When it comes to reducing the environmental impact of your events, you may be surprised to know that green initiatives are easy to implement, decrease your meeting costs, and deliver results that improve your organization’s triple bottom line: people, planet, and profits.

Here are 10 tips to design a green meeting and reduce overall costs:

1. Look for a hotel within walking distance to restaurants and nightlife to reduce transportation emissions.
2. Set a room temperature standard with the venue, including a time when air conditioning / heating should be turned down for the day.
3. Close blinds and turn off lights in vacant rooms.

4. Use local food that is in season (often local food is also organic).
5. Request bulk food dispensers for condiments, cereals, yogurt, cream cheese and butter to reduce packaging.
6. Provide water stations with pitchers and biodegradable cups and glasses instead of bottled water.

Print Materials
7. Send emails or develop a website for registration materials, white papers, and presentations. This cuts down on paper, reduces shipping costs and reduces recycling on-site.
8. Design generic directional signage for your annual events (leave out the date and location) so that you can reuse them the next year. Note that many properties also offer electronic signage.

9. Select ground transportation companies that use energy efficient vehicles; and minimize idling and air conditioning in all meeting vehicles.
10. Offer carbon offset options to air travelers.

Go tell it from the mountain! Make sure attendees, stakeholders, meeting partners and the media are aware of your green objectives. This will help your attendees embrace the green changes to your events and may also generate positive publicity for your meeting and your organization.

re-published and written by Diana Graling