Even though the "green movement" has been around for years, the event meeting services industry still has a fair way to go with their embracement of it. Here are the cold, hard facts:
In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency deemed the meeting and event industry as the 2nd most wasteful in the country.
That same year, a EPA study determined that Americans generate about 250 million tons of waste, composting and recycling only 34% of it and throwing the rest away including items that could have been recycled such as aluminum cans and glass containers.
Don't let those statistics scare you — because there are some simple, yet effective, ways meeting planners can create a more sustainable, eco-friendly meeting. Here are just a few:
#1: Tour the Venue's trash areas.
As disgusting as this may seem, going out back and looking at the trash area can provide you with a lot of information about the waste policies at the venue. If you see plastic and glass containers, as well as, oodles of food thrown out, you will know they are not very environmentally conscious.
Below are some questions that can determine how green the venue is:
- Where does your extra food go at the end of each day?
- What do you recycle and how do you encourage attendees to participate?
- Have you replaced paper and plastic serving items with glass, china, and cloth napkins?
- What happens to the signage and programs at the end of each meeting?
Many times being green requires awareness about your current practices and procedures. Here are questions to consider:
- How can I reduce waste? One way is through an accurate meeting count that will allow you to have just the right amount of food and beverages.
- What can I reuse over and over again?
- Are there different types of recycling stations available for the meeting and are they all around the venue?
- What can I rent? Event audio visual companies can provide all your meeting technology needs and at a fraction of the cost it would be to purchase, maintain, and store that equipment.
#3: Take a "no printing" pledge.
So much paper is wasted at meeting and events between the programs, exhibitor brochures, conference binders, signage and name tags. There are many ways to eliminate most of your paper (if not all of it). Here are some great ways to reduce printing and paper:
- Rent iPads to replace all your presentation handouts, programs, and conference binders. Encourage attendees to utilize social channels to network and connect with each other, replacing name badges and business cards.
- Place video wall rental units and computer kiosks in strategic places throughout the meeting space allowing attendees to view up-to-the-minutes announcements. live video feeds from speakers, and obtain directions to meeting rooms or exhibit booths.
- Replace paper surveys with wireless Audience Response Systems.
AV Event Solutions can provide your next meeting or event with state-of-the-art interactive technology tool rentals to keep your meeting very green. Give them a call today at 888-249-4903.