Everyone is talking about “Green Meetings” in our industry. Just like in all the other areas of our lives, we are looking for ways to have our actions have less of an impact on the earth. The problem is, a lot of companies/meetings cannot afford to spend more on their meeting so that it is green and/or allocate more labour to making it so.
The number one thing you want to do is pick a venue that has the same goals as you and has made efforts to reduce their impact on our environment. This makes it easy for you because you just piggy back on everything that they do! This includes things like –
- Pitchers of water/water coolers instead of bottled water
- Recycling and Composting
- Use of bulk condiments (sugar, creamers, salt & pepper) instead of single serve
- Use of thermostats and motion sensors in meeting rooms and storage room
- Responsible purchasing (recycled items, environmentally friendly items, sustainable food)
- Optional linen change for multiple stay guests
From there, there are things that you can do, that won’t cost you money (they may even save you money!) but will lighten your impact on the environment –
- Be responsible with your catering numbers, don’t over guarantee!
- Keep printing to a minimum. Use online resources.
- Don’t print the year on your signage, Re-use signage from year to year
- Collect and reuse name badges
- Include what you are doing on your conference website and messages
- Offer the option for delegates to purchase carbon offsets with their registration
One of the biggest mistakes people make when organizing a green meeting, is not letting people know what they are doing – be sure to share with your delegates all the things that you are doing so that they can engage, follow and maybe even contribute some of their own ideas as well!