Many companies are pro-active in doing their part in protecting our environment, and many are on the lookout for green meeting ideas. These companies are asking the right questions, and doing their best to “Go Green.” I’ve listed three items to keep in mind, and questions you can ask yourself when booking your next meeting. By asking yourself these simple questions and following these green meeting practices, you are doing your part in keeping your company’s ecological footprint small.
Have I chosen a location that offers public transportation? Making sure there is public transportation is important, especially if you have guests coming from out of town. Using public transportation is a great way to save energy, and some cities are now providing free transportation, similar to the CBUS here in Columbus. Riding bikes has also become more popular, so checking to see if bike racks are available is also a great question to think about.
Are we able to carpool to our meeting location? If you’re doing a one-day offsite, carpooling is a great option. This eliminates multiple parking fees, lost attendees (unless the entire group gets lost!), and saves on fuel!
Have I chosen a location that has easy access to restaurants and hotels? Ensuring your meeting site is located in a populated area, will allow your team to walk to their hotel and nearby restaurants. This eliminates the need to use multiple cars to go from one place to the other. This is not only a green meeting practice, it’s also convenient for your team.
Have I chosen a caterer who “buys local”? Choosing a caterer who buys local is a great way to use local resources and seasonal food. Using these sustainable items is a great and simple way to “go-green” during your next meeting. You’re also supporting local businesses and communities.
What happens to the leftover food? Here at sparkspace we often have lots of leftovers after catered meals, which we to donate to a local food pantry. Find out if your meeting site donates. Different cities, counties, and charities have different rules on donated food, but there are facilities that will take donated catered food, which is always a great way to save waste.
Making smart choices on the “little things”
Are we making unnecessary copies? The amount of wasted paper after a meeting is mind-boggling! How often does your team actually use the 20-page colored copy document you printed? If you have to make copies make sure you are printing them double-sided, and only if they are a working document. Otherwise, these are best on a digital file.
Does your meeting facility recycle? By now this should be a no-brainer. If you do not see the labeled “recycle” bins in your room then ask! All companies should be recycling.
Creating a green meeting checklist and asking yourself the questions above before booking your next meeting means you’re taking the right steps toward an eco-friendly meeting.
We don’t pretend to be perfect at sparkspace, but we do strive to be as green as we can, and we are continually improving in this area (like installing LED lighting throughout our entire space earlier this year). If you’d like to know what we do to keep our ecological footprint small, email me and I’ll be happy to share our best green meeting ideas with you.