How Green is Your Conference?

I was fortunate to attend two conferences in the last two months.  They were very different in size and in overall vibe, but both had many great experiences that I will hold onto for a very long time.  While attending both I immediately turned on my green radar to zone in on areas that were really great for reducing our impact on the environment while attending a conference and there are also a couple of things that I would love to see in the future.  Some of the really awesome eco-friendly things that I saw were:

  • reusable shopping bags – I came home with several (some filled with not-so-green items, but the bags are great!)
  • reusable water bottles – I love a great water bottle and I really love having a variety so when my family leaves home for any period of time we can each bring one filled and ready to go. (between the two conferences I think I came home with four or five new water bottles)
  • a “swag” exchange station – this was really great in that if you had something you didn’t want/need in a swag bag you could go and exchange it for something you would rather have to take home – less waste this way and you are only walking away with stuff you will actually use – hopefully.
  • water bottle filling stations – Makes sense right? Since they gave the bottles, it was great to have several places to fill them.  What I really loved, though, was that at one of the conferences there were glasses available (not plastic cups) for those that didn’t have a water bottle with them.
  • compostable utensils – you don’t have to feel quite so bad about throwing out your utensils after eating a meal.
  • real silverware – I really loved seeing this at one of the conferences (with cloth napkins even) – no added trash at all – just toss them in the dishwasher and use them over and over.

A couple of things that I would loved to have seen would have been:

  • paper recycling bins – From conference guides to conference tickets and party RSVPs, there was a lot of paper floating around (some of which I never even needed to show to anyone, but was told to print) – so I wasted my ink and paper and didn’t see anywhere at either conference to recycle those items.  Maybe they were there and I just didn’t see them, but I would have loved them to be nearly as obvious as a trash can.
  • reusable coffee mugs – Okay, one of the obvious items I mentioned was the water bottles.  They are in abundance it seems, but what about getting someone to sponsor travel coffee mugs?  I mean, let’s face it, a huge majority of conference attendees drink coffee and what better way to get your brand seen all day every day and beyond the conference itself, than to send some to add to the awesome gift bags that we are all so appreciative to receive.  Just a thought, but I bet others would agree, it would be a huge hit!

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge