At The Conference People, we take great pride in providing a quality service to our clients whilst limiting the carbon footprint that our events leave behind. If you're planning a conference, here are a few good green tips. We also try and implement these ideas when managing successful sustainable events for our clients:

All catering plates, cups and glasses to be china or glass (non-disposable). If plastic, they must be washable (biodegradable or compostable is better). NO Styrofoam under any circumstances.

Condiments to be served in bulk containers, not individual servings, to save packaging. This includes sugar, creamer, butter, cream cheese, etc.

All napkins to be cloth whenever possible. Use coasters instead of cocktail napkins.

Separate recycling bins for attendees to use at all catered functions, registration, and especially on the exhibit floor.

All handouts to be printed on two sides using post-consumer recycled paper, or better still, provide all handouts afterwards online.

Recycled-content promotional products when deciding on pens, bags, shirts and caps.

Ask hotels not to change the sheets and towels daily unless requested by the guest.

Ask hotels not to replace the amenities daily unless they are gone. Use of soap and shampoo dispensers would be optimal.

Ask hotels' housekeeping staff to shut blinds and turn down the heat/air conditioning during the day in rooms while attendees are gone.

Feature information about the facilities' recycling program for all areas.

Ensure all leftover food is donated to a local food bank.

These tips are just a starting place, but the impact of even these few changes can be dramatic. It has been our experience that most hotels and meeting facilities are willing to work with you-they benefit as well.

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