Before you finalize planning for your next meeting or event, consider developing a green plan of action. There are a range of eco-friendly steps you can take to improve your event without compromising effectiveness or your budget.
Green Your Hotel
- Is your hotel green friendly? Ask them to detail their Green Policies in your RFP. Also, ask the hotel to provide green options and alternatives prior to your final approval of the hotel contract.
- Select hotels that offer guests the option to reuse towels or linens during their stay.
- Ask hotel to provide cards that individuals can leave in the bathroom stating they don’t want to have their toiletries replaced.
- Require the hotel to provide paperless check in and check out.
- Ask about their compost program for unused organic waste.
Green Your Food & Beverage
- Eliminate the use of plastic stir sticks.
- Request cloth napkins and tablecloths.
- Serve “Box Lunches” buffet style.
- Provide attendees with branded event mugs or water bottles.
- All condiments can be served in serving containers instead of individual packets.
- Plan menus with locally grown or organic food.
- Where possible, donate surplus food to local shelters.
- Require all facilities to use china service. If a facility can demonstrate that china service cannot be used, biodegradable disposable service ware in conjunction with a compost program should be used.
Green Your Travel
- Choose a destination with minimal travel requirements for delegates.
- Purchase electronic tickets for airline travel whenever possible.
- Choose hotels/meeting venues accessible to airport by public transportation.
- Use or give incentives to travel via public transit (free passes or transit route maps).
- If transportation is being arranged for delegates, choose a vehicle that is eco-friendly.
Green Your Promotional/Printed Materials
- Make sure all printed items are printed on at least 30% recycled paper per the EPA standards of recycled content.
- Copy and print all materials two-sided.
- Use recycled name badges.
- Use electronic advertising, promotion and registration whenever possible.
- Design materials as self-mailers whenever possible.
- Print with vegetable-based ink.
- Use mailing labels with water-based adhesives.
- Only mail confirmation of registration and any significant changes to the event program. All other communication should be sent electronically.
- Eliminating as much printed material on-site is also a great way to ensure your confidential meeting materials remain only for those it was intended and ensure your intellectual property is not compromised.
Green Your Venue
- Encourage speakers to provide electronic copies of handouts of any visual presentations and post them on your website.
- Ensure that you can recycle any materials that are generated at the event.
- Make sure the convention center has recycling containers.
- Go carbon neutral (if offsetting choose renewable energy, not forest projects).
- Set up recognition program to recognize facilities or vendors who have an extensive program in place for green practices.