Why Aren’t There More Green Meetings – A Couple More Reasons

Reading an article that Heidi Thorn wrote today, the title is “Why Aren’t There More Green Consumers?”. Great Article ……100% awesome Heidiness,  you should read it.

I can relate to every point. One of the biggest reasons there are not more green consumers is a lack of information, tools, and resources. I especially like the coffee house example because the exact thing happened to me, although on a larger scale and tying right to the meetings and events industry.

I was speaking at a conference on Green Meetings and the hotel where the conference was being held was touted as “green”. I found this a little odd because the hotel had no obvious green markings. This hotel was chosen for this Green Meetings Conference because it was green. No automated lights, no towel reuse, no low flow shower heads and no recycle bins, not one, not anywhere, no how, no maam, not a one….So, I asked.

I was shocked by the answer that I received. Apparently, in this state, hotels are on the “Green List” because they put themselves there. It is a self-policing system. All the hotel had to do was simply say that they are green and “presto”, they are on the list.The sales person was actually a little sheepish about the whole thing, he knew.

When I asked about the recycling, here is the answer that I got. Their waste hauler does not accept recycling……. WTF. It is 2010, 20…..freaking…..10. I am appalled at the mere notion that there are communities in the United States that do not recycle. Communities (and waste haulers) can actually make money in this day and age by recycling. The cost/benefit is on the recyclers side.

This brings me to the first addition to @heidithorn‘s reasons why there are not more green consumers. Lazy.

The waste hauler and the community are lazy. They do not want to put in the effort so they blame it on the easy way out……cost. They will say that it is too expensive, it can’t be done, blah, blah, blah….

It is a shame, we can be doing much better, especially in the meetings and events department. Many meeting and event planners are lazy as well and do not put in the extra effort in greening their meetings and events and they use the same arguments that they don’t have the budget or other lame excuses, but the fact remains, you can green your meetings and events without adding a dime to the bottom line and perhaps even saving a nickle or two and it certainly does not really take that much more time. It comes full circle back to lazy.

Too lazy to do the research, too lazy to spend the time putting a plan in place and too lazy to even be bothered.

The second addition to Heidi’s reasons are Blowhards….

The blowhards on the right have an amazing following in the millions and they spew forth their BS that global warming is myth. If their followers believe that global warming is junk science than why should they need to recycle, reuse or be more green… hell, they should go out and get a second Hummer because they can! No need to worry about the effects, there are no effects!Why don’t we all save a little money on heating gas and go back to coal fired stoves! It is less expensive and coal is plentiful!

What the right wing talking heads fail to see is that they are killing jobs in the US and probably hastening our own demise by their irrational “world is flat” arguments. Here is how I position my argument to idiots:

You buy a house in the suburbs. There is a 99.9% chance that in your lifetime, your house in the beautiful burbs will NEVER be robbed… Yet you lock the doors “just in case”. Wouldn’t the same argument hold true for global warming? Even if you did not believe in it, shouldn’t we all be going green “Just in Case”. Sorry, but even if you are against the notion that global warming is a threat, the “just in case” argument should have you recycling and acting a little more responsibly because if the “just in case” becomes reality you are actually killing your children because the full effects of our irrisponsibility will be on them to deal with.

The right wing arguments actually permeate the meetings and events world, there are many followers of right wing talk show hosts in the industry. These meeting and event professionals do not see the need to green their meetings. They listen and believe the arguments their champions support and these planners actually go out of their way to ungreen their meetings because they want to prove a point. Sad, but true, this really happens. I actually talked to someone who said just that. She said that she serves bottled water because she can, even though it costs more. She poo-pooed my arguments and cited Rush Limbaugh (because he says it, it must be true by god!).

Let’s all work together here and  let’s all get on the same page, we should all give an extra hour or two to see what we can do to make our meetings and events a little more responsible,  right-wingers, you too. For once, turn off the propoganda that you listen to 24/7, think for yourself and ask yourself this question:

Just in case, what do I want to do. You lock the doors to protect your children don’t you?

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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