5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Tradeshows

July 13, 2013

Jason Tunick

Founder and CEO of FactoryDirectPromos.com which is one of the largest, factory direct suppliers of eco-friendly, promotional items and custom, reusable tradeshow bags in the world.

Tradeshows are a great way to reconnect with your existing clients, while also reaching out to new customers. We all know that these events take a lot of planning and organization, but your hard work really pays off when you build your brand and expand your customer base. Tradeshows also can take a toll on the environment, though, as they are responsible for generating tons of waste. In fact, according to data from Smash Hit Displays, the tradeshow industry is second only to the construction industry in the amount of waste we create.  So what can we do?

Here are five easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint at tradeshows and give the environment a break.

1. Offer or Take Advantage of Carbon Offsets- Try to reduce your carbon footprint wherever possible and purchase offsets to counteract any instances in which you cannot avoid using fossil fuels. If you are hosting a tradeshow think about partnering with an organization that offers offsets and offer a Carbon Offset Sponsorship.

2. Hand Out Recycled, Reusable Bags- You want to make a positive impression on the folks who visit a tradeshow, and giving them a takeaway item is a great way to do this. A bag is especially handy at a tradeshow since people accumulate a lot of business cards, catalogs, samples, giveaways and more. Giving people a way to carry their loot will certainly make a good first impression, but utilizing recycled materials will also showcase your company’s green efforts while minimizing your, and your recipients, carbon footprint.

3. Offer USB Drives Loaded with Promotional Materials- You want to pass along info, but you don’t want to use a lot of paper and you also want to be considerate to the people attending the show (they‘re being bombarded with paper handouts and hulking catalogs that they need to carry around). Instead of handing out brochures, flyers and other promotional materials printed on paper, load all of your documents onto USB drives and hand those out. These lightweight drives will save paper and your customers can reuse them after they’ve read through your promotional info.

4. Make It Easy for Attendees and Exhibitors to Recycle– All too often recyclable materials end up in garbage cans and they are toted off to landfills. Make sure you put out (and clearly label!) bins for bottles and cans, paper and trash. If you are hosting the tradeshow you can offer this as another sponsorship and give companies the chance to market their brand while ensuring that rubbish is sorted and handled properly.

5. Use Green Materials When Building Displays- You want to make sure your displays are eye-catching and dazzling while also being up to code and eco-friendly. Stick to paper that is FSC certified, use recycled textiles if possible, and use items that are durable and can be used again, but can be recycled when they start to show signs of wear.

With careful planning you can attend, or put on a successful and informative tradeshow while also doing your part to minimize your carbon footprint and help the environment. These are five tips to start with, but what other ways do you use to reduce your carbon footprint, while putting on a stellar show?

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