Friday, 10 September 2010 17:25

Use a Checklist to Make Events Greener: Here's a Start

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CarbonFree® Events Partner Paul Mitchell Schools takes its best effort to make its Owners Summit as sustainable as possible twice a year, every year. In addition to calculating and offsetting the summit’s footprint, the hair design program completes a comprehensive checklist when planning the event to reduce waste, save energy and change behavior. This last part–changing behavior–helps the event create a legacy of sustainable behavior that extends beyond the event itself by changing the way its attendees live, its suppliers operate and its facilities function. Without revealing their entire checklist, I want to highlight a few of the broadly applicable sustainability practices any event can borrow from Paul Mitchell Schools: 1.       Print paper materials on recycled paper–if possible using vegetable-based inks. Also, reduce paper usage by, e.g., printing double-sided. This isn’t as trivial as it sounds. Citigroup found that if each of its employees saved only one sheet of paper per week by printing double-sided, the company could save over $700,000 per year. 2.       Make visible reduction, reuse and recycle services for people to use. Make it easy for your participants to make the right decisions and they will. Many events now label their trash receptacles “landfill” to drive the point home. 3.       Ask your caterer to minimize the number of disposables. Ask for non-disposable plates, silverware, napkins and coffee mugs if possible or use recyclables. 4.       Inform attendees on going green & ask them to participate. If you make this a priority, so will your attendees. Provide attendees tips on reducing their own carbon footprint and/or an option for your attendees to support carbon reduction projects. Carbonfund.org provides tips on our Save Energy page. 5.       Use left over paper as packing material to cushion boxes being shipped to and from your office. Be creative with the way you cut down on waste. Please share your own tips in the comment section below.
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