Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Green Meetings

Though we are perpetually becoming more and more efficient with technology, many meetings big and small tend to rely heavily on disposable materials while communicating information and serving meeting attendees’ needs. We are led to our meeting room by paper signs, wear a name tag covered in plastic, drink from aluminum cans, and follow a presentation on a paper handout. As we continue to be conscious of the footprint each of us leaves on the earth, let’s consider some easy ways to make our meetings “greener” without compromising comfort and practicality.

Consider these tips:

• Offer online registration for attendees on your website

• Make handouts available online and allow internet access to attendees during the meeting

• Offer materials on a removable drive marked with your brand and encourage attendees to take the drives home with them

• If necessary to print, be sure to print double-sided pages

• Have recycling containers for aluminum, plastic, and especially paper available inside the meeting space

• Consider iced water carafes or pitchers on tables instead of bottled water at each place

• Avoid disposable coffee cups, and consider giving meeting attendees reusable coffee mugs marked with your brand at the beginning of a conference

• Offer local food for meals and even snacks, if possible

• Serve condiments in bulk rather than individually packaged

• Choose signage, displays, and decoration materials that can be reused

Alison Shermeta Gentry

Account Manager
Graylyn Estate & Conference Center

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