Monday, October 24, 2016

The Professionals Need Recycling Help?

Volunteer at IUCN's 2016 World Conservation Congress 
At two recent major conferences I observed volunteers providing coaching at waste centers: the United States Green Building Council's GreenBuild in Los Angeles, and The International Union of Conservation Networks' World Conservation Congress in Honolulu.

The efforts are exemplary yet the human factor was so discouraging. At the World Conservation Congress the event managers found that two days into the program they had to provide volunteers to help conference goers be more successful in sorting - and these were all primarily environmental supporters! Then, in an excruciating discovery, a bureaucratic glitch was allowed to prevent the composting intended to make the Congress a Zero Waste event.

GreenBuild 2016
At the US Green Building Council's 2016 GreenBuild conference, the volunteers stationed at waste, recycling, composting centers anecdotally reported that attendees didn't want help with sorting, yet were not very effective at it.

There are similar reports out of the 2016 annual conference for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums!

Volunteer helpers at sorting stations is a proven success mechanism if we take advantage of it.  Come on gang - let's help us help ourselves!

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Sarah, you've hit a real sore spot for me. So many conferences I attend do not provide attendees with the ability to recycle - not even all the piles of paper they give us in our registration packet! I would love to see recycling bins as part of the RFPs that museum associations send out - or as something that the local arrangements committee ensures. It's just so easy to do!