It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future. This is meant to underline the folly of “static thinking” – assuming that today’s pace of resource depletion and waste will continue unabated into the future. The fatal flaw? There is no acknowledgment of the greatest resource of all, human imagination. For example, the dawn of the Computer Age saw predictions that beige boxes would cover the landscape. Instead, we have smaller, lighter, recyclable products, and new technologies and services for taking care of e-waste, outmoded gadgets, and “used tech.” Human ingenuity wins again.
There are various ways you can participate in recycling and re-purposing old tech. We’ll take a look at four major ways to:
trade, recycle, or dispose of branded electronics with most of the big-name tech firms, as well as retailers;
sell or trade them in, putting them back into the (used) market;
donate devices to nonprofits and others—government agencies, churches, community groups—to repair and give to others; and
repurpose various tech products via DIY projects at home, school, and other locations.
1. Trade, recycle, dispose — Some firms (Lenovo, Canon, Dell) will accept only their own products for recycling, while others (HP, Sony EcoTrade) take any device regardless of maker. In addition to big phone makers (LG, Motorola), niche firms like appliance maker Dyson and game company Nintendo offer programs for their products, too. When you return an Apple product, whether it’s an iMac or MacBook, the firm will apply any monetary value it may have to a gift card.
2. Sell or trade in — You can easily go on the Internet and list your used tech for sale. There are brand-specific sites that specifically want, say, Apple’s Macs, Xserve RAID units, and iPhones. Other firms will buy any and all used devices to refurbish and resell. Gazelle is well known for this, while others such as Glyde will even estimate the varying amounts you’d get from selling on various websites. The Amazon Trade-In Program issues gift cards for eligible used electronics (plus books, DVDs, phones).
3. Donate for redistribution — Your working used tech can be quite beneficial to someone else. Many nonprofits and groups collect and refurbish cellphones, PCs, tablets, and other devices to give to those in need. Both the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)—which works with Cellular Recycler—and Verizon’s HopeLine are connecting survivors of domestic violence with important resources. You can direct your donations to soldiers, the disadvantaged, and even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
4. Repurpose via art, DIY Projects — An old television makes a great picture frame, among other things. Consider using your old tech gear as containers, frames, bases for lamps or sculptures, vases, or freestanding “statements.” Some project sites are meant for true, soldering-iron-wielding geeks who want to make robots or Rube Goldberg contraptions. However, there are also scores of websites that show you how to turn old tech gear into works of art (or sheer whimsy) with no special skills required.
Of course one of the easiest ways to recycle is to rent technology for short-term office use, projects or events. CRE Rentals is stocked with the latest computer, audiovisual rental inventory, ready to deliver (or ship) to your location to meet your needs. Learn more about our products and services by calling (877) 266-7725.
It’s exciting when unpredictable mixes and mashups of today’s various technology trends converge into something new or, as often happens, new again. Telecommuting is presently enjoying a resurgence of interest, a second wind, you might say.
As high-performing media and tech professionals seek lower-impact lifestyles, enlightened firms are attempting to integrate them into a workforce of both diversity and flexibility. But will companies be able to accommodate telecommuters working off the grid, in so-called tiny houses or other alternative structures?
Living Large in a Small Way
The new generation of high-tech pros includes a sizable fraction of folks that are ready to commit to a lower-impact lifestyle. The formula has three ingredients that can be combined in various ways to make it all happen:
Smaller, more affordable, greener, smarter home designs have made it possible for today’s professionals to lessen their total “eco-impact”;
the proliferation of WiFi and the ubiquity of the Internet mean that distance workers can log in remotely with computers or what-have-you; and
Assuming you have some land, you can buy a Tumbleweed ”house to go” and drive it right onto the property. In many states you need no building permits, because little houses on wheeled platforms are, ahem, trailers.
If you’re the kind of nature lover that needs to upload files while watering the vegetables, you’ll be glad to know there are a variety of ways to power your lifestyle in a sustainable, suitably eco-safe and -sane manner.
