Your Guide to Green Meetings in Los Angeles
Step 1: Book a Green Seal Hotel
Step 2: Go paperless
During your event, cut down on handouts, binders, folders and other papers that are not absolutely necessary by creating a dedicated website, and deliver content on CDs or reusable flash drives. If handouts are required, print them double-sided on 100% post-consumer recycled paper that is process chlorine free. If binders and folders are necessary, ask the venue's communications center if there are any you can reuse, and make sure the binders are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved.
Step 3: Offer sustainable food and beverages
For food and beverages, find vendors and purchasers who deliver organic, local, fair trade, shade-grown coffee and other sustainable products and ingredients. Buy and serve items such as salt, pepper, sugar, cream and other condiments in bulk to reduce packaging waste and confirm with vendors and purchasers that packaging is recyclable or compostable. Make every effort to provide non-disposable cups, plates and silverware. Serve light refreshments such as finger foods to reduce use of utensils, or consider a buffet-style meal instead of a sit-down affair to minimize usage of serviceware. Implement a pre-event meal signup system to reduce leftovers, and if there are any, contact a local nonprofit to coordinate donation.
Step 4: Recycle
Determine who will be hauling, composting, recycling and/or throwing away materials after the event, and coordinate recycling procedures accordingly. Ensure properly labeled recycling bins are available for recycling and composting, and strategically place them near trash receptacles. Regularly monitor the waste stations to minimize cross-contamination and consistently remind attendees to recycle. Research donation opportunities for reusable materials and return borrowed items such as binders and name badge holders.
Step 5: Use Metro and other public transport
Promote the use of mass transportation to reduce emissions by choosing a central location for your meeting. The Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City is just steps from the Red Line's Universal City Station, while the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites is not far from the Red Line's Pershing Square Station. The Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel offers a complimentary LAX shuttle service, and at just 10 miles from LAX, the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza recommends taking the 24-Hour SuperShuttle. All hotels are pedestrian-friendly, but if venturing out into other areas, consider carpooling with others, be it a rental car or taxi.