1. Greening travel to the hotel
If attendees are flying to the meeting, provide the client with airlines that offer direct flights to the meeting city. Direct flights tend to use less fuel and contribute fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
If possible, provide group transportation for attendees to get to the hotel. Provide the client with information on how participants can travel to the property using public transportation or arrange for attendees to carpool from the airport to the meeting.
2. Educating attendees on the hotel’s green initiatives
At the start of the meeting, have the meeting host or a hotel representative discuss with participants that the property is very focused on protecting the environment and asks the cooperation of all attendees. This gets everyone in a sustainability frame of mind from the start and can prove very effective.
3. Using recyclable alternatives and adding recycling
Encourage the client to select badges made from recycled materials, which are also recyclable. Offer to order these for the client. Make sure recycling trash cans are strategically placed throughout the meeting area. Trash cans should be labeled “wet trash” and “dry trash.” Dry trash cans do not need plastic liners, which are usually not made from recycled materials.
4. Reducing paper and plastic waste
Opt for plates, glasses, dinnerware, and linen napkins rather than paper napkins and paper or plastic cups, plates, or utensils. Serve water from pitchers rather than providing individual plastic bottles. Also, consider reusing select decorative items throughout the event.
Another good way to save paper is to make everything digital. Using the hotel’s wireless system, encourage the client to provide all items that would typically be delivered on paper to be delivered electronically to the attendee’s device. Encourage all participants to take notes digitally. If paper materials are supplied, they can be made from recycled materials and use vegetable ink. Also important is noting these attributes on all printed material, which can help encourage attendees to do their part in protecting the environment.
5. Going local
If placing flowers, select flowers that are in season and locally grown so that they do not need to be flown in from somewhere else in the country, consuming fuel and releasing greenhouse gases.
All food should be provided by local suppliers who stress “eating green.” It’s healthier and has a reduced environmental impact when compared to meat.
6. Greening cleaning
Before and after the meeting, clean the room using green-certified cleaning solutions.
7. Cutting energy usage
Turn on heat or air conditioning and lights about 30 minutes before the event and turn everything off right after the event. If possible, take advantage of daylighting to reduce energy needs–for instance, scheduling a morning meeting in a room facing east to make use of sunlight.
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