I don’t know about you, but I attend an average of 4 trade shows a year. For years I have been bothered by the sheer amount of waste that trade shows generate. It’s not just the carbon footprint of getting booths to the show, the cardboard, the styrofoam, the shipping, the amount of paper produced for flyers, for directories the list goes on and on. Even as an attendee think about it, you get a badge (paper) you need the badger holder (cotton and plastic), then when you enter the floor show, people are handing out bags (paper) and as you are walking around there is all sorts of swag, usually plastic.
This year, I was heartened by the Sands Expo (Las Vegas) who have received a Silver Leeds in Trade Show and the Javits Center in New York, which is undergoing a major renovation and going major green.
I Just Gotta Eco Ya
- Tradeshows can pile up several tons of trash before, during and after an event. About 600,000 tons of trash is generated every year by convention goers, making the tradeshow industry the second-largest industry to produce the most amount of waste, after the construction industry, according to data in a report from Smash Hit Displays.
- The data, which analyzes information from Repurpose America, Inc. and Trade Show Geek, among others, shows that about 60 million people visit tradeshows each year generating 20 lbs. of waste per person, or over 1 billion lbs. of total waste.
- 2012 International CES tallied up its recycling figures, and found it had recycled a record 75 percent of all of the materials used at its Las Vegas show. Tthat’s more than 80,000 square feet of banners and signs, plus 50,000 pounds of show publications.
So as a convention goer and an exhibitor what can you do to go Green Up your trade shows.
As an Exhibtor:
- Reuse as much packing supplies as you can.
- Stop giving out paper and pass out USB drives instead.
- Use email instead of flyers in the mail.
- On your give-aways- GO Green! Use Eco Friendly quality logo products such as ones from QLP that can be reused or use products that are made with up cycled materials such as Reusable bags and pens.
As An Attendee:
- Don’t take products you will not reuse.
- Don’t take a bunch of paper that you throw away in your hotel room.
- Ask for exhibitors to email you the information instead of taking paper.
- You can donate badge holders to organizations such as Special Olympics.
I don’t know about you, I still have 2 conventions to go to this year. I have a Reusable badge holder in leather, my business cards are with recycled paper and after that.. I am going to do everything I can to reduce waste!