Government Connections - Spring 2012 - (Page 21)
Be a Green Meeting Participant
By Claudette M. Ferris, CAP-OM, CGMP
GREEN! BESIDES BEING a color, “going green” is a popular term used to describe the process of changing one’s lifestyle for the safety and beneﬁt of the environment. People who go green make decisions about their daily lives while considering what impact the outcome of those decisions may have on global and other environmental concerns. This also holds true in the hospitality industry. As meeting planners and suppliers, we’ve heard for years how to plan and execute “green” meetings and use “green” hotels. What exactly is a “green meeting”? A green meeting incorporates considerations to minimize its negative impact on the environment. However, a s meet i ng pa rticipants, what can we do to be green? How are we indiv idu a l ly s av i ng our env iron me nt? Her e a r e s ome practical tips for being a greener participant. When you have meetings internally or offsite, turn off the lights in your office or cubicle; save some energy. If several individuals are going to the same offsite meeting, carpool. Not only will it help save emissions, but it could help save parking fees as well. If your meeting is close enough, why not walk, take the bus or ride a bike? The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a “bike-share” program to encourage employees to do just that. If you bring your own water, take along a metal water container rather than using plastic bottles. If you are going out of state to a meeting or conference, and if there are others you know who are going, too, take the same flights so when you arrive at your destination you can share a
shuttle or taxi, which would help reduce energy consumption and emissions. At your hotel, pretend you’re at home. Take shorter showers; use the same sheets and towels throughout your stay. Not only will you be conserving water, but you’ll also be reducing the energy it takes to run the washers and dryers. When you leave your room, turn down the air conditioning and/or heater and turn off all the lights. Open the curtains if you want light in your room. It could even help to keep your room warm while you’re away. Take the stairs instead of using the elevator (Work some wellness into your stay at the same time.) While you’re at the meeting, leave the pads and pens on the table; the hotel can reuse these for other meetings, which will save paper consumption. If possible, bring your ow n laptop, wh ich wou ld a l s o help reduce paper consumption. With your laptop in front of you, you could eliminate paper wa ste by dow n load i ng a l l the meeting materials on your computer. If you must print out materials ahead of time, be sure to print them double-sided and on recyclable paper. With suppliers and planners doing their part to keep our meetings green, maybe you’ll think more about how you, too, can be a better green participant. Like anything else, it can’t be done overnight, but if we all try, it can be done one step at a time. Let’s help keep our planet GREEN! G Claudette Ferris is a member of the Rocky Mountain chapter.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Spring 2012
Travel Tips & Trends
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
Navigating the NEC Expo
Getting to Know You
Building Strong Relationships
What Do You Do?
The Meeting Minute
Government Connections - Spring 2012