TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR CONFERENCE ECO-FRIENDLY
When you consider how many people attend conferences each year, it is easy to see that without a little thought about keeping it green it can really create a lot of waste. Here are some tips for keeping your conference eco-friendly:
- Make recycling easy. People will recycle if it is easy and ready available to them. Be sure to have recycling bins handy that they can use for their beverage containers or other recyclable materials.
- Think reusable promotional items. Most conferences provide people with a variety of promotional items. Whether you are creating them or you are working with sponsors who will be, put it out there that you would prefer they choose something that has a longer shelf life. There are some items that will be immediately discarded by people and others they will be more likely to use long term. Opting for the ones used long term may cost a little more money, but is often better for the environment and the marketing message will be around longer.
- Opt for reusable name badges. Every conference should use name badges, but you can choose to use ones that you can either reuse again for other conferences or ones that people will want to use again. Having a nice lanyard name badge system, for example, gives people something they are likely to use again once the conference is over.
- Choose caterers who understand your green goals. The food can be a big part of the waste at conferences. Work with a caterer who understands how to be eco-friendly. They should opt for reusable plates and utensils (or corn-based ones that will biodegrade), as well as serve less meat, and opt for locally grown and organic ingredients when possible. Plus, leftover food should not go to waste, they should donate it to a food bank or give it to people to take home.
- Suggest ride sharing to the event. Transportation to and from the event can create a lot of pollution, so it’s a good idea to suggest ride sharing, bus transportation options, and other more eco-friendly routes to and from the event. Even if people decide to not use these options, the information will at least still be there for those who want it.