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Green Meetings

True, Washington might have been coined the ‘Evergreen State,’ because of our incredible forests and green spaces, but today it is also being lauded as one the most sustainable regions in the nation. Considering that, according to Meetings Strategies Worldwide, a typical five-day conference for 2,500 attendees will use 90,000 cans or bottles, 75,000 cups, and 87,500 napkins. Incorporating environmental considerations into your meeting is a simple way to minimize impact on the environment.

moutlon falls sizedGoing Green 

The myths of ‘going green’ usually focus on expense and effort. You might think it’s too expensive or too much effort to be more sustainable. On the contrary, small changes can actually save you time and money, in addition to contributing to a healthier environment.

The Hilton Vancouver Washington and Vancouver Convention Center is the first hotel in the world to attain both LEED® and Green Seal certification, which could be a great solution to “greening” your meeting.

Another popular LEED® gold meeting space is the 3,500-square-foot meeting and exhibit room at the Clark College at Columbia Tech Center. The space can accommodate as many as 500 people. The Heathman Lodge also incorporates sustainable practices and was the recent recipient of the Washington State Recycling Association’s Business Generator Recycler of the Year award. The Lodge was selected for the award for its many programs that reduce waste, recycle, and use recycled products. 

What other strategies can you employ to lessen the overall environmental impact when planning a meeting or event?

  • Replace disposable - When planning your next meeting, request china service and cloth napkins rather than disposable food and beverage service items. Replace bottled water with reusable containers and bulk dispensers.
  • Go paperless - Maximize online tools and email for registration and conference information to reduce paper usage.
  • Use reusable - Reusing name shields is good for the environment and your budget. Provide a name badge drop-off station.
  • Recycle materials - Take advantage of the recycling services that our facilities offer delegates such as recycling containers next to waste containers.
  • Eat sustainably - Many of our area restaurants serve food that is locally sourced and naturally grown in our area.
  • Consider collateral materials - Establish the necessity of collateral items, reducing when possible, and always using eco-friendly paper. Refer your delegates to the online Vancouver USA Regional Travel Magazine for information about Vancouver USA as a meeting destination. If you do want to share printed copies with your delegates, feel good knowing that Visit Vancouver USA uses Rainforest Alliance Certified ink and FSC certified paper.

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