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Tips and Resources for Sustainable Exhibiting

Before the Event

  • Re-Think: Think about how your display can go lighter on the earth. Include your staff and volunteers in the conversation and make sure they are trained in any practices to be implemented.
  • Reduce: Reduce costly shipping and your carbon footprint by bringing any display or sample materials with you in your car, or acquiring them locally, if possible.
  • Re-use: Consider re-usable or sustainably produced giveaways and avoid or eliminate disposable items. If you are shipping anything try to reuse packing materials and boxes. If your booth includes banners or signs design them in a way you can re-use them next year or at other shows.  It’s not just more sustainable, it’s cheaper!
  • Policy: Create a sustainability policy (Word) to identify sustainability goals and assign a point person to help measure successes and recognize improvements.
  • Packaging: Make a conscious effort to minimize packing materials. Use environmentally responsible materials that are reusable, recyclable or biodegradable.
  • Brochures: Lower cost by reducing the amount of promotional collateral. Consider, instead, digital processes to reduce paper.
  • Printing: If you must print, print double-sided and using soy/vegetable-based ink and post-consumer recycled content paper that has not been bleached with chlorine.
  • Recycle: Plan to participate in the facility's recycling and composting efforts, especially during move in and move out.
  • Freight: If you ship things to the site via surface transport, choose a company with high fuel efficiency, biodiesel or alternative fuel trucks.
  • Booth design: Use environmentally responsible materials and energy efficient lighting if applicable. Avoid use of toxic chemicals that have an unpleasant smell.
  • Carbon offsetting: Calculate event-related carbon emissions resulting from transport and electricity use and offset through Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA’s) chosen partners at CarbonFund.


  • Paper: Avoid large quantities of collateral and offer to send information upon request.
  • Re-fillable bottles: Consider bringing a re-usable water bottle and coffee cup and reduce waste by using it instead of single use bottles and cups.
  • Signage: Use signage that is reusable and made of recycled materials with removable water-based graphics.
  • Energy: At closing each day, don't forget to lower your carbon footprint by turning off anything electrical you might be using in your booth. Turning off your lights when you leave your hotel and walking to GA are also great ways to conserve energy.

After the Event

  • Donate: Participate in the exhibit donation program by providing any usable materials you don’t want that are eligible for donation.
  • No Idling: Observe a ‘no-idling’ policy and do not leave your engine idling if you are unloading or loading booth materials.

Transport: Minimize transportation from show site. Use fuel efficient, biodiesel or alternative fuel trucks.

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

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Consider bringing a re-usable water bottle and coffee cup and reduce waste by using it instead of single use bottles and cups.

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