Making a Great Lake Superior 2007 pledges to reduce the impact to the air, water, and land of the Lake Superior Basin from the transportation, energy demand, and waste created by planning and attending this conference. To this end, Making a Great Lake Superior 2007 will reduce the overall impact of the conference and respect the spirit of the Lake Superior Zero Discharge Demonstration Program to eliminate the release of toxic substances in the basin, through a pollution prevention approach to all aspects of the conference including:
- Offsetting all unavoidable carbon emissions through the implementation of a carbon neutral strategy
- Decreasing the amount of waste produced by the conference
- Reducing energy and water consumption
- Disposing of waste in an environmentally responsible manner
- Eliminating the use of harmful chemicals at the event
The Specifics: Minimizing Our Negative Impact
Carbon Negative: Minimizing and Offsetting Carbon
- Encourage and assist delegates in arranging ridesharing, carpools or a chartered bus where numbers warrant
- Establish an option for Web/phone attendance for those unable/unwilling to travel
- The accommodation for the event is within walking distance from the conference venue and other attractions
- Carbon credits: Renewable power (wind or solar) will be purchased from a renewable power provider, to offset all carbon dioxide generated by the event itself and by participant travel to it.
- Trees will be planted to account for paper used in producing the conference, as well as to further offset carbon release.
- Awards will be given to attendees who travel the furthest distance to the conference under their own power: foot, pedal, or paddle!
You Are What You Eat
- We will seek out locally produced, organic and fair trade products to the greatest extent possible to avoid contributing to the impacts associated with agricultural pesticides and long distance freight hauling
- The DECC conference facility will provide us with bulk containers instead of disposable single servings and reusable serve-ware such as china service or personal containers (such as coffee mugs) over disposable products
- If you live in the Lake Superior Basin, chances are that you are drinking Lake Superior water when you turn on the tap – and that’s what conference attendees will be drinking too.
Waste Not, Want Not
- We’re aiming for a waste-free event through recycling of unavoidable paper and packaging waste and by taking advantage of the food composting and donation of excess food programs offered by the conference facility; a waste audit will be performed in order to evaluate the success of this initiative.
- We will minimize printed material distributed during the event by having effective signs throughout the venue, which will provide information to delegates for agenda items, schedules, topics, and locations of activities. You won’t be receiving a printed package.
- Conference promotional items will be considered from a life cycle perspective and will only be distributed when their practical use value is high and the end of life disposal concerns are low – so you won’t be getting any fliers or plastic toys in your canvas goodie bag. In fact, there may not even be goodie bags, sorry!
- Bring your own nametag, if you don’t have one, we’ll help you make one out of reused material we have on hand. Awards will be given for the most interesting or unique nametags.
We’ll be updating things here as we make progress – eventually we’re hoping to host a forum for ridesharing from this site as well as give you more details about our carbon offsets, food suppliers and waste reduction initiatives as they get going. As you register, note that you can specify your interest in carpooling or chartered bus travel. These will help us organize transportation options that minimize greenhouse gas production. During the conference you’ll also be able to access a conference webcast from this site.
For more information on green meetings, refer to some of the resources we used:
Green Meeting Guides:
Resources for Hosts and Planners:
DECC Environmental Policy:
Gold Standard vendors