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Let's Talk Sustainability

The holidays are rushing towards us, and sometimes it can be hard to think about sustainability in the midst of running around, working, and spending time with friends and family.

The conference committee has decided that sustainability is one of our values for the conference this year. What does that mean? We are reducing waste, thinking critically about what we need to run the conference, and are using a sustainable funding model.

At the conference, we will:

- Use minimal printing

- Keep fees as low as possible while still providing an excellent experience

- Wrap gifts in recycled materials, if we have to wrap them at all

- Create materials we can use year after year

We ask you to:

- Bring a notepad, laptop, or scrap paper and pens

- Use your own bag or backpack

- Bring a fork, plate (or a container), cloth napkin, and travel mug for lunch and snacks. Those who participate in our lunch challenge will be entered to win a prize!

- Carpool, take transit, cycle, or walk to the conference venue and post-conference social

If you can't take on our lunch sustainability challenge, don't worry. We will have biodegradable plates and utensils ready for you to use. You could try bringing one item to use at the conference, like a mug or a fork. Sustainability is all about creating better habits you can continue into the future, one step at a time.

To get into the spirit of sustainability, we challenge you to have a sustainable holiday. Can you reduce the waste you use when wrapping gifts? Buying food? Bringing food to other people's homes? Some simple things you can do:

- If you are wrapping gifts to unwrap at home, use fabrics, old t-shirts, mason jars, newspapers you've already read, or boxes from other objects

- Bringing a gift elsewhere? Use a nice towel or scarf to enclose a gift (bonus -two gifts!)

- Buy in bulk! Use your own containers when possible. Most foods don't need a bag to stay fresh.

- Give an experience rather than a gift, for example, a membership, tickets to a play, or a night on the town

- Save yogurt containers, zip-top bags, and other typically single-use packages to re-wrap leftovers for friends and family.

- Decorate a tree outside rather than inside, you can bring in fallen boughs for that holiday smell

- Remember your coffee mugs for your shopping caffeine fix

Mason jars are great for coffee!

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