As a proud UUCSH Green Sanctuary Team member, I am always happy to see ways in which people are looking to care for the environment. I was not disappointed at General Assembly (GA)! We attendees received emails in advance encouraging us to bring reusable water bottles and coffee mugs.
The GA Planning Committee makes a special effort to ensure that the facilities they contract with are on board with maximizing diversion from the waste stream. At this GA, attendees found bins for Recycling, Composting, and Landfill. Almost everything sold in the convention hall–plates, cups, plastic utensils, napkins–was compostable. Beside many of the collection bins (all prominently located and clearly marked) were “Gren Angel” volunteers to help you determine where to put your items.
Many workshops did not have any paper handouts. Materials were made available in electronic format in order to save on paper. Some workshops I attended had one handout with resources listed.
There was a significant effort to “green” the exhibit hall. In fact, the GA Planning Committee has a program to recognize those vendors who are acting most sustainably by minimizing waste, using energy efficient electricity, and more. Details here at http://www.uua.org/ga/exhibit/greening/284534.shtml
Conference Attendees were encouraged to take advantage of vegan, vegetarian, and sustainable food options.
There were even reminders to take advantage of the hotels’ linen re-use programs so as not to waste water on washing towels and sheets, when possible.
The UUA’s General Assembly meeting uses industry-recognized sustainability practices. Learn more here: http://vimeo.com/62360452 . This is yet another way for us to be proud of our Unitarian Universalist values being put into practice in the world.