Do you coordinate meetings, exhibits, conferences, or events? If so, take advantage of green meeting tips.
Prevent Waste from the Start
- Use electronic program brochures, registration and confirmation procedures. Reduce wasteful duplicate mailings by asking brochure recipients to contact you if they no longer want to receive your mailings or if their address or contact information has changed. Having an up-to-date mailing list saves printing and mailing costs and reduces recycling needs.
- When needed, print handout materials on both the front and back sides of the paper.
- Print materials on recycled-content paper and include a note identifying the percentage of recycled content used in the paper. Avoid goldenrod or bright, fluorescent colored paper because it is hard to recycle. Use soy ink if possible. Try to print only the amount needed to distribute.
- Make presentation handouts available on-line, send then electronically upon request after the meeting, or copy them onto re-used floppy disks to distribute.
- Use nametags in re-usable holders. Be sure to have a collection box so that after the meeting, attendees can leave their nametags for your future use.
- Use reusable or recyclable signs to direct people to appropriate meeting rooms.
- All state agencies should have organized "Green Rooms," which are designated areas within offices for excess, gently used office supplies. Some agency Green Rooms have a large surplus of 3-ring binders, floppy disks and other similar items that could be re-used for your conference. Before buying new meeting supplies, check to see if your agency has a Green Room for the supplies you need.
- Remove unused papers from the meeting room for reuse within your own office, or deposit unneeded paper in designated recycling bins. (Note: Use the wooden multi-material Greening Stations to recycle office paper, newspaper and beverage containers. They are located on the north end of the IGC South Conference Center atrium. Green newspaper and blue beverage container bins are also located throughout the Conference and Training Center.)
- For events outside of the IGC Conference Center: Arrange to recycle empty beverage containers at your event, by requesting this service in your meeting site specifications and including it in your contract. If recycling service is not available and your organizing group is willing to coordinate it, recycling bins, bags and supplies may be borrowed from the Greening the Government Program. Be sure to contact the Greening the Government Program at least 6 weeks prior to the event to ensure needed supplies. Technical assistance will also be provided as needed.
Use Environmentally Preferable Products
If you are going to give away promotional items to your meeting's attendees, consider purchasing useful re-usable items that are made from recycled materials. Also consider promotional items that are energy-efficient and only use items that do not contain toxic material.
Prevent Messes and Pest Problems
Order foods that are unlikely to leave a mess or stain if spilled. In addition to reducing cleaning needs, prevention can also reduce pest problems. Refer to the IGC Conference Center use agreement for details.
Turn lights and electrical equipment off when not needed and when your meeting is over. Most rooms have switches.
Ask Meeting Participants To Help
- Be sure to tell meeting attendees about your efforts in pre-meeting brochures, meeting updates and with verbal reminders during the event. Ask participants for their cooperation and participation. Recognize attendees, vendors and sponsors who have made an extra effort (i.e. "I was "CAUGHT GREEN HANDED" recognition). If a meeting evaluation is conducted, ask attendees for feedback and suggestions on the "green" efforts included.
- If your meeting has multiple sponsors, ask all of them to commit to a green meeting.
- If your meeting includes vendors or exhibit booths, give them a checklist to help them "green their exhibit." For example, ask vendors to be mindful of amounts of brochures they distribute, to encourage distribution of useful, recycled-content promotion items if they are giving such items away, and other ways to "green" their exhibit booth. Ask vendors to break down any corrugated boxes so they can easily be collected for recycling. On vendor post-event surveys, ask for their feedback and suggestions to improve greening efforts.
- If your meeting includes a contract with a neighboring hotel facility for overnight accommodations, encourage or actively work with the hotel to assure that green principles are used to the extent possible at the hotel.