Power Sources of the Future… Now
For years, the only way to get sufficient power living off the grid was to use gas-guzzling, smoke-spewing generators, essentially little car engines running to charge batteries of some kind (12v DC railroad systems, battery and bulb, were a popular choice, and still are).
Today, we not only have more options, we have clean and consistent ones. We’ve been hearing it for years, but it just may be true this time around that solar is poised for a big breakthrough. As the cost of sun power continues to drop, there are other alternative sources maturing into cost-effectiveness, such as wind power.
Power requirements for a laptop and a few tech devices are not difficult to achieve with small solar arrays, but you need to evaluate your situation carefully, It may be better to get small, individual chargers for your small devices. Your main power generator needs to support the computer and satellite Internet.
A Few Limitations, but Worth It to Some
Assuming you’re not too far into the wilderness, you may also be able to establish a WiFi connection with your smartphone or mobile hot spot doohickey. Of course, Verizon and other telecoms have 3G/4G netbooks and laptops on the same kinds of monthly plans as phones.
You can probably forget the big flat-panel TV, though, and may only be able to use a few devices at a time on your “main,” although you can run some on their built-in batteries and schedule recharging. (How much simultaneous power slurping do you really need to do?) Try minimizing your power use, even as you balance your career/work obligations with your new lifestyle.
Yes, you can have your cake and eat it, too, but perhaps we should tweak that metaphor a bit. Try this: We can live and work in nature, without devouring it.
While there is no literal “continent-sized garbage dump” of discarded plastic bags floating in the middle of the ocean, no thinking person would say there are no waste issues in the modern world. The Ocean Recovery Alliance is one of many groups working to influence both business and government to practice better stewardship of the world’s oceans, which some call the “new global dumpsites.”
And get this: Even waste is being wasted! There is vast untapped value in the ocean waste, and the rest of it, too. And it’s not just plastics anymore. The sheer number (billions) of technological devices—from computers and smartphones to LCD TVs and more—makes a coordinated global waste management strategy quite challenging. And as 3D printing proliferates, every semi-tech-head becomes a manufacturer, with waste product(s) to consider.
The Ocean Recovery Alliance’s Plasticity Forum brings together representatives of manufacturers, tech firms, “green brand” leaders, think tanks, and government agencies to focus on “solution-driven thinking about plastic waste.”
On a roll
The inaugural Plasticity Forum took place in 2012 at the Rio+20 Earth Summit, where a range of innovative, sustainable plastics strategies (and alternative ingredients) were considered. The Forum organizers included activists, interest groups, leadership training group Applied Brilliance, and the Australian organization Republic of Everyone. With over 130 industry representatives, government leaders, innovators, and educators from over 15 nations, the first Forum was a success. Discussions continued this year in Hong Kong on every step in plastic’s life-cycle, affecting everything from car interiors to our Mac Pro rental: formulas and materials, designs and packaging, research and innovation, and—at the end of a particular device’s life-cycle—waste capture and re-use for a “cradle to cradle” approach.
After last year’s inaugural event, the founder of MBA Polymers, Mike Biddle, spoke of the “many sustainable ways” there were to use and re-use plastics. He lamented the prevalence of today’s “one-way use” and described how his firm’s advanced “sorting technologies” can recover nearly any type of plastic and recycle it back into “a pure feedstock stream.” All the old iMac cases and PC towers have a treasure trove of recyclables beyond plastic, too (an upcoming blog will discuss recapturing all the value from high-tech discards). Companies that can reclaim value from the detritus of our tech-happy culture, like this new one in Canada, are likely to receive both high revenue and the appreciation of thoughtful consumers.
