At the last NASJE Annual Conference, an effort was made to reduce paper handouts by having material available online through the website of our conference partner the National Association of State Court Administrators. Several informal discussions were held about efforts to “go green” when organizing conferences or other educational events.
A great resource for planning a green meeting is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website. The site offers links and resources for planners to incorporate green principles into every aspect of conference and meeting planning.
The quick tips below are a sample of the types of information available:
- Use paperless technology. Use new media and electronic technology to cut down your paper use. Create a conference web site; offer electronic registration and confirmation; and advertise using the web and/or email.
- Meet close. Reduce distances traveled by speakers and delegates. Choose a host city that’s close to as many participants as possible, and within the city choose a venue and hotel that are close to the airport and within walking distance of each other.
- Bulk up. Have your food & beverage service provider use bulk dispensers for sugar, salt, pepper, cream and other condiments.
- Lighten your Stay. Choose a hotel that offers a linen reuse program and bulk dispensers for shampoos and soaps in guest suites.
- Eat green. Include vegetarian meals, and have meals planned using local, seasonal produce.
- Close the recycling loop. Have all printed materials published on recycled paper, using vegetable-based inks, and on both sides of the page.
- Save energy. Coordinate with the meeting venue to ensure that lights and air conditioning will be turned off when rooms are not in use.
The site includes resources on destination and accommodation selection, event venues, transportation, communication, and marketing.