AAAS Annual Meeting Eco Efforts
What is AAAS doing?
Ultimately, the AAAS Annual Meeting aims to be a zero-waste event: leaving no landfill trace of our activities, cleaning up after ourselves and the endeavor, and, whenever possible, leaving the area in better condition than we found it. To do this, all the participants – from AAAS management to every attendee– need to participate in the collective effort to green the meeting.
While we won’t get all the way there this year, we are going to make concerted efforts, and we will collect data to set baselines against which we will assess our progress in future years.
The AAAS Annual Meeting team will utilize strategies that employ as much as possible the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle, and recover. For the 2020 Annual Meeting, these efforts range from having more eco-friendly badges to minimizing our printed materials and relying on electronic forms of informing and interacting. As planning continues, we will post updates here.
What are our partners doing?
Seattle is one of the greenest cities in the country. Most official meeting hotels are within walking distance of the convention center. With the help of our partners, we are collecting data on our projected carbon footprint so we can track and adjust our consumption going forward.
What can our attendees do?
At the Conference
- Bring your own water bottle and/or reusable coffee mug.
- Go paperless! When you register, choose not to receive the pocket guide and use the mobile app to navigate the conference.
- As you travel around Seattle, consider low-carbon-emitting transportation options—bicycles, scooters, ride shares, and walking.
- All the hotels have green stay programs. Opt-in to the one at your hotel and have them reward you with incentives like hotel points.
- When you enjoy food around Seattle, think about ordering dishes and (adult) beverages that use local and sustainable ingredients—there are plenty of delicious options!
Getting to Seattle
There are a variety of ways to get to Seattle. Before choosing, calculate an estimate of the different footprints.
Flying produces 2% of society’s overall greenhouse emissions globally. However, some flights have a smaller footprint than solo cross-country road trips.
Here are some ideas to consider when choosing travel by air:
- Support airlines which are using biofuels and investing in sustainability programs.
- Minor choices can add up. Look for direct flights, choose flight paths in cooler temperatures, pack light, and sit in economy class.
- Investigate carbon offset programs, and see what will generate real emissions reductions. Here are some you may want to consider:
– Cool Effects
– Terra Pass
– Gold Standard
– Individual airlines may offer programs as well.
- When arriving in Seattle, choose the light rail or shared car service to get to your hotel.
- Shuttle buses can produce some of the smallest carbon footprints. Consider traveling with a group on a shuttle or find a bus to Seattle.
- If you need to drive, consider carpooling with friendly colleagues or consider a ride share program such as Rdvouz. When selecting a rideshare, please take every safety precaution before and during the ride.
Five train routes service Seattle’s King Street Station. Amtrak has 3 rail lines that connect Seattle to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, BC, Chicago, and points in between.
Thanks to Tatiana Schlossberg’s New York Times articles for some of the information above.
If you are planning an alternative means of getting to the conference, share it with us using the official meeting hashtag: #AAASmtg.