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Sustainable Exhibits at the General Assembly

General Assembly (GA) planners encourage exhibitors to apply these principles as they prepare exhibits and table displays:

Why Go "Green"?

For The Earth

  • Offering bottled water to participants seems like a nice gesture, but have you considered the environmental impact? If all 3,000 participants at General Assembly reused their water bottle just twice, it would save enough water to make 10,000 cups of tea.
  • Provide digital information with website promotion and email communication to limit the amount of paper waste. Every 8,300 sheets you don’t print saves one tree!
  • Make sure that materials that are unable to be reused are recyclable. By focusing on reuse, recycling, and composting, GA 2013 was able to divert 78% of their waste from landfill.

For Your Wallet

Although we tend to focus on being environmentally “green”, there is a different kind of “green” benefit to sustainable exhibiting: money. As business-minded people, we understand that adding cost to become more sustainable sometimes isn’t an option. The good news is that there are many ways to not only reduce waste, but reduce cost as well. Here are just a few:

  • Think about your exhibit in such a way that you are able to reuse it for next year’s GA, and many more to come. This will not only save you money, but time by avoiding the purchase and conception of a new exhibit year after year.
  • Use energy efficient lighting and remember to turn off lights and other electric devices at the end of each day. Not only is energy efficient lighting more cost-effective, turning off lights and devices will help to extend their life.
  • Offer reusable giveaway items. Although not initially a cost benefit, a reusable item will help with long-term name recognition and business growth when compared to an easily-discarded non-reusable one

For Fun

  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a 100 watt light bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, and a TV for 2 hours. (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • By focusing on increasing compost and recycling at General Assembly (GA), UUA has reduced waste sufficient to fill 1.5 garbage trucks.
  • Over the course of the 2013 General Assembly, each conference attendee was responsible for more than 1100 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. This is nearly the amount that a single person emits as a result of driving their car for one month!

For more information contact

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Friday, September 20, 2013.

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General Assembly 2012 reduced waste per participant from 0.64 lbs to under 0.13 lbs per person per day.

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