Meeting News - October 6, 2008 - (Page 16)

Green Beat By Terri Hardin Retail Giant Wal-Mart Greens Up Its Act Meeting showcases recycled products and eco-friendly shipping practices Wal-Mart will hold the first annual Sustainability Milestone Meeting in Bentonville, AR, on Oct. 7, with CEO Lee Scott as the host. More than 80 exhibitors are expected to participate, including Wilson Art International, Georgia Pacific, American Rubber Technologies, American Specialty Glass, and Quest Recycling. In fact, it was Quest Recycling that brought the concept to Wal-Mart. According to show organizer Denise Kennedy, “Wal-Mart is particularly interested in products that can be created in a ‘closed-loop system,’ meaning those reclaimed at the end of their lifecycle and turned into other products that can be sold in stores. All the showcased products are made from recycled materials, such as tires, plastics, refined oil, and organic waste. One example is rubber playground mulch made from old tires. Red Ball Productions LLC, the general contractor for the showcase, selected environmentally friendly EA Logistics to be the official freight carrier for the show. EA Logistics’ Delivered GrEAn program computes emissions for each shipment based on distance, weight, and mode of transportation, and at no additional cost to customers purchases carbon credits to offset 100 percent of these emissions. “We are thrilled to be able to support these exhibitors in their efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their show participation while expanding the market for sustainable products,” said Mike Ellis, president.“By helping facilitate their connection with Wal-Mart, we hope to encourage eco-friendly shipping.” Ellis, who has been active in efforts to promote eco-friendly exhibiting, is co-chair of the transportation subcommittee for the APEX-sponsored effort to establish sustainability standards for the meetings and events industry. Quest Recycling was the instigator of the first annual Wal-Mart sustainability meeting. A New Perspective on Incentive and Pillow Gifts For planners looking for green pillow gifts, the Green Perspective, a Philadelphia-based company, offers a series of green business gifts on its website, Take This List, Check It Twice: Guest Rooms he Green Hotels Association (GHA), a membership organization that seeks to establish guidelines for environmentally friendly properties, has put together the following checklist that planners can use on site inspections: T Linen program asking guests to consider reusing towels and not having sheets changed daily No smoking Low-flow, 1.5- to 2.5-gpm showerhead and 0.5-gpm sink aerators Recycling basket Fluorescent lighting Dispensers for soap and shampoo All-natural, biodegradable amenities Organic cotton or bamboo bed and bath 16 MeetingNews October 6, 2008 linens Energy-management system Energy Star PTAC, TV, and appliances Fresh smell (not the smell of cleaning products), which means non-toxic cleaning products and HVAC filters changed appropriately Houseplants to help clean indoor air Washable glasses and cups Painted walls (with no- or low-VOC paint) rather than vinyl wall coverings that can encourage mold and mildew Recycled paper products in bathrooms Ceiling fans Newspapers on request only For more information, go to www. The gifts include items such as bamboo cutting boards, locally produced soap made from natural ingredients, and compact fluorescent light bulbs. A book about different aspects of the green scene is also available to educate people about how they can help make a difference for a more sustainable future. Green Perspective’s items are placed in stylish containers (such as bamboo bowls and reusable bags), which themselves are useful and green, instead of standard baskets wrapped in disposable plastic. Shipping is via U.S. Postal Service’s Flat-Rate Priority service, which assures delivery within three days, with shipping materials that have received USPS’ stringent Cradle To Cradle Certification for their ecologically intelligent design and the elimination of waste in their production. Said Green Perspective owner Todd Baylson, “Over time, we believe that green products will replace their conventional peers to become standard. In fact, there is no reason at all they should not because green items are stylish, attractive, useful, and better for us and our environment. We want to help make that vision a reality. That’s why we are focused on making it easy and educational to purchase green gifts.” r

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Meeting News - October 6, 2008