By Linda Pereira


Over the last decade we’ve all seen the rise in interest towards worldwide environmental issues, you could say they have become quite a hot topic. Related to our own industry we often hear a lot about the topic of Green Meetings, but how many of us have actually ever experienced a Green Meeting or planned one? Most people probably have not… so why in this day in age of Kyoto and Hybrids are Green Meetings not more of a focus within our industry? Where are they? Why are more meetings, conventions and congresses not greener events and how do we make this more of a focus within our industry?

These are some of the basic things you can do to start working towards greening your meetings, events and workplace:

Recycle badges after the congress

Drastically reduce printed promotional materials such as post cards and brochures dramatically in size/length and print on recycled paper with more information posted online

Where possible, locally grown organic foods should be used at event functions

Earth-friendly promotional products should be distributed at the conference

The conference program should be printed on the first few pages of the padfolio delegates receive at registration, resulting in one less printed brochure

Serve water in jugs and not plastic bottles whenever possible

Donate un-served food to soup kitchens, homeless shelters or other community service organizations. Donate all left over materials (such as bags, padfolios etc.) to a local primary school.

Collect and distribute leftover exhibit materials to charitable organizations.

Provide un-used office supplies and equipment to local schools or charitable organizations.

Set aside free exhibit space for local non-profit organizations.

Choose hotels and venues that have implemented green policies – don’t be afraid to ask. Most hotels have an environmental program in place, but do they do enough? Do they recycle their gray water? Do they collect rain water from the roof? Do they use biodegradable cleaning products? Do they encourage guests to re-use towels and turn off lights when not in use? These are simple things that most hotels are beginning to implement

Linda Pereira is the President of CPL Events, an event planning and translation company in Portugal. She is our International Travel Editor and also serves as International Liaison to Women in Ecommerce. For more information, visit