Greening the Annual Meeting: Steps You Can Take
Every year, MLA members ask what we are doing to lessen the impact of the association's annual meeting on the environment. The 2008 National Program Committee (NPC) and MLA staff want to highlight for you some of the steps the we are taking to make MLA '08 more green.
Chicago, our host city for MLA '08, has become greener through the expansion of bicycle lanes and the development of rooftop gardens. Our official hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago, operates a fully staffed recycling department, which sifts through tons of trash each year and recycles paper products including cardboard, computer paper, magazines, glass, and aluminum (which is why you won’t see separate recycling bins in the hotel). We are asking attendees, presenters, and exhibitors to minimize handouts, use recycled paper for necessary printing, and print on both sides of the paper.
MLA ’08 will highlight use of technology and “green” meeting concepts to promote conservation and reduce waste. Several innovations will be piloted that will help protect our environment and our well-being:
- Daily newsletter will not be printed on paper. Instead the latest news will be posted in the meeting area and on the
MLA ’08 blog (www.npc.mlanet.org/mla08/).
- Paper version of the book of abstracts will not be printed. Instead the book will be available as a PDF on MLANET. Attendees may also use the online Program Planner to search and select abstracts to create custom program schedules that can be saved and downloaded.
- Reusable water bottles will be distributed to registrants
- Paper products and badges stock will be printed on recycled paper.
- Attendees can bring their own meeting bag and on the registration form, opt out of receiving a new one.
- Wednesday’s plenary panel will promote use of web 2.0 tools for librarians.
- The 24-hour MLA Internet Café, sponsored by Elsevier, has wireless access in Café area.
- New Super Inclusive Registration Plus Internet provides Internet access at the Hyatt public areas to facilitate electronic communication.
“Green” meeting concepts will be promoted among presenters and exhibitors by:
- offering handouts electronically, so that meeting attendees can access online or download them to a jump-drive rather than taking physical copies.
- printing all physical copies on recycled paper, duplexed whenever possible
- giving away promotional items are made from recycled materials or reused after the meeting
In addition, each of us can take simpler steps to produce the greenest annual meeting ever. Below are some suggestions from the NPC. Please share additional ideas on the MLA '08 blog.
Suggestions from the NPC:
- Bring a jump-drive for downloading handouts and promotional materials rather than taking a paper copy.
- Make use of the cards in hotel rooms that inform housekeeping to not change the linens every day. The official meeting hotel, Hyatt Regency Chicago, changes linens every three days and manages an extensive recycling program.
- Bring your own shampoo and other toiletries.
- Stay at the Hyatt to reduce your transportation impact, and when you go offsite, walk or take public transportation.
We look forward to reading your own green ideas online, and to seeing you in Chicago!
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17 January 2008