America Outdoors is excited to announce our partnership with the Salt Palace and their Green Team during the 2019 Conference and Outfitter Expo. We have partnered with their team of experts to curb this BIG challenge for convention planners- sustainability. Events and conferences contribute a lot of waste; check out this infographic from Meet Green; according to their research the average conference attendee contributes 1.89 KG of waste per day.
This is why America Outdoors has made the commitment to sustainability in 2019. Our goals include: an energy and mostly carbon neutral event, 75% landfill diversion, donation of extra food and event material to Salt Lake nonprofits, ample recycling opportunities, including a hygiene kit collection for attendees to drop used hotel products, and a Service Project called Plastic Bags to Sleeping Pads.
What does this mean for attendees?
AO members and attendees of the 2019 Conference will have plenty of opportunities to get involved with this important initiative.
First, we ask you to come to the conference prepared to not waste. In other words, bring re-usable items, such as a water bottle and a backpack. Part of our effort includes providing plenty of refilling stations. Come prepared to do your part!
Members will also be asked to donate their time. We have partnered with an organization that transforms grocery bags into sleeping pads, but we need your help to construct the pads! During the conference, we ask that each of our members take 10-15 minutes to work on this effort. Bring a friend and spend a break helping those in need!
We will also be collecting badges after the conference, as well as leftover hygiene products from attendees’ hotel rooms, which means we will be asking you to bring your shampoo and lotion bottles with you on the final day of the conference to add to the collection bins for reuse.
Let’s take a closer look
In partnership with the Green Team, America Outdoors has identified the following areas to focus our 2019 sustainability efforts:
Food Rescue: America Outdoors is supporting Utah Food Services and their food rescue efforts during the 2019 Conference. Since 2017, UFS has rescued and donated over 75,000 leftover event meals to the Salt Lake community. In addition, any compost or food scraps (such as meat trimmings, oils, dairy) will be sent to Wasatch Resource Recovery, an anaerobic digester in North Salt Lake, that turns food waste into a responsibly sourced natural gas.
Service: AO is partnering with Observe & Serve, a Salt Lake nonprofit, to transform grocery bags into sleeping pads for those in need. These sleeping pads provide a waterproof, highly insulated pad that keeps the user comfortable and warm. Each mat also comes with a pillow made from the scraps not used for the pads. As an added support, AO invites attendees to bring bags from home and the Salt Palace will invite staff to save theirs in the weeks leading up to the event.
Energy: In partnership with the Salt Palace Convention Center and Terrapass, we are utilizing energy and carbon offsets for the venue footprint, as well as the carbon associated with attendees to do our part for climate action. This portion includes air travel, hotel resources, and F&B menus.
Responsible Materials Management: Through strong recycling practices, creative reuse and donation of event materials, we will look to achieve a 75% landfill diversion for this year’s event. In addition, the Salt Palace will be collecting badges and lanyards after the event, as well as leftover hygiene products from attendees’ hotel rooms. Look for the collection bins around the facility.
Join us at #AO2019
The America Outdoors Annual Conference & Outfitter Expo is the only event designed specifically for outfitters and outdoor adventure businesses. The 2019 Conference is crafted to help businesses, operating in the outdoor adventure arena, tackle their biggest challenges in the areas of marketing, risk management, operations, and leadership.
Thank you to the Green Team
This article was made possible by the collaboration between America Outdoors and the sustainability staff at the Salt Palace.