The way forward
Event organizer and co-founder of the Ocean Recovery Alliance, Doug Woodring, sums it up well: “The brands that will win are the ones that admit the communities they serve have a problem with plastic waste; that take the lead in making improvements; and are part of that solution.” Harnessing plastic waste streams has already led to substantial savings for some firms, and the message is spreading that good environmental policy can be good for business, too. In the 1980s, with books like Winning Through Intimidation topping the business best-seller lists, companies were advised to “be lean and mean.” Now that we’ve grown up enough at least to considesavr the waste problems we face, the replacement for that unfortunate advice is simple and profound: Be lean andgreen.
CRE, always your smart source for high-tech rentals, decided long ago to “go green,” so count on us to steer you to solutions that are “high” in terms of tech and power, but “low” on energy consumption. Whether you need to find trade show convention rentals for that upcoming conference or laptops for your field sales reps, you will get first-rate advice from an experienced CRE Account Executive. Call (877) 266-7725, send a message, or visit the Quick Rental Quote page.
In May 2013, at the VERGE Conference in Boston—“where tech meets sustainability”—the keynote address was delivered by Andrew McAfee, a top-tier “IT leadership strategist” and lead researcher at MIT Sloan’s Center for Digital Business. The audience watched McAfee’s face closely as he spoke, while he ambled casually about the stage to look at and interact with different groups of people. There was just one little difference between McAfee’s keynote address and all the other presentations before and after: McAfee was in Arizona at the time. His “appearance” served to dramatize various themes of the conference, particularly sustainability and “smart city ecosystems”: McAfee reduced his cost, time, waste, and environmental impact by “going” to VERGE virtually, rather than on a commercial jet.
A conflict in his schedule forced McAfee to deliver his address from Arizona via a teleconferencing system—literally a robot and an iOS app—from Double Robotics. Remotely, McAfee controlled a wheeled, electro-motorized, 47- to 60-inch stand dubbed “Double” that is something like the Segway “people mover.” (The system doesn’t include Apple’s tablet, so you’d mount a CRE iPad rental on the stand, with the screen facing the audience, some 4 to 5 feet high.) The screen that day was filled with McAfee’s face (the iPad was his head, the Double his body) and he could gauge audience reactions via the iPad’s front camera. In what way was McAfee not there? And what does “there” even mean in this context? The proliferation of all different kinds of simpler, cheaper, and better meeting and conferencing technology will quickly redefine what it means to have a “face to face” meeting.
Irreversible transformations ahead
The topic of McAfee’s keynote was the theme of a recent book that he co-authored with Erik Brynjolfsson, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. The Industrial Revolution effectively moved the human race past its physical limitations, by creating machines and processes to be our “muscles.” Just 40 years or so into the Home Computer Age—with today’s standard desktop computer rental thousands of times more powerful than the computer on the original moon landing—we have refined our “thinking machines” sufficiently to offload ever more sophisticated and complex number-crunching and analysis.
With more and more “knowledge-related tasks” being automated, freeing humans from repetitive and mundane work, other technological advances will provide more, and more powerful, tools for innovation. The expensive process undertaken by Steve Jobs going on 20 years ago—modeling, making prototypes, refining every component as he created the iMac—is available now to millions via 3D printers, whose prices keep falling in the usual market-driven way. When you reflect on the passionate creativity of some fellow humans, and understand the basics of science and technology, you know it won’t be long before 3D printers will be a normal part of many office equipment rentals inventories, and why you can’t even begin to imagine what is coming next.
CRE truly is your smart source for everything in tech, including high-powered computer rentals specially configured for challenging graphics, animation, and post-production. Whether your challenge is on the road, in the office, or at a conference, the solutions are all right here. Call an expert Account Executive at (877) 266-7725, send us a message, or visit the Quick Rental Quote page. If you’re ready to go, we’re ready to help!
Those trying to balance progress with respect for the Earth should be gratified to discover that a steadily increasing fraction of their personal carbon footprints can be eliminated by switching to alternative energy sources. While “grid parity” remains elusive, millions of homes are already powered by photovoltaic systems, and much progress has been made recently in the construction of solar panels. In fact, there have been enough advances in solar technology that millions of small devices can now be powered entirely off the grid. Let’s take a look at some of these back-to-the-future solar chargers.
