From the day we celebrated Earth Day (April 15th) to the actual Earth Day last week (April 22nd), we featured an entire week of green blogs. A co-worker who is inspired and motivated to be green both at home and in the workplace shared her collection of green books with us. On Earth Day, we wrote “8 Inspiring Tips from The Book: 365 Ways to Be Green” which featured unusual green tips we don’t always consider or think about. Today, we’ve incorporated ways to create green meeting experiences from start to finish from Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen’s book, The Green Book. Here are 7 ways to be green in-transit to your meetings, at the venue, or to make as everyday decisions:
- Challenge your attendees with iPads - I first heard this idea from Jeff Vargas, Chief Learning Officer at Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Need your attendees to learn material over travel? Rather than sending them off with a binder of papers, Jeff’s employees are motivated to learn with their new iPad. Jeff distributes iPads to his employees to learn online course-work over a 14-hour travel window. They’re able to keep the iPads if they complete the material. Are they motivated to learn? Yes! Do they complete the coursework? You betcha’!
- Find out what happens when you pack lightly - According to The Green Book, “Every additional ten pounds per traveler requires an additional 350 million gallons of jet fuel per year, which is enough to keep a 747 flying continuously for ten years.”
- Hybrid Taxis - if traveling on a metro isn’t an option from the airport to the meeting venue, opt for a hybrid car service whether a taxi or car rental. The Green Book explains, “If the entire New York City taxi fleet were converted to hybrids, the result in terms of reduced emissions would be the equivalent of taking twenty-four thousand cards off the road.”
- Are you keeping your room at a meeting-friendly temperature? – From the Classroom chapter in The Green Book, we learn meeting planners should keep the classroom between 69 and 73 degrees. “It will save energy and improve the learning environment. In classrooms kept at controlled temperatures, students scored higher on test and exams than they did at much colder or warmer temperatures. Every degree of temperature saved also means a cost savings per room of 2 percent on utility bills.”
- On-site at the meeting venue – if the meeting venue has guest rooms to accommodate attendees, you should take advantage of them. “You’ll cut down on commuting time, gasoline consumption, car maintenance and pollution.”
- Skip the rubber bands – Decline rubber bands from the hotel’s business center. In The Green Book we discovered, three-quarters of rubberbands are synthetic, made from crude oil which creates significant health effects when incinerated at the dump. In North America alone, we use 2.2 million metric tons of synthetic rubbers in a year.
- One Fish, Two Fish, Sustainable Fish – as to be discussed in the Engage365 chat this Friday (04/29 at 1 PM EST), choose sustainable items for the best food at meetings. In terms of fish, sustainably harvest wild fish are a better choice as farmed fish have higher levels of heavy metals, considered threats to endangered populations of wild fish species, live in extremely close quarters and generate a lot of waste (The Green Book).
Are there any other unusual touches you do to create a green meeting experience? What are they and how do others value your special touch?
Tags: Chief Learning environment, CLO, go green, green meeting strategies, green meetings, hybrid car services, iPads for meetings, iPads learning, Jeff Vargas, learning strategies, meeting foods, meeting room temperature, meeting strategies, packing lightly, rubber bands, stay at a meeting venue, suitcase for business travel, sustainable seafood, Sustainable Seafood Initiative