How to Go GREEN at Your Next Trade Show (and Beyond)

In honor of Earth Day coming up (on April 22nd), it’s time to start thinking about how you can be environmentally-conscious. It’s more than just choosing eco-friendly items… which, of course, helps… It’s also about finding ways to reduce your overall carbon footprint. And once you start thinking in those terms – reduce, reuse, recycle – you’ll find yourself carrying that mindset over to your everyday office habits too.

Let’s Talk Trade Shows First…

Trade shows are not known for being the most environmentally-friendly events. There tends to be a lot of waste and litter. From plastic water bottles to marketing papers, the amount of trash generated from a typical trade show is astronomical. While you can’t control what other companies do, you can make sure that yours puts its best (and greenest) foot forward. Here are a few tips for going green at your next trade show:


Cut down on paper. You can still make an impression without handing out printed brochures and flyers. Many exhibitors are now taking advantage of our growing technology with promotional flash drives. You can put your digital brochures and other marketing materials on the drive and customize it with your company name and logo. It accomplishes two goals at once: it serves as a promotional item and reduces the use of paper.


Most trade shows provide some kind of food, and not all of it is always eaten. Check with the show prior to attending to ask them how leftover food is disposed of. Encourage or even head-up donation to ensure it doesn’t go to waste. You may also inspire trade show attendees by offering giveaways like reusable water bottles, tote bags and travel mugs.


Nowadays trade show facilities often have places for exhibitors to recycle, and some even offer separate compost bins. Look into the available options before the show. Put clearly marked receptacles at your booth to allow visitors the ability to recycle paper, plastic and metals as well as dispose of trash so it does not end up littering the facility’s surroundings.

When it comes to giveaways, choose eco-friendly items or Earth Day themed giveaways to show your support. Eco-friendly items include items that are made from recycled or natural materials, can be reused or are energy-efficient. Here are a few specific green giveaway ideas.

Now About the Office…

There are so many little choices we make every day that add up to have a big impact on the environment. Here are some ideas to help you make those choices a little greener:


Printing at the office is inevitable in most cases, but try to think before you print. Whenever possible, eliminate unnecessary printing. When you must print, try to print on both sides of the paper and maximize the space on the page. You can play with the margins, spacing and font size to get the most out of your printed page. And be sure to recycle papers you no longer need.


Conserve energy by turning off lights when you leave a room. The break room is often a place that employees are in and out of throughout the day, but when it’s not in use encourage employees to keep the lights off. Or – better yet – put the lights on a sensor so when the room is empty they turn off on their own. Making the switch to LED lights and energy-saving machines will make a huge impact as well. You can also conserve energy by unplugging electronics that are not in use. Items such as cellphone chargers draw power simply by being plugged into the outlet. It is minimal, but every bit helps.


Cut down on trash as best you can around the office. Instead of having disposable coffee cups, plates, utensils, etc., offer washable items and encourage employees to use them. As an incentive you could provide a logoed coffee mug, for example, to each employee. To encourage them to cut down on the use of plastic water bottles, provide a water cooler from which they may fill their own tumblers throughout the day. And, of course, keep recycling bins all around the office so that when plastic, paper and metal is disposed of it may be properly recycled.

With a little effort you can do a lot to reduce your carbon footprint both at events you attend and at the office. You can read more about why you need earth day giveaways here. And remember: it’s the little things that add up. So do your part this Earth Day and beyond!

Earth Day
Starting on
April 22, 2018
Ending on
April 22, 2018

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