Did you know that the tradeshow and convention industry generates waste at a rate second only to the construction industry? We could quibble about the accuracy of that statement or whether the average waste per attendee is 5 pounds or 20 but regardless, we can all agree that this is an area ripe for improvement, especially in our fancy-product-centric spa world.
It is common practice at expos for attendees to dutifully accept samples and collateral with a smile and promptly deposit them by the armload in a trash bin just 20 feet away. In sharp contrast, the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego achieves north of 94% diversion rate for ALL the waste generated by the event, including food. This means that at the end of a 4-day event with an expo and care and feeding for 2,000 attendees, there was less trash going to the landfill than many single booths generate at the types of trade shows we’re all familiar with. Pretty remarkable.
Did it take effort? Yes. Education, planning and partnerships all contributed to the achievement. But it’s doable and the results come with a bonus sense of ownership and pride that is contagious and further spreads the positive impact into attendees daily lives and other events they touch. Down side? We have a hard time finding one.
We, at GSN, improve our footprint with every event we produce, but our singular efforts cannot make the impact this area needs. We all have a responsibility to think through the impact our networking events have on our planet and our people.
To assist you in your efforts to network sustainably, the Green Spa Network has developed the Green Meetings Resource that provides you with tips for how to green your meetings and events in key areas such as venue selection, accommodation, and travel. The document is relevant for meeting planners, meeting attendees, and meeting venues and provides an additional unique resource for each user. Click here to download your Green Meetings Resource today.
Together we can build a win-win-win initiative that will serve our industry’s evolving sense of purpose, our spa’s and supplier’s businesses AND bring a measure of relief to our planet.