Frequently Asked Questions about Sustainable Exhibiting
What kind of recycled content paper should I get?
An affordable rule of thumb is to look for a minimum of 30% post-consumer recycled content for copy and text weight papers and 10% post-consumer recycled content for cover stock. Higher percentages are better. The best option is to purchase Forest Stewardship Council certified paper, if feasible for you. Ask your printer about the options, and their affordability.
What is the difference between recycled and post-consumer recycled content?
When paper is manufactured waste paper can be produced in the process. These trimmings and sub-grade paper can be re-introduced into the manufacturing process to produce recycled content paper. This differs from post-consumer recycled content paper, which has been sent to market and likely seen the inside of your office or home recycling bin. It is best to purchase as high post-consumer recycled content as possible.
What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable?
Biodegradable means completely breaks down and returns to nature, decomposing into elements found in nature within a reasonably short period of time after customary disposal. Compostable products are similar to biodegradable ones, but when they break down, they turn into humus, which provides valuable nutrients to the soil. The important distinction between biodegradable and compostable products is that the resulting humus is safe and a valuable nutrient to soil. The humus is tested for heavy metal content and must meet US and Canadian stated levels in order to be considered compostable.
What about inks?
Ask your printer about the availability of soy or vegetable-based inks. These inks use less petroleum and are more easily de-inked in the recycling process so are good to make use of if available.
What is fair trade?
Fair trade seeks to transform the lives of poor producers in the developing world by enabling them to use their skills and resources to trade their way out of poverty. Many products are now available with fair trade certification.
What kind of packing materials should I use?
Try to choose something you will re-use if you need to re-ship the materials, such as wooden crates, cloth or foam ends. If you will not be re-shipping, choose a recyclable alternative, such as paper or biodegradable packing peanuts. Avoid polystyrene.
What kind of sustainable giveaways do you suggest?
If you need to give something away at your booth there are some great sustainable options that exist. Always consider how the gift will be appreciated and re-used by the recipient. The longer they keep the item and use it the more promotion you will receive! Consider electronic gifts, such as free mp3 downloads, coffee cards or an online subscription. Edible gifts are also appreciated and can be uniquely branded to your company or initiative.
How do I offset my air travel?
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) offers an option to offset your travel and hotel stay when you register for General Assembly. If you have already registered and forgot to offset many airlines will offer a carbon offset option when you purchase your tickets online. If they don’t, or you have already purchased your ticket, offset your footprint.
What are some green exhibit options offered by Heritage?
Heritage, UUA’s general services contractor, is able to provide greener tradeshow materials. This includes:
- Carpet with pre-consumer recycled content that is recyclable through Heritage.
- Padding with pre-consumer recycled content that is recyclable through Heritage. This product meets all LEED® criteria.
- Signage that is made from natural fibers and 30% recycled waste paper which is recyclable locally.
- Wastebaskets made of recyclable cardboard with biodegradable bags.
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Last updated on Monday, March 4, 2013.