Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Green Meeting Guide

George Bernard Shaw once said, "Socialism will never work." His shocked radical friend asked, "Why not?" Shaw replied, "Too many meetings."

It is true that building power and organizing effective collective action for change requires a lot of meetings and conferences. (One of the books I recently got is Freedom is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements by Francesca Polletta.) Given this, one question facing many of us is, "How do we minimize the negative environmental impact of our activist meetings?"

Help has finally arrived with Environment Canada's Green Meeting Guide, which is hot off the press in August 2007. A PDF version of the Green Meeting Guide is also available for download.

Here is how the authors describe their book:
This guide is a practical reference tool for anyone faced with the task of organizing a meeting or conference with the aim of making the event environmentally responsible. It provides information on how to incorporate environmental concerns at every stage of an event... The up-front part of the guide has concise general information on the major steps for organizing a green event. Checklists in Appendix 1 provide detailed descriptions of specific tasks to ensure that you cover all environmental requirements at each of organizing and carrying out an event... Appendices 5, Further Information, describe relevant environmental programs and provide links to key Web sites.