Happy Earth Day! Because celebrating Earth Day just once a year is for rookies, the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) launched the Trash Challenge today.
The challenge to the event and hospitality industry is to take action by diverting, recycling and composting one million tons of waste in all of 2009. GMIC developed the measurement tool and associated website where participants of the trash challenge can load data and where the progress of the challenge will be tracked throughout calendar year 2009.
Why is this issue so important? The average meeting or event produces 20 pounds/9.1 kilograms of waste per person per day. This compares to the on average production of 5 pounds/2.27 Kg of waste produced by individuals daily when at home. With an estimated 700 million event attendees annually in the US and Canada alone, that is an estimated 10.5 ton(nes) of waste annually.
Organizations with the best recycling and waste diversion rates will be recognized and the results of the challenge will serve as a best practices guide for the entire industry. We see the trash challenge as a way to build awareness, educate and engage the industry in reducing our environmental footprint. The industry loves friendly competition. This is a great way to challenge your colleagues and competitors to participate in something we all benefit from!