Waste reduction and recycling at meetings and conferences entails minimizing paper waste before, during and after the event, working with the site to choose waste reducing food and beverage service practices, communicating guidelines to vendors, exhibitors and presenters, requesting green lodging practices for the guest accommodations and considering guest travel.

A number of helpful resources provide tips and examples to help meeting organizers and conference facility managers coordinate successful waste reduction and recycling programs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Conventions and Green Meetings web pages provide information about selecting a site, purchasing green power or pollution offset credits for convention events and minimizing solid waste. Visit the sites at www.epa.gov/region1/greenconventions/ and www.epa.gov/oppt/greenmeetings/

The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Conventions provides fact sheets on energy, transportation, hotels, event planning and construction and offers case studies and other resources on its web site; www.cerc04.org.

The BlueGreen Meetings web site has success stories and tips for meeting hosts and planners, along with a quiz to rate the environmental practices of your meeting. The supplier section provides information for convention and visitors bureaus, accommodations, meeting and event venues, transportation, food and beverage vendors and exhibition production. Visit the web site at www.bluegreenmeetings.org.

The Convention Industry Council has published a Green Meetings Report detailing best practices for event suppliers and event managers. Download the report and view other resources at www.conventionindustry.org/projects/green_mtgs.htm.

The Professional Convention Management Association provides tips for going green and a number of helpful Planning Tools to download, including environmental clauses for the contract with the hotel hosting the event, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. View tips and download tools at www.pcma.org/Resources/Meeting_Management_Resources/Green_Meetings.htm

The Green Hotels Association offers a questionnaire to help event planners interview hotel representatives and evaluate green practices when choosing a site for a meeting. Tips for the lodging industry are also offered. See www.greenhotels.com.

Hosting a Catered Event? Learn about local Food Recovery programs to reduce food waste and help to reduce hunger. The Food Recovery program of Waukesha County links manufacturers, growers, caterers and restaurants with a network of local food pantries, meal programs and shelters. Ask about Food Recovery programs in your area - contact Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest) at 800-771-2302 or the Food Donation Connection at 800-831-8161. Learn more about Waukesha County's program at http://foodpantryofwaukeshacounty.org/recovery_program.html.

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