Today is Earth Day and with it comes the annual call to action and an opportunity to make a difference.  You may be volunteering with park cleaning, recycling, educating youth or other special activities to recognize the day.  Or it may be a day to stop and reflect on what has been accomplished during the last 12 months.  For instance, what new sustainability initiatives were implemented last year and what obstacles were encountered?

Let me guess.  Was one of those obstacles the impression sustainable events cost more?

I thought so.  It may have even stopped you in your tracks, right?

Before you believe it, consider these facts:

  • Unitarian Universalist Association selects destinations for their annual General Assembly that have easily and closely accessible venue and hotel packages.  This has allowed them to eliminate shuttles since 2008, avoiding a budget expense of approximately $80,000/yr.
  • Oracle’s Global Green Meeting Program promotes basic sustainable practices at small, half and single-day meetings. Since 2011 simple steps like providing digital kits, reusing signs and name badges and eliminating bottled water have avoided just over one million USD in extra costs across 3,850 global meetings.
  • A predominate health care organization made waste reduction a primary focus. Less printing and handling of materials saved $220K.

Amazing, right?

Agreed.  We started GreenStorming* all of the possibilities at a recent meeting.  The cost-saving and revenue-producing opportunities are so readily available and underutilized, and the discussion was so valuable and dynamic, we decided to go public on a Google Hangout.

Shawna McKinley, Sandra Wood and I share our ideas, tips and insight in this short video which we offer up as a little Earth Day education.  Watch from the best seat in the house (yours) without producing a single carbon emission!

On this Earth Day, remember you are a hero to your organization, to your community and to our planet.  Every single day the decisions you make, on behalf of event participants and the host organization, show true leadership on a global level.  Now the event’s financial performance will sing your praises, too!

*GreenStorming is our term for gathering to brainstorm environmentally or socially-responsible ideas/tips and learning from each other.