The Fuse 10W Solar Laptop Charger from Voltaic gets the prize for longest name, but also gets an “attaboy” for being a futuristic flexible panel. Spread it across a tent in camp, or wrap it around a backpack while hiking, and every hour of direct sun gets you half an hour of MacBook time. Naturally, the Fuse can keep your tablets, handheld games, and other devices charged and ready, too.
Goal Zero wants to be known as “the solar charger for the adventurer,” and makes a range of products to satisfy both amateurs and pros. The company donated solar chargers to victims of Hurricane Sandy who had lost power, bringing them light, heat, and outside communications (Goal Zero models resuscitate dead smartphones instantly and fully charge them in three hours). Unfold one of the durable solar panel kits to charge your rechargeable devices, or pack it all up and use the built-in LED light on most models to illuminate the dark trails back to camp after an all-day hike.
The SunVolt model comes from Gomadic, a new firm born as a Kickstarter project. The device is somewhat larger than the others in this roundup, with panels that fold-and-pack into a carrying case. With those larger panels and beefier specs, of course, you get plugged-in-the-wall charging speeds for phones, tablet PCs, laptop rentals, and cameras.
The nifty little SolarMio Kindle cover is one “personal solar product” that tries to do one thing and do it well. If they charge their e-readers in the daytime sun, Kindle users can read through the night. In addition to charging duties, the SolarMio offers energy storage, as well—up to 50 hours’ worth. That’s a one-trick pony with a big trick.
Joos Orange chargers are small, 8×6-inch panels that will give you double the talk time of the charge (an hour of sun nets two hours of phone time). But you don’t have to limit your stored-up energy to phones alone, so you can keep your iPad rental, camera, and Bluetooth headpiece all charged up, too. Bonus: A free app keeps you apprised of how much power is being stored during charging, and tracks usage, too.
If you take media reporting on energy issues with a grain (or 1,000) of salt, and remain skeptical of marketing claims dressed up in scientistic verbiage, you can adjust smoothly and gradually to “emergent” technologies that promise a better future. There are occasional bolts out of the blue, this is true, but much of our tech progress comes from plodding along, step by step, and working both harder and smarter. More often than not, that’s what hastens the future, after all.
At CRE we are future-oriented, too—but our primary concern is what you need today, and how we can tend to your unique needs and challenges right now. Whether it’s render farms to push that post project to completion, or an LCD touchscreen monitor rental to entice people to your conference booth, we are ready to help. Call (877) 266-7725, send us a message, or use the Quick Rental Quote form to get what you need right away. We are here, and we’re here for you! Call now!
Due to the nature of our business, CRE has a much bigger “battery footprint” than many other firms—think of our iPad rental inventory alone! Today’s Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries power more and more devices daily, while depending for their production on ever-decreasing supplies of such mined metal ores as cobalt. In fact, 30% of the world’s total cobalt supply is already used in battery manufacturing. Clearly, the world needs more green energy of every kind, and recent breakthroughs in nanotechnology should hasten the arrival of an honest-to-goodness, paradigm-shifting green battery. Here are three potential game-changers.
A natural plant dye extracted from the roots of the madder plant, purpurin is the unlikely basis for an entirely new kind of “green” battery. Chemists and researchers from Rice University, City College of New York, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory reported on a purpurin-powered, non-toxic, sustainable lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery in the journal Nature‘s online, open access publication Scientific Reports in December 2012.
Research continues into other organic molecules’ potential for batteries, but the work is far more complicated than the simple, high-school-level chemistry process for purpurin. An affordable, long-lasting (say, 12-18 hours of movies on tablet PC rentals), and “seriously green” Li-ion battery is still a few years down the line, factoring in time to optimize purpurin’s efficiency and/or synthesize similar compounds. It is “definitely going to happen,” say the Rice University scientists.
