Green Meetings Guidelines

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Thank you for considering green alternatives for your meeting.

Sustainability = Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To be sustainable, nature’s resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally.

What is a Green Meeting or Event? A green meeting or event incorporates environmental considerations to minimize its negative impact on the environment. (Source: Convention Industry Council definition)

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Center is committed to being as environmentally friendly as possible. Your efforts are an important component in achieving this goal.

Please consider the following:

  • Encourage presenters to leave hand-outs behind and go “paperless.” Have a sign-up sheet available for capturing e-mail addresses in each room for those requesting an electronic copy of the speaker’s presentation.
  • Encourage attendees to deposit all recyclable items in the center’s recycle containers.
  • Purchase name badges that are reusable. These typically have paper inserts. Have a collection box available at the end of the meeting.
  • Turn off meeting room lights after the last guest leaves.
  • Encourage attendees to enjoy environmentally-friendly activities such as walks along the Campus Lake and Saluki Steps pathways.
  • Encourage exhibitors to bring a realistic amount of promotional materials. Have them recycle unused portions rather than dispose of them.
  • Encourage exhibitors to use environmentally-friendly packing materials such as cardboard.
  • When paper copies are preferred, have all materials published on recycled paper, using soy or vegetable based inks. Print or copy on both sides of the paper. Avoid glossy paper when possible.
  • Create signage that is recyclable or that can be used at future events.
  • Request that on site recycling be provided for paper products, plastics and other recyclable materials that may be generated.
  • Choose centerpieces and decorations that can be reused, such as living plants or silk flowers. Give these away as door prizes.
  • Consider providing your delegates with reusable coffee mugs at the start of the conference.
  • Ask exhibitors to limit materials and collateral by:
    • Bringing only what is needed for attendees
    • Offering to send material upon request
    • Distributing information as PDA downloads
    • Avoiding dated materials
  • When working with Student Center Preferred Caterers to plan your food & beverage needs:
    • Request that china service or biodegradable disposable service ware be provided, as well as cloth napkins and table cloths.
    • Eliminate use of plastic stir sticks with any beverage service, request reusable spoons in their place.
    • Ask that condiments, beverages, and other food items be served in serving containers and not in individual packets.
    • Include vegetarian meals, and plan meals requesting fair trade coffee and local, seasonal produce when possible.
    • Provide accurate meal counts (at least 1 week prior to your event) to help limit food waste.
    • Ask to have food served without garnishes or use edible garnishes.
    • Eliminate plastic water bottles by giving attendees a refillable water bottle and providing water stations.
    • Ask that head table water not be set and water glasses not be pre-filled.

We are asking you to join us in making a commitment to help us protect our natural resources.