
Ward also suggests that couples consider doing their wedding ceremony and reception at one location if it’s possible.
“If that can’t be done, keep the two within at least a 10-kilometre range to, among other things, cut down on vehicle emission,” she added. “It’s your event but we want to offer you options of considering a socially responsible vendor. Our job is to make sure it runs efficiently and smoothly and you save money.”