Among Physics World magazine’s top innovations of 2012 is a breakthrough battery that charges itself. Developed at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT), the battery converts kinetic energy (motion) into chemical energy. You could produce energy for your MacBook, camera, or phone by walking with the battery in your shoe, for instance. We’ve blogged about similar technologies, but until this new approach was developed, kinetic energy (motion) would be converted into electricity first, then into chemical energy for storage. The new method converts motion directly into stored chemical energy.
This new technology is five times more efficient than previous systems, significantly shrinking the size and weight of the manufactured battery. It can easily be used in all types of devices, and its (projected) super long life makes it perfect for motherboard duty (you know that your iMac or PC has a battery or two, right?). The new battery doesn’t generate much electricity yet, but researchers claim the first retail-ready product will be roughly equivalent to today’s 1.5V units.
Jammin’ with jelly
Ian Ward, a professor at the UK’s University of Leeds, has invented a new polymer gel (a.k.a. jelly) that will enable the creation of a new kind of lithium battery—lighter, cheaper, and more efficient than existing types. A simple, low-cost process turns the gel into flexible, thin film that will lie between a battery’s electrodes, dispensing with the usual multiple cells separated by polymer film. Ward told IT Pro magazine that the weight and size reductions alone made the new technology a winner, but mentioned two additional benefits—the new batteries are safer than the old ones, and cost about 10% as much to make.
Since they have no liquid electrolytes, the new batteries can’t explode and thus can’t start any fires. Even a first-rate, “certified green” firm like Hewlett-Packard can get blindsided by battery trouble. In 2010 the company recalled over 50,000 batteries after a few burst into flames (and into the headlines). The electrolyte liquid is what you see burning in YouTube videos of “flaming PCs,” so replacing it with the new polymer gel will vastly improve safety. Eventually, of course, all of this R&D will lead to safe, cheap, all-solid-state batteries.
CRE has everything you need, from audio visual (AV) equipment rentals to the high-tech gear you need for post-production. The solutions to your challenges—on-site, on the road, or at a conference—are all right here. Call an experienced Account Executive at (877) 266-7725, send us a message, or (if you know what you need) visit our Quick Rental Quote page. We are always ready to help you!
The United Nations General Assembly, in December 2010, officially named 2012 the “International Year of Sustainable Energy For All” since worldwide sustainable development means ensuring “access to modern affordable energy services in developing countries.” The 2012 International Green Awards adopted the UN’s theme for its own awards given in categories from colleges and city governments to different kinds of businesses.
In fact, various organizations around the world, both private and public, investigate, rate, and report on the green behavior and policies of government agencies, businesses, utilities, and other institutions. The Green America Awards are given to a broad range of green leaders in the U.S. Many of these leaders are businesses, especially technology companies, as they were very early adopters of “greening” methods. CRE didn’t waste time, either; our Green Statement has been publicly displayed for years.
2012 Newsweek Green Rankings
In 2009, Newsweek started analyzing the 500 biggest U.S. firms “to find…the most eco-friendly” ones, of all kinds. Interestingly, although tech firms have dominated the rankings for three years now, it hasn’t been headline-grabbing boutique brands like Apple that have excelled the most, but manufacturers of un-sexy but potent, efficient, cost-effective, and green workstations that populate our own desktop PC rental inventory.
Newsweek developed its approach with the help of “an advisory panel of corporate sustainability experts” and claims that its rankings are “the most comprehensive.” We’ve blogged about the Newsweek ratings before, noting how the “Green Rankings reward firms that save energy and eliminate waste.” The 2012 Newsweek Green Rankings honor the 15 greenest companies. The complete list is available below, with the experts’ analyses of the winners’ accomplishments.
