When planning an off-campus conference or event, you should consider taking a few extra steps to minimize its environmental impact. See the Event Planning checklist below for ideas to "green" your event. If using ISU Dining for your event, they are utilizing sustainable practices in their catering, dining, and café operations.
"Green" Event Planning Checklist
- Table Presentation
- Use cloth tablecloths and napkins if possible. If not, at least use paper napkins that are made from recycled paper.
- Use sustainable table centerpieces such as potted plants, candles, or fruits that guests can take home and reuse. If food or flowers are used and not reused, make sure they are local and pesticide free so they can be composted.
- Request reusable dishes, cutlery, and glasses/cups.
- Ask caterers to use locally grown/produced foods and foods that are in season and organic.
- Use fair trade coffee and teas.
- Serve foods that need not be individually packaged nor require utensils.
- If hiring drop-off caterers, ask that food be packaged in reusable containers that they will come back and pick up after the event. This eliminates the need for individually packaged foods.
- Ask caterers to minimize the use of disposable packaging.
- Ask caterers to refrain from using individually wrapped condiments, sugar and salt packets, etc.
- Use electronic communication for invitations and confirmations instead of printed materials.
- Consider not providing programs to each attendee, but rather posting a few in central locations.
- Provide paper recycling bins in strategic locations for the programs and other paper that you provide.
- Consider giving away items that attendees can use for the rest of the conference, such as travel mugs or tote bags.
Additional Resources to Green Your Meeting
- Green Meeting Site from EPA https://www.epa.gov/p2/green-meetings
11% of all commercial electric usage is consumed by office equipment including computers, monitors, printers, scanners, and fax machines.
If you are about to requisition office equipment, ask for Energy Star and look for the Energy Star label on these products. Energy Star certified office equipment generates less heat, so the university may also realize savings on air conditioning and maintenance.
If you are considering a new desktop, laptop, or monitor, you may also want to consult EPEAT, The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool.
When you purchase copy paper from Central Stores, you will be using paper that is FSC certified and has a 30% recycled content.