Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Write This Down! More Tips for Green Meetings and Operations

In the June issue of FUNWORLD, Matt Lawrence, general manager at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, Michigan, told us how his location is implementing the company’s "Project Great Wolf," which has earned them a Green Seal certification at all its locations. In an excerpt from our conversation, Lawrence expanded on the area of meetings and corporate services, and Great Wolf’s focus on sustainability. Hopefully these pointers will be applicable at your own facility. Remember to check the June issue for many more tips!

Have you found that making your operations environmentally conscious has drawn more guests?
Yes! Having green standards in place has been a draw for our leisure and meeting guests. Some people are only interested in staying or booking a meeting if they know a facility is environmentally friendly.

How do you implement green practices into planning your meetings and corporate events?
There is no question that today’s meeting planners are looking for ways to be environmentally friendly while holding a memorable meeting or event. Turning an ordinary meeting into a green meeting is a lot easier than some would think. Here are some simple ways to conduct greener meetings—and general operations—and also cut costs.
  • Provide attendees with pitchers of tap water instead of bottled water.
  • Instead of print-outs, use e-mail to correspond and track information electronically. This not only saves trees, but also cuts costs for paper, ink cartridges, and postage.
  • Find alternatives to disposable items. For example, we use dry erase boards, scrap paper, and table linens.
  • Use programmable on/off timers or sensors in meeting rooms. If there isn’t any movement in the room motion sensors can signal the lights to turn off.
  • We have co-mingled recycling bins in our conference center, all public areas, guest rooms, and employee areas.
  • Our lighting uses only energy-efficient bulbs.
  • We work directly with the Father Fred Foundation in Traverse City to donate unused food whenever possible. The food is temperature controlled so we can ensure the food we are donating is safe.

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