WHAT IS A GREEN MEETING OR EVENT?
A green meeting or event incorporates environmental considerations to minimize its negative impact on the environment.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GREEN MEETINGS & EVENTS?
- The Economic Bottom Line - Green Meetings and Events Can Save Money
Planning and executing a green meeting isn't just about being environmentally responsible, they can have economic benefits for the event organizer. In fact, many of the minimum recommended guidelines in the Green Meetings Report can actually save money. For example, collecting name badge holders for reuse at an event of 1300 attendees can save approximately $975 for the event organizer.
- The Environmental Bottom Line - Green Meetings and Events are Good for the Environment
Using recycled materials, recycling materials used, reusing items and reducing materials used can significantly lessen the environmental impact an event has. For example, if a five-day event serves 2200 people breaks, breakfasts, lunches and receptions using china instead of plastic disposables, it prevents 1,890 lbs of plastic from going into a landfill. That's nearly one ton! Another example is by not pre-filling water glasses at banquet tables during three days of served lunches for 2200 attendees; 520 gallons of water can be saved.
Green hotels are properties whose managers or owners are eager to institute programs that save water, energy and reduce solid waste while saving money to help protect our one and only earth!
Here are a few of the minimum best practices to be included in a hotel that we might select:
- We will ask hotels to provide visible and accesssible reduction, reuse and recycling services for paper, metal, plastic and glass
- Ensure hotels offer a linen reuse program and bulk dispensers for shampoos and soaps in all guest rooms
- Make sure food and beverage providers use bulk dispensers for sugar, salt, cream and other condiments
- Ensure that the hotel's business center provides recycled paper and the ability to print on both sides
- Ensure that the hotel has quality water-saving devices for all shower heads, toilets and faucets
- Arrange to have left over food donated to a local food bank or soup kitchen
- We will include a clause in the hotel contract that states their commitment to comply with organizer's environmental requests
COMMON MYTHS REGARDING GREEN MEETINGS
Myth: Green Meetings are a hassle.
Reality: For planners, green meetings involve looking at the decisions you already make in a green light. When inquiring about catering ask for local, organic and vegetarian options. When arranging for printing of collateral materials, ask printers to use post-consumer recycled content paper, print on both sides and use vegetable-based inks.
Myth: Green Meetings are expensive.
Reality: Green Meetings are about increasing economic and environmental efficiency by minimizing the use of resources and reducing the amount of waste produced from meeting activities. Trimming waste curbs costs, whether it be through the introduction of energy efficiency programs in hotels and convention centers, by reducing the volume of printed conference materials, providing locally grown food, or designing re-usable signage.
- Provide water in pitchers which can save hundreds/thousands of dollars for each meeting
- Serve condiments in bulk rather than individual serving packages - bulk cream is 2% less expensive and bulk sugar is 50% less expensive than single-serving sachets
- Eliminate shuttle bus transportation and select hotels and meeting facilities within walking distance or near to mass transit
- Collect name badge holders after the meeting - reusing holders can save approximately $1.00 per person
Myth: Green Meetings reduce the quality of the meeting experience.
Reality: Most green meeting activities go completely unnoticed by delegates. Attendees are not likely to notice your reuse of signage or preference for recycled paper. Many already sort their household waste for curbside pickup and are likely to make use of onsite recycling without a second thought.
GIVING GREEN FOR BOOKING GREEN
In an effort to show our commitment to our environment, Meeting Solutions will donate 10% of our earnings from green meetings to Global Green USA, a national environmental organization addressing three of the greatest challenges facing humanity:
- Stemming global climate change by creating green buildings and cities
- Eliminating weapons of mass destruction that threaten lives and the environment
- Providing clean, safe drinking water for the 2.4 billion people around the world who lack access to clean water