CRE’s very business model is built on the green principle of shared technological capabilities, on providing leading-edge, productive, and empowering technologies without massive capital outlays or waste. From trade show convention rentals to high-power post-production gear, CRE has the right technology. One call to (877) 266-7725, a message, or a visit to our Quick Rental Quote form is all it takes!
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A Summary of the Top 5 GREEN RANKINGS 2012:AMERICA’S GREENEST COMPANIES by Newsweek (link to original slideshow with all 15 scores and analyses)
1. IBM (Green Score: 82.9) — The venerable tech giant was singled out for its money- and resource-saving “Smarter Planet” products.
2. Hewlett-Packard (Green Score: 78.5) — HP has lowered overall corporate emissions over 50% since 2005.
3. Sprint Nextel (Green Score: 77.5) — Sprint is on track to recycle nine out of every 10 devices that it sells within four years.
4. Dell (Green Score: 77.1) — An amazing 98 percent of Dell’s ” nonhazardous by-products” are recycled.
5. CA Technologies (Green Score: 77.1) — Within 18 months, the company will derive fully one-quarter of its electric power from renewable energy sources.
Anthony Mutua, a 24-year-old Kenyan, invented a shoe-powered charger that is at once a great advance in “green” power and a declaration of independence from traditional electric utility infrastructure. Insert the slim crystal chip into your soles and it produces electricity from pressure, sending it to a phone or iPad rental via a thin cord. Mutua says the product will last three years, and plans to sell it for under $50.
Tom Krupenkin and Ashley Taylor, engineering students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have developed a different version of “in-shoe power generation” that harvests thermodynamic energy (body motion and, again, footsteps). Their company, InStep NanoPower, is moving forward quickly, with the device shipping sometime in 2013. This system could one day produce enough power for you to rent laptops and never plug them in anywhere else.
More “personal” energy ideas
CRE, already committed to green principles, encourages responsible activity in both private life and business. Alternative energy sources, as well as more efficient use of current ones, holds out great promise for a truly sustainable future. Further, the more people that go “off the grid” to personally power their mobile devices, the better. Here are a few other green-power solutions being developed on the “personal scale” for everything from tablet PC rentals to phones:
Capturing sonic energy—Sound vibrations (we hope their Good Vibrations) are converted to usable electricity by a piezoelectric component in a mesh fabric, as demonstrated at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival in 2012. T-shirts with a “piezo pocket” kept concert-goers’ phones charged up while the music kept the people charged up.
Soaking up Old Sol—Solar panels on backpacks (Ralph Lauren) and other form factors (like Vivian Muller’s Electree) are effective alternatives if you live in a sunny clime. If you keep your MacBook or PC charged up this way, you can “piggyback” your cell phone and charge it via your laptop’s USB port, too.
Using your head (and legs)—A German firm, Silverback, has debuted its line of “Starke” bicycles that will charge your devices as you pedal. Their marketing materials refer to “long rides” a few times, so this solution is for veteran bikers, not noobs. If you’re not charging, say, your cell phone on that “long ride” to the office, the power will not be wasted—it’ll keep the headlight battery charged, so you’ll never buy another. Win-win-win!
Worldwide, the need for connectivity keeps growing, including third world nations where power sources are undependable, scarce, or nonexistent. For those in advanced nations, personal-scale solutions like the Starke bikes encourage exercise while reducing energy demand. CRE will keep you posted on alternative energy sources as part of our “green technology” coverage—check it out, there’s great information there!
“Everything is everything” started out as a New Age nostrum about universal interconnectedness and quickly turned into a self-parody, losing all meaning until the modern environmental movement revived it. Now the phrase is a simple reminder that, yes, all things in creation are connected. That means today’s businesses need a strategy—a “sustainable” one, like CRE’s own—to address environmental concerns about… everything! That means your marketing efforts, too.
We’ve blogged quite a bit about “green matters” (here’s a recent one), but there are really just five major environmental factors businesses must contend with. About equally important, these areas are Technology, Demography, Politics, Sociocultural, and Economics. It’s much more involved than just knowing the recyclable components in your iMac, and you have to work to stay informed. Here’s a good start for you.
