In the Starbucks line at Jacob Javits Convention Center, I saw a person grab a stack of napkins to wipe up a little spill at the milk counter, toss them, pour and dribble their milk, then take another stack to go. 1/2 of one napkin would have done the job fine. Paper manufacturing is one of the largest users of water, largest causes of deforestation, and a tremendous cause of climate change.
It got me thinking about what I do naturally to reduce consumption, and the challenges of following through when at a big conference.
Here are some quick ideas you can do today at the show involving re-use, recycling, little habit changes, and more.
8 tips for greening your day at Blog World and Book Expo America
1- Don’t Take That Napkin: Take 1 napkin, not 10. And only if you need that one.
2- Say no to plastic water bottles. I noticed at least two concessions yesterday that had glass water bottles. One was Agape, serving up Greek food downstairs.
3- Find the recycling bins. I’ll update this later when I find where they are at Javits.
4- Skip the taxi. NYC has good public transit. But if you are making the run from Grand Central to Javits Center like I am, you’ll need to plan on half an hour. Directions from Grand Central to Jacob Javits by subway and bus: Take the S to Times Square, then take the 1 train from Times Square to 34th street and 7th ave. Your metro card allows for a transfer, so grab the 34th street bus over to 10th to the Javits Center stop. By the way, I shared a cab with people last time I was at Javits, and it took just as long due to traffic.
5- Coffee Cup Nightmare– imagine how many hundreds of thousands of coffee cups are tossed each day in NYC. Stop the bad dreams. Bring your reuseable mug. If you forget it, grab your coffee, then keep your disposable mug for reuse later in the day. At least you’ve cut your coffee cup waste in half for the day. (And of course coffee cups are lined with parafin, which is petrochemical waste, into which one is pouring hot liquids)
6- Take a good look. Use the expo to educate yourself on waste. Even if you can’t seem to change habits in an instant, start looking around and estimating the waste numbers, multiplied by the number of people attending and working at Javits over these days, multiplied by the number of times they use something in a day: cups, containers, napkins, trash bags, wrappings, food, cleaning supplies, paper for paperwork, tickets, printouts. And we haven’t even considered the travel of all the people getting there and home, plus the transport of food and products in, then the waste out of there. And where does it go?
7- Put in a good word. In feedback forms, Twitter, Facebook or in person, ask Javits Center and Reed Expo organizers to increase their waste reduction, recycling and toxin reduction measures. I’m going to go so far as suggest they get in vendors using mainly organic food, and with serious waste reduction measures in place.
8- Partying after the expo? Skip the straw. Right. Who needs those stupid plastic stirrers in their bourbon? It’s bad enough the parties are using plastic glasses. Greener option? Beer in a glass bottle. Cheers!
Reed Expo on Twitter: @ReedExhibitions Javits Center on Twitter: @javitscenter KatonahGreen on Twitter? @katonahgreen and @reallysocial
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