Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Your Comments Appreciated

Mark Petruzzi, VP of Certification at Green Seal, let me know Green Seal has been working on the development of a new environmental standard for restaurants and foodservice operations. The draft standard was just released for public comment (http://www.greenseal.org/certification/gs46_food_service_operations.cfm).Take a look and add your two cents worth!

Green Seal, in case you’re not familiar, is an independent, non-profit organization that uses science-based standards and the power of the marketplace to create a more sustainable world. They have had an outreach to the US lodging industry for roughly 15 years now, including participating on the Environment and Engineering Committee for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, articles on sustainability in lodging publications, working with the Green Meeting Industry Council(!), and most visibly, their environmental standard for certification of lodging properties (GS-33, http://www.greenseal.org/certification/standards/lodging_properties_GS_33.pdf).

For those of you who don't know Mark personally, he is probably one of the most passionate champions for green meetings I have ever met. And a genuine, "good human." Take a moment to get to know him at the Green Meeting Industry Council Conference in February.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Want to spend time with fellow green meeting planners? Learning? Sharing? Laughing? I know the place!

The Green Meeting Industry Council's annual “Greening the Hospitality Industry Conference,” scheduled for February 24 – 26, 2009 in Pittsburgh, PA.

The 2009 GMIC programs committee has taken a comprehensive look at our industry and identified global and tactical concerns facing corporate and association meeting planners, industry suppliers, government and the global meetings industry.

The 2009 conference will offer tiered educational tracks for meeting planners and industry suppliers. The participants learning experiences will range from “Future leaders” 101 tracks, to hands-on experiential learning, to an expert “Leaders” track in the field of green meeting management. The Leader’s track is a new advanced learning series that will require participants to present individual projects and then collaborate on an action plan relating to the larger social issues impacting the meetings industry.

In addition to the educational tracks, the conference will also feature exhibits showcasing green products for the industry, community legacy projects and an industry call to action.

For conference session details and registration information, visit the Green Meeting Industry Council website at http://www.greenmeetings.info/conference.htm.

I hope to see you at the conference where we can continue learning from each other!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Free Wi-Fi for All

As many of you probably know, I keep musing that "VIP Service" at hotels should keep up with the times. Today's up and coming business travelers don't want their sheets and towels changed daily (or the soap changed hourly). Instead, give VIP's something they really want--free wireless internet. According to the September, 2008 issue of Meetings & Conventions Magazine, the following hotel brands are now offering free wi-fi...

Four Points by Sheraton
Hotel Indigo
Hyatt Place
Ramada Worldwide

To everyone! Even better yet!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hungry For Answers

During the Q&A answer period of the webinar I presented today, the same question came up. I say “same question” because this is one is asked during every single presentation I have given for years.

The question is….”Isn’t it illegal to donate food after an event? I am told it is against health codes.”

I am glad this question keeps coming up. In the current economy, food banks are struggling to fill their shelves to help the hungry and planners want to know how to help! I have blogged about this before, but it bears repeating:

The Bill Emerson Food Donation Act allows you help the hungry.

What does the law do? The law protects good-faith donors from civil and criminal liability in the event that the product later causes harm to its recipient. The Emerson Act gives uniform protection to food donors who may cross state lines.
Who is protected? The law protects food donors, including individuals and nonprofit feeding programs that act in good faith. More specifically, the law protects individuals, corporations, partnerships, organizations, associations, governmental entities, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs, caterers, farmers, gleaners, nonprofit agencies, and others.
What sort of food is protected? The Emerson Act provides protection for food and grocery products that meet all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state, and local laws and regulations - even though the food may not be readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other conditions.
Where can I get a copy of the law? For a copy of the Bill Emerson Food Donation Act, just click on this link http://www.usda.gov/news/pubs/gleaning/appc.htm
Where can I find a place to donate? Find a local food bank using the locator on Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest) http://www.feedingamerica.org/ Your role is to connect the local food bank and the catering firm. They will take care of the details.

Thanks to you, families in need can be served!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Technology Is Your GOOD Friend!

A while back I was talking about the strong connection between technology and green meetings and gave some real-life examples. My good friend, Corbin Ball, has taken that a step further! He has now put information in one place by giving you the links for "45 Ways to Use Technology to Green Meetings."


This is a fabulous resource. Thanks, Corbin!

Monday, October 6, 2008

What Is Green Washing?

Does it require a special detergent?

Hot or cold water?

Should I separate my greens before washing?


"Green Wash" is just one of the new terms popping up in the environmentally friendly meeting world. We are trying to keep ahead of the curve and add the newest lingo to the Meeting Strategies Worldwide Glossary http://www.meetingstrategiesworldwide.com/resources/glossary. We added ten new definitions today. Please let us know if you have others we should include.

Meanwhile, check out the updated glossary to find out if your "Green Collar Job" includes doing the laundry!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Calculating Moves

When looking for a city to hold your meeting there are a variety of questions to ask yourself. One of them being “How green is the city?” Another should be, “How far will our participants have to travel?” An important question both for their ease of travel and also for the event’s carbon footprint.

The Best Places to MeetGreen® Calculator will help you determine the best location for participant travel. It is the second resource in our recently launched website http://www.bestplacestomeetgreen.com/.

The Calculator feature allows you to evaluate which potential destinations have lower estimated emissions footprints relative to their attendee travel. Simply enter how many attendees you have from each region around the world, and then select destinations where you are interested in holding the event. The Calculator provides a report comparing the attendee travel footprint for each of the cities you are considering. The work is done for you!

So there you go, another resource to make planning green meetings easier!