Government Connections - Fall 2011 - (Page 19)
It’s Easy To Be Green
By Linda Canon, CMP, CGMP
KERMIT THE FROG had it all wrong – it’s actually easy
to be green. It all starts with the 3 R’s/3 P’s for sustainability: • Economic Viability (Reuse, Profit) • Social Responsibility (Recycle, People) • Environmental Stewardship (Reduce, Planet) Combining aspects of these areas into an overall sustainability plan for your events will help you determine which pieces are the most appropriate for your organization and attendees, as well as give you a structure for how to measure and ultimately report on your sustainability successes. Once you’ve created a sustainability plan for your meetings, the next step is implementation. Here are some practical tips you can try for your next meeting.
• During site selection, consider public transportation availability and check for energy-saving systems such as towel and linen re-use programs as well as motion sensors for turning off lights when no one is in a room. • Purchase collateral items locally instead of shipping them. Let the attendees decide (during the registration process) if they want a giveaway item; you’ll buy a lot fewer and those who want them will look forward to receiving the item. • Ask for locally-sourced, in-season food; it will likely taste better and cost less. Use bulk service vs. individual packets for condiments to eliminate wasteful packaging.
• Establish a baseline by asking for your event’s “diversion rate” (the amount of waste diverted from the landfill) and then set goals to improve on it. Even small changes can have a big impact, so why not pick just one of the ideas mentioned and give it a try?
• Suggest that attendees bring last year’s registration bag with them or have a contest to see who can bring the oldest or most interesting bag. • Leave the date off logos so that the leftovers can be used for next year’s event. • Considee purchasing sturdier signs with inserts rather than one-use foamcore. • Ask if composting is available or if leftover food and beverage can be donated. Most local food banks will gladly sign a liability waiver; some can take food not fit for human consumption and convert it into animal feed. To find the food bank in your conference destination, go to http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx. • Incorporate a community project into the conference schedule so that your event has a positive lasting impact. It also encourages networking and team building at low-to-no cost. The local CVB can point you in the right direction. G
Linda Canon is a planner member of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter.
• Gather (from your staff, exhibitors and other vendors supporting your meeting) any leftover materials and donate them to a local school, especially pens and pads of paper. I Love Schools (http://www.iloveschools.com/donoroffer) can help you find a good match. • Look into programs that re-purpose partially used amenities, such as Clean the World (http://www.cleantheworld.org/), or find a local shelter that will accept them.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Government Connections - Fall 2011
Travel Tips & Trends
Good to Know
Dieting on a Per Diem
Can You Think in Reverse?
Food and Beverage
U.S. Flag Protocol
The Meeting Minute
Government Connections - Fall 2011