Green Meetings

For most workers, meetings are a fact of life. With weekly staff meetings, seminars, annual general meetings and the occasional conference to attend, the environmental impact of meetings are often overlooked. The reality is meetings result in increased energy consumption, waste production, and even air pollutants and GHG emissions from the energy demand.

By hosting green meetings, organizations can save money and the environment. According to Environment Canada's Green Meeting Guide, a green meeting is one that ensures that all aspects of an event, including its location, food services and transportation are approached with pollution prevention in mind. There are many reasons to host a green meeting:

· Conserving energy and reducing waste saves money

· Your green meeting will showcase the benefits of green meetings and encourage attendees go green with their own meetings

· Green organizations have a positive public image

· Employees can take pride in working for a green and socially responsible organization

Here are some ideas that will help you plan green meetings:

Reduce Travel

· Arrange for teleconferencing and videoconferencing whenever possible to reduce the need for fuel consumption (from driving or flying)

· Or meet at a location that is close for all the attendees

· Choose a location that is accessible by public transit

Reduce Waste

· Distribute relevant documents prior to the meeting via e-mail so attendees can read them before the meeting without printing them (or print only what they need)

· Where paper is necessary, be sure to print on both sides of the page

· Collect name tags at the end of the meeting for reuse at your next meeting

Eat Smart

· Use reusable plates and mugs to serve food and beverages

· Serve local vegetables and seasonal fruits

· Reduce the need for disposable utensils by ordering finger foods

· Ask the venue to provide recycling bins for glass and plastic and compost bins for food waste

There are many more ways to host green meetings. These tips represent a few easy ways for you to get started hosting your own green events. For more tips on organizing green meetings, consult Environment Canada's Green Meeting Guide or the US EPA's Green Meeting website


Kreg Weiss is a co-founder of My Yoga Online and certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. Several years ago, Kreg discovered yoga while teaching health and fitness. Yoga dramatically transformed Kreg's approach to teaching health and wellness as well as changed his personal life bringing new direction in finding physical, mental, and spiritual growth.

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