A hot topic in the meeting planner world is the push for more green meetings. This was one of the most talked about issues at the National Meetings Industry Day Workshop on April 19, 2008. The desire to make good choices for the environment was obvious but most divisions of the industry are unsure how to start.
It appears that it needs to start with meeting planners. If planners demand more green options in the properties they choose that will get the ball rolling and create a domino effect that will trickle to the rest of the industry.
That being said, the question is how can we make the HSMG Annual Conference more green?
When I was visiting possible 2010 properties 2 weeks ago that was one of the questions I asked them. How green is your property and what steps are you taking to improve that status? Many hotels and resorts have taken the first steps, I am sure you have all seen the cards in your hotel room that ask if you will reuse your towels and your bedsheets so as to significantly reduce the amount of water and electricity used, but what some other things that hotels are doing to become safer to the environment?
Many properties are starting to use partial sustainable energies such as solar and wind, some are starting agressive recycling practices of paper, glass and metals, and some are recycling organic waste as compost reducing their garbage by 50% in some cases.
In order to contribute to this movement in a positive way, I will work with our 2009 property, The Miramonte Resort & Spa, to do the following:
- Donate surplus food to a local food bank or shelter
- Place recycle bins prominently throughout the meeting for cans, paper and bottles
- Reduce the amount of paper cups and napkins and use reusable service items
- Encourage attendees to put their A/C units up when they are not in their rooms and to be sure to turn off all lights and power equipment
If you have more ideas on how to make The HSMG Conference more green I’d love to hear from you, by working together and taking small steps we can do our part to contribute significantly to this movement.
HSMG Vice President/HSMG Conference Coordinator