A few weeks ago I traveled to Austin, Texas for the 93rd Annual American Meteorological Society’s Conference. At this conference, meteorologists and climatologists gather together to discuss their work and future studies.This conference was a great opportunity for students like me to understand the industry more and talk with future employers and graduate advisors.
One thing I started thinking about during all the talks about climate change was all the resources that went into making this meeting happen. Every attendee received a name badge; ribbons for different conferences, classes and labels; a big schedule booklet; reusable bag; and other paper handouts. It made me think. Are we contributing to climate change too?
Around the conference building, there were a few recycle bins for the big booklets, which was good because when they ran out of books they were able to grab them out of the bins. But it was interesting to think of all the booklets, how much paper was used and how each booklet will be used for a week and then sit on a shelf to collect dust. It might be interesting to see if this format eventually translates to electronic handouts or apps.
There were also snacks and coffee offered to the attendees throughout the conference. These were served on plastic and paper settings. It made me wonder if they were made from post consumer products or decomposable products. With all the free coffee offered, I really wished I’d traveled with my reusable coffee cup. From now on, I vow to make a little extra room in my travel bag for my reusable coffee cup. My cup is going to see a lot more than just the Bay Area now.
I seemed to notice fewer recycle bins around compared to home, I did find this one and it made my day. It’s nice to see people caring for our environment and future generations.
Has any one else been to a conference and had similar thoughts?