Technology has as much impact on businesses as anything else (usually more). Today even small companies can afford a global reach with the Internet, powering their promotions with low-cost, high-performing gear like custom Desktop Computer rentals and other cost-effective tech. Better research is a tech benefit, too, yielding highly targeted SEO instead of loosely targeted signs, brochures, and other printed materials.
Demography is the study of age, ethnicity, gender, and everything else that helps define human beings (especially in their consumer role). Around the world, as well as within countries, businesses still must consider various ethnic groups as well as generational ones like “baby boomers” and “Gen X,” along with more focused ones like “science-fiction lovers” or “pet owners”. The shift toward inbound marketing, plus the growing number of young and savvy consumers, means socially aware campaigns perform better. Younger people also drive the acceptance of touch technology like our LCD touchscreen monitor rental—and all the tablets people are poking.
Politics matters everywhere, with taxes, regulations, and labor laws being major costs for businesses globally (affecting consumer spending power, too). While traditional business plans tend to minimize startup costs, it’s far wiser to develop sustainable and ethical approaches right out of the gate. This helps manage long-term costs, since “technoprogress” brings advances in efficiency, too. Politically aware planning will help businesses contend with regulations that increase as nations grow (a) more environmentally aware and (b) wealthier.
Sociocultural factors vary from nation to nation, and within them, too. Whether in their home market or abroad, companies must be aware of dominant religions, local attitudes toward the environment, and other strongly held beliefs. But wherever you are, marketing technology for events—like business technology for the office—can be rented and reused, making a MacBook Pro rental a top example of “green” computing.
Economics affect all companies and their marketing efforts, because interest rates, inflation, and unemployment are important “general business health” indicators. You don’t need one of our plasma display rentals to advertise those facts in huge letters—everyone knows times are tough. But working smarter and harder means increased efficiency standards, thus less energy, time, and money wasted.
Modern buildings are among the largest single contributors to greenhouse emissions. In the U.S., as much as 40% of the total CO2 released annually comes from office buildings, homes and other structures. And everything’s involved from the kinds of materials being used to the upgradability of the installed systems, as well as every imaginable environmental impact.
So when buildings house conference centers and those start filling up with attendees and exhibitors, who start plugging in plasma display rentals and digital signage, we are presented with yet another opportunity to think and act “different”. We’ve blogged many times on green conferences and technology, and today we’re hitting some of the major points do some simple, innovative conference greening of your own.
Choose centrally located conference centers with a number of hotels and restaurants incorporated or within walking distance.
Note nearby stores for basic things conference-goers always need.
Ensure that enough hotels and other nearby businesses offer free WiFi, as you will rely on it to communicate with team members via smart phones, iPads, tablet PC rentals or their own laptops.
Transportation & Logistics
Encourage people to walk, use public transportation and car pool.
Coordinating transportation for attendees can be a huge undertaking, so contact an event transportation specialist if you need help.
Registration & Communication
Codify your commitment to sustainability, as CRE did with its corporate Green Statement, by posting your policy on the conference website.
Use e-mail and web-based forms for registration and attendance tracking of conference-goers, as well for communicating with both vendors and support staff.
For agendas, program materials and other giveaways, reduce or eliminate paper, ink and printing processes by distributing them online, via WiFi at the conference, on a CD or copied to a flash drive sporting the company logo.
Presentations, Meetings & Meals
Devise a recycling program within the meeting venue itself, starting the very first day, then promote it continuously.
Meals: Use no disposable items, not even napkins, to eliminate paper waste – and serve water only on request.
Consider enlisting the help of reputable event production experts such as CRE Rentals to ensure the best possible results. A single call or e-mail, or a visit to our Quick Rental Quote form, will get you what you need so you can get back to “greening” your conference. Call now!