How to Have an Environmentally Friendly Meeting

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We all want to be environmentally savvy. We recycle, we turn off the water while we brush our teeth, maybe some of us even drive electric cars. We want to do our part, but it can be hard to know exactly where to start when it comes to lowering our ecological footprint, especially at work. Here are a few simple tips on how to have a more environmentally friendly meeting.

 

The opportunity….Paper:

We have the convenience of being able to print whatever we want or need at any given time. I know I’ve hit “print” many times just to turn around and throw it away a day (or hour) later. One piece of paper isn’t much, but even one wasted piece of paper from every person in every meeting adds up to a lot of paper over time.

The Solution: Before hitting print on an entire powerpoint or document ask yourself “Will I need this entire document”? OR could you print just the one or two pages you need, or use a legal pad or journal to take notes. If you’re the facilitator, incorporate the agenda into your powerpoint presentation or print just a few copies of the agenda to share.

 

The opportunity…Meals: 

Boxed lunches have been a staple for meetings for decades. They’re easy, they can be labeled and individualized, but just take a minute to think about everything used to put together a boxed lunch. For just a few short hours, maybe minutes, the food is stored in plastic or cardboard containers which are then thrown away or (hopefully) recycled. The sandwiches are wrapped up, the pickles are wrapped up, and the cookie is probably wrapped separately as well.

The Solution: Choose a sandwich tray or buffet-style meal to be more environmentally friendly when ordering catering. Even though many caterers have moved to “eco-friendly” packaging (which is great!), eliminating the packaging altogether is even better. Caterers are also more than happy to work with companies on alternative options, especially if it involves eliminating packaging, so always ask!

 

The opportunity…Transportation: 

I will be the first to admit I love to drive! I’ll also admit I’ve turned down ride-share options because I like having my own car. Having your own vehicle is convenient. It’s also unavoidable, at times. But let’s be real — do we need to drive, separately, to every meeting? Probably not. Do we all need to drive separately to the restaurant located 2 blocks away after the meeting? Doubtful.

The Solution: Try car pooling from the office if you’re heading to an offsite. If you have a small enough team rent a small passenger van and all ride together. Take public transportation. Columbus actually has multiple means of alternative transportation, and some of it is free! Check out this link for more info on smart mobility.

 

My hope for this post is that we’ll all just stop and take a minute to think about our options and impact not only at home, but in the meeting room.We can all take small steps towards planning our meetings in a more environmentally friendly way.

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Here you'll find ideas, tips, and techniques to help make your next offsite your best meeting yet.We've learned a lot during the 15,000+ meetings we've hosted, and we never stop learning (and sharing) because meetings and teams are always evolving. Be sure to leave comments and join the conversation!