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Green Your Training, Meetings and Events 

Guidelines For CT State Agencies

Clip art picture of a lecture

If you arrange training, meetings or events for employees or outside groups, the environmental impact of your training may not be the first thing that comes to your mind. But training can generate a lot of trash and use plenty of energy.
Set an example to protect the environment and follow state recycling laws while making the training experience as comfortable as possible.

Here are some ways to get an A+ on greening your next event:

Transportation

Publicity & Handouts

Food

Waste and Recycling

Energy

Raise Awareness

Hotels

Extra Credit

Transportation

Goal: Minimize Vehicle Travel

  • Select a meeting location that is geographically central and minimizes travel miles for your audience.
  • Encourage public transportation. If your training is in the Hartford area, include links to area routes and schedules and information about the Hartford Express bus system and the free Hartford Star Shuttle.
  • Highlight bike routes and location of bike racks . Check out the Bike to Work and Bike Everywhere programs run by  Bike Walk Connecticut. All CTTRANSIT buses in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford are equipped with bike racks.
  • Provide shuttle service from mass transit stops. 
  • Offer virtual conferencing, especially for participants who are not local. Your agency’s telecommunications contact can tell you how to set up teleconferences and video conferences.
  • If you are traveling to an event in a state car, request a hybrid vehicle through your agency transportation administrator.  
  • Encourage carpooling by sharing travel information among meeting participants. Event organizers can offer to share participant names and locations with others interested in carpooling. Provide a list of CT’s Park and Ride lots (search for Park and Ride.) CT Rides has a ride matching organization supported by the CT Dept of Transportation; users can earn rewards just for sharing rides.
Publicity & Handouts

Goal: Go Paperless

  • Send invitationsand advanced meeting materials electronically.
  • Post handouts and PowerPoint presentationson your website rather than providing paper handouts.
  • Display the agenda on large poster, flip chart, electrostatic film, or white board rather than handing out individual paper copies. 
  • Where handouts are necessary, use white paper with recycled content, printed double-sided, and print only the quantity needed. White paper is easier to recycle than colored paper. Paper with 30% post consumer recycled content is required for paper used by all CT executive branch agencies, but strive for higher recycled content -- 50 and 100% recycled content papers.
  • For handouts that are larger print jobs, specify with the printer that you want at a minimum 30% post-consumer content recycled white paper, double sided printing, and vegetable based inks. DAS Central Printing accommodates specifications for high recycled content paper, double sided copies, etc.
  • If you choose to use an outside source for printing, you can also specify that they use vegetable and soy-based inks. You may even inquire about using renewable energy to manufacture the paper or do the printing.
  • If you are providing writing pads for participants, offer white paper pads rather than yellow because white paper is easier to recycle.
  • Provide reusable name badges or badges made of recycled content. 
  • Use reusable folders/containers for handouts or samples (e.g., pocket or file folders, cloth bags, reused loose leaf notebooks).
  • Where reusable items are not feasible, select products that are made with recycled content and that also can be recycled. The vendors for state office supplies, use symbols in their catalogues to note environmentally friendly products.
  • If you contract for others to provide training to state employees, share these greening opportunities with contracted vendors and consider including some green requirements in your contract specifications. 
Food

Goal: Buy Local and Minimize Waste

  • Plan food service needs carefully to avoid unnecessary waste.
  • Use bulk dispensers for sugar, cream, salt, pepper , etc. rather than individually wrapped packets.
  • Buy locally grown when in season.
  • Find CT Grown products.
  • Use fair trade coffee and teas.
  • For light snacks, try to serve "finger food" or food that can be served with minimal plates and utensils. 
  • Use washable food serving utensils and plates , napkins and table cloths. If you must use disposable plates, look for plates made from recycled content. Avoid polystyrene. "Compostable" utensils and plates are only "greener" if you have made arrangements for composting them.
  • Serve drinks from pitchers rather than individual drink bottles. 
  • For small events, encourage meeting participants to bring their own reusable coffee mugs.
  • Collect food scraps for composting/recycling if a program has been set up. 
Waste and Recycling

Goal: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The following items commonly used at events are required to be recycled in Connecticut: plastic, glass and metal beverage containers and white office paper.

  • Use separate, labeled recycling containers for paper and food/beverage. Make sure recycling containers are paired with a trash container in the room.
  • Contact the building manager to make sure recyclables will be recycled! If your agency or the meeting site is not recycling, contact the DEEP for assistance, 860-424-3366.
  • Encourage participants to bring their own refillable water bottles or recycle plastic bottles along with the glass and metal beverage containers.
  • Be sure to recycle cardboard boxes, as required by law.
  • Donate excess food to charitable organizations. 
  • Collect plastic name badge holders for reuse.
Energy

Goal: Conserve And Maximize Efficiency

  • Select meeting spaces with natural light.
  • Turn off lights and AV equipment when not in use. 
Raise Awareness

Goal:  Educate Your Audience About Your Green Event

  • Publicize the green features of your meeting. Include energy, cost, and climate savings if possible. List green features in a PowerPoint slide, on a large poster or flip chart and on your meeting website.
  • Provide labels indicating the foods that are local and sustainably grown.
  • Acknowledge participants who have traveled to the meeting by bike, walking, carpool, mass transit, etc.
  • Remind participants to recycle at the event.  
Hotels

Goal: Stay at a green hotel

Extra Credit

Goal:  Environmentally Preferable Products, Use Green Cleaners and Go Carbon Neutral

  • If you need to buy supplies, purchase products with recycled content and those that are healthier for you, your students and the environment. Find information on environmentally preferable products available through DAS contract or call 860-713-5150. 
  • Use green cleaners to keep your meeting space clean. DAS has Green Seal cleaning products on state contract or use DEEP’s green cleaning recipe card to make your own.
  • Buy carbon offsets to neutralize the emissions from your meeting. Work with an organization that will help you estimate the greenhouse gas emissions caused by your event such as transportation to the meeting, electricity and fuel to heat/cool the room and then purchase the equivalent amount of carbon offsets. This means your money funds things like new wind power projects or energy efficiency projects in the amount equivalent to the emissions from your event.

Content Last Updated January 2020