There are a lot of reasons why you may want to go zero waste, but research has shown that many people feel it is simply not possible to exhibit at a trade show and attain a zero waste impact. In a recent post for TSNN, Shane Shirley, our CMO, explains what you need to do to go zero waste at your next trade show. It isn’t as difficult as you may think.
- You’re probably already recycling paper, glass and metal, so keep that up, but don’t forget about other, often overlooked materials, like fabric, wood and electronics. Sometimes it can be tricky to determine how and where to recycle some of these materials, so you may need to research the options available online. You can also look into working with a local recycling organization and they can help you recycle everything possible.
- Source Items with the Goal of Recycling Them Later. You’ll make things easier for yourself later if you source items that can be recycled from the start. During the design phase consider the environmental impact of the items you need, and search for products that are useful and will function the way you need them to while also factoring in the ease of recycling them when they have outlived their usefulness.
- Think Long Term and Reuse Items. By all means you want your trade show booth to look well thought out, stylish and on trend, but whenever possible source items that can be used for years to come. Reusing framing, furniture and flooring requires you to commit to these items for a while, but it reduces your environmental impact while also helping keep costs down.
- Sell or Donate Items That You No Longer Need. Even if you get several trade shows out of some furniture and decor pieces you may need to change things up after a while. For a lot of companies trade show furniture is only used during trade shows, so an item may be several years old, but most of that time was spent in storage. This means items are likely in really good shape, so you may not have a use for them any longer, but others may. Hold a sale for your staff or put items you don’t need any longer online to sell. You can also donate items to local shelters, or charitable organizations.
- Evaluate Your Eco Impact. In order to determine the extent of your eco impact and what areas need improvement you need to examine everything from planning to implementation. After the show is over, you need to zero in on where you succeeded and where you can do better. Having this information allows you to tailor your plan going forward so you are in the best position possible to put green practices into place, and attain the goal of going zero waste at your next trade show.
Putting zero waste practices into play can be a challenge, and requires some careful planning, but it is possible. Have you gone zero waste? Do you have tips about going zero waste that have worked for your company?