As part of our impact agenda for sustainability, I blog regularly about green issues. This is a third post with tips on how to run a sustainable conference. Previous posts covered travel and travel costs and virtual conferencing.
Vegetarian and Vegan Food and Drink
A recent study in the journal Science argues for cutting meat and dairy from your diet. Because animals raised for food consume so many resources, choosing vegetarian options is a highly effective way of reducing your carbon footprint. Make your conference green by serving plenty of vegetarian and vegan food and beverages. Some recent conferences organised here at Manchester had only vegetarian food with several vegan options. This is an easy yet effective way to reduce the emissions associated with a conference. Because it’s not very common yet, it is often overlooked. But its effects are significant.
Reduce plastic and paper waste
Where possible, avoid disposable cups, plates, and cutlery.
Don’t use needless amounts of paper. Print only as many handouts as you’ll need. Also make sure to recycle all paper after your event.
Discounts on Conference Fees for Green Travel
Does your conference charge a fee? Consider giving a discount to or even waiving it completely for people who travelled there on public transport, by bicycle, or on foot. Offer to waive fees to people who can show you a train or bus ticket.