Going Green and What it Means for the 2009 Conference

This year we decided early in the planning process to ‘go green.’ It’s the buzz phrase of the year and I’m sure lots of you are wondering what it really means when it comes to the conference.

Here are some of the ways we saved paper, money, envelopes and ink.
1. All faculty contracts were completed electronically. We didn’t mail a single one.
2. Faculty members were given the choice of receiving critiques via snail mail or via email. Most chose email.
3. We decided not to print a color brochure, moving to simple black and white mail-in registration forms. We sent these on request—no buckshot marketing materials. We jazzed up the website, added the blog and passed along information electronically.
4. We trimmed the notebook down considerably, including everything necessary but nothing superfluous.
5. We had everything from vendors, e.g. bags, pens, shipped in groups. We requested they not send us a new, half-full box with each item. This saved boxes, packaging materials and ink. All we had to do was order things in a timely manner.

Here are some ways we saved energy:
1. Most conference materials, including the bags, the new notebooks, lanyards, badge holders and water bottles are either recycled or recyclable. This cut down considerably on the use of new plastics.
2. We elected to offer refillable water bottles for sale. Instead of buying a new water bottle each time you’re thirsty, you can simply fill up your new water bottle. They are BPA-free, made of recycled materials, and they’re SUPER COOL. (Wait until you see them!)
3. The conference bags, which also look teriffic, are large. This means you can put all your things—including books or other items you purchase—in one bag. We won’t need plastic t-shirt bags at The Book Nook. Not only are these bags a waste of energy to produce, they’re nearly impossible to get rid of once they are produced. Our landfills are literrally FULL of these bags. You can reuse your conference tote countless times. You can’t say the same about the plastic ones.

Things make look more basic this year, but it’s on purpose. You will have everything you need. You will, in no way, be inconvienced by these measures. We know that you are more concerned about the writing than the bells and whistles. We’re very excited about all the neat conservation measures incorporated into this year’s conference. We’ll post info at the registration desk and the Book Nook decribing the new conservation-friendly items. Thanks for helping us help the environment!

Even though we’re only a few hundred folks, think how much we could all save if all conference were eco-concious. It’s not only about the money, it’s about the world we’re passing on to our kids and grandkids.

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