Thursday, August 18, 2011

Let's Simplify Sustainable Meetings

Standards, policies, reporting, diversion rates, indicators...could we make it any more complex or overwhelming to learn how to produce sustainable meetings?

Let's start here and now to simplify sustainable meetings. Just pick one thing right now, nothing more. Ask yourself, what one green meeting practice can your organization implement in EVERY meeting. You know best what you can ALWAYS do at every meeting or event. For MeetGreen, it was no styrofoam--no matter what, no matter where, no matter who, no matter when. Bottom line, we would not allow styrofoam to be served at any event we managed. Once we were successful at that practice, we required recycling at every event. And so on over the years.

Don't think about future endeavors though, just concentrate on today's commitment. Here are a few ideas to choose from:

  • Eliminate bottled water service
  • Choose a meeting venue with public transit access in a walkable community
  • Choose a meeting venue with a recycling program
  • Provide sustainable food options including local, seasonal or organic
  • Produce signs without dates or branding so they may be reused
  • Choose a hotel with a towel/sheet reuse program and low-flow fixtures
  • Eliminate handouts
Which one would be the easiest for your organization to accomplish? Could it also save you money? In the case of the second option, savings in cab fare and rental car fees could be substantial. Pick one and run with it! In the next few blog posts, I will address these green meeting practices individually to help you jump start your sustainability promise.

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