Greening the Meeting

In keeping with the need to be more green, we are offering our participants the option to help offset their carbon footprint. Can calculate your travel footprint and choose to make a donation to a number of high quality, verified carbon offset projects around the world, including a local Portland project.  Please visit our carbon offset partner, Sustainable Travel International, for more information on taking action to fight global climate change today.

Melissa Cummiskey
Melissa Cummiskey
CMP, GSA Senior Director of Meetings and Events

From GSA's Director of Meetings

I am often asked what GSA is doing to “green our meeting.” As we open registration for our 2009 Annual Meeting & Exposition in one of the greenest cities in the United States, I wanted to tell you about some of what GSA has been doing and will be doing going forward to help decrease the carbon footprint left behind at these scientific exchanges.


  • Choosing cities that are walk-able or that have a visitor-friendly public transit system (such as Portland);
  • Utilizing water pitchers or large water jugs instead of bottled water;
  • Providing bulk products for coffee breaks and concessions (i.e., creamers, sugar, condiments);
  • Keeping handouts to a minimum;
  • Switching to laptops in meeting rooms instead of desktops to reduce energy use;
  • Offering a bulletin board site where attendees can find carpooling to the meeting or roommates at the meeting.


  • Working with hotel chains who offer the option to not have bed linens and towels changed every day;
  • Utilizing promotional information for multiple years if possible.


  • Recycling badge holders;
  • On-site recycling of programs and other paper products;
  • Using recycled paper and vegetable-based inks for program books and the Abstracts with Programs volume;
  • Providing larger poster-area recycling bins;
  • Working with facilities that offer recycling in meeting rooms and hotel rooms;
  • Donating leftover food to food banks or for composting.

This is just a glimpse of what GSA is doing to help reduce our carbon footprint. We have been doing some of these things for years, and others are new as it becomes easier to “be green” in today’s world.

Our meeting Web site includes a list of some things that you can do as attendees to help with this effort. We have also partnered with a local business to provide a carbon calculator so you can see the amount of CO2 that is expelled when you travel to and from our meeting destination. This company will also offer you the opportunity to offset this CO2 by donating money to a Portland-area project.

While we believe that meetings for networking with colleagues and for the scientific exchange of information are extremely important, we also believe in being good Earth stewards.

— Melissa Cummiskey, CMP
GSA Senior Director of Meetings and Events


2009 GSA Annual Meeting Logo