Rethink

  • Is it necessary to do this?
  • Is there a better way to achieve the same objective?
  • Have we reviewed our options in the last six months?
  • If the)green option costs money, can we recoup that cost somewhere else?
  • What other use could it have?
  • How will this event reflect the values of my organization?

Reduce

  • How can we reduce the stuff we use?
  • Can we do without this to reduce our overall ecological footprint?
  • How will this reduction impact the event?
  • Will reducing this save money, time and resources?
  • Do the benefits outweigh any concerns?
  • Can I find this locally to save transportation costs?

Reuse

  • Can we afford to invest in more durable items that have a longer life-span?
  • What are the additional costs of doing this (i.e., in terms of storage, shipping)?
  • How can we do this internally, and get our vendors and attendees to do the same?
  • Who can benefit from our used items?

Recycle

  • What do you recycle (paper, plastic, glass, metal, kitchen grease)?
  • Do you recycle facility-wide (and not just in the sales office)?
  • What is your diversion rate?
  • Can you show me the recycling system back of house? This is probably the most important question. Make sure you see exactly how it is handled.

 

Nancy J. Zavada, CMP, principle of MeetGreen and co-founder of the Green Meeting Industry Council, has co-authored her second book, Simple Steps to Saving Green by Going Green, which is scheduled for publication in summer 2011. It will discuss in depth the "4 R's," and includes worksheets, tables, resources and case studies.