Archive for February, 2013

Sustainability Starts at Home

February 7, 2013

Happy New Year and welcome back!  2013 is shaping up to be a great year.

Many of us in the meetings and events industry have been working with, planning or hearing about sustainability initiatives.  Meetings and conventions can be very wasteful, sending a lot of material to landfill. There are a lot of fantastic programs and use of recyclable materials out there to lessen the impact, but in the end it is the people who make the biggest difference.  For some shows like Greenbuild, this comes more naturally as their attendees are all eco-minded and want to make a difference.  For other shows this is a bigger hurdle to overcome but, sustainability starts at home with good habits of recycling and reuse.

All of us know that our good habits were gained through repetition, maybe some of our bad ones too.   As a parent I often feel like a broken record reinforcing good habits in my boys with the knowledge that some day it will eventually stick and hopefully soon. When we as adults want to develop better habits and practices it again takes repetition before it feels like just another thing we do naturally. That is our goal to have the best practice and good habits be second nature so much so that it feels right to be wearing it, and becomes who we are.

So where do we start? We start with the simple things. Bring your reusable coffee cup and water bottle from home.  I like using my travel mug at home; it keeps my coffee hot longer and feels good in my hand.  It has now become almost a comfort item when I am on the road and I am not going through coffee cups daily.  My new water bottle is a collapsible style that holds plenty of water and then packs flat.  These new water bottles are so cool that our management team all uses them and we are giving them out as prizes for the staffers.

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As National Event Staffing and Management specialists we spend a lot of time focusing on our staffers.  This is also where we have our biggest opportunity to make a sustainability impact.  We developed our Sustainability Prize program as an incentive program and a way to recognize our staffers making the biggest impact.  The biggest result of the Sustainability Prize program is that all of our staffers while trying to win are walking the talk, participating and interacting with the attendees.  Don’t forget that these staffers didn’t just become more eco or sustainability conscious when they get to the convention center; they have been practicing it at home.

When we bring our sustainability habits to our various roles in the meetings and events workplace, we are able to make a difference.  Whether our role is large or small, we all have a voice and are in a position to make an impact.