August 2011

10 tips for green meeting travel

6. Explore on foot. At many large meetings, complimentary shuttles run throughout the day to bring participants from hotels to the meeting convention centers or hotels. Although it’s tempting to hop on the shuttle, lace up your shoes and walk to the meeting. Meetings often start early and end late, but nothing is more refreshing than taking a short break at lunch or in the evening to explore the city on foot. It also is the best way to browse the various menus to pick a restaurant or find a coffee shop for the morning.

7. Bring a digital camera. Want to bring home a souvenir from the meeting? All you need is a digital camera and a few rechargeable batteries and you are ready to collect images to share with friends and family. An email with photos or an e-postcard is a fun way to stay in touch with family and friends while on travel.

8. Recycle your name badge. Before you leave the meeting, return your name badge to the meeting organizers. The paper can be recycled, and badge holders that are in good condition can be repurposed for future meetings.

9. Paperless meetings. Paperless meetings are controversial, because, for many, having a printed meeting program to read is a valuable resource. Beyond the program, meetings usually are flush with handouts, brochures and product information. The best way to reduce paper use is to pick up less paper. When you visit booths or literature tables at your next meeting, ask if they can provide information on a portable drive or give you a business card with a web address at which information can be found. If you have a smartphone, snap a photo of the QR code so you can look at more information later.

10. Provide feedback. The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology sends out electronic surveys after each of our meetings to evaluate and improve the meeting experience for our current and future members. If there are changes that you would like to see, mention your observations and green ideas in a meeting survey.

Jlynn J. Frazier ( is the ASBMB conference manager.


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