Presenters: Be Both Earth-Friendly and Audience-Friendly

As a presenter, you know that your audiences are increasingly environmentally conscious. How do presenters incorporate more green solutions without reducing your presentations’ impact on our audiences? How can you make your sessions greener? And how can you run your office with more environmental conscientiousness?


The default of printing your slides — often one or two per page — is now discouraged by many people around the world. How do you provide a meaningful learning experience without support materials?
  • Pare down the number of pages to the nub and provide an expanded version online at a group-specific URL.
  • Offer to email an in-depth handout afterward.
  • If everyone will have laptops or iPads, send a Word document in advance so they can complete forms, quizzes or take notes onscreen.
  • Many conference planners are now putting all conference handouts online or on a CD for attendees to view during the presentation and take home.
  • If your audience members must have something tangible, reduce the environmental drain of flying your handouts to the venue by uploading the masters to the FedExKinko’s nearest your site for duplication and delivery to you there. (Find the store nearest your venue or hotel at


Webinars save not only time for everyone, but no fossil fuel is used for anyone driving or flying to the event. Become adept at virtual presentations, from Skype webcasts to webinars.
  • Plan “greenness” for your meeting.
  • Instead of individual water bottles, which are expensive and often go half-used, suggest water pitchers and glasses. Research has shown that tap water in many parts of the world is purer than bottled water — with much less environmental impact.
  • Reuse name badge holders and have drop-off sites on the last day.

In your office

  • Before printing anything, ask yourself if you really need a hard copy. If you find it difficult to read onscreen, learn to enlarge email, web sites, and documents onsreen. Command + (Control + for Mac) enlarges email and web sites; Word and PDFs have an “increase size” button on the tool bar.
  • When you must print, use store-bought recycled paper. Don’t run partially used paper back through your laser printer — it will cause costly repairs.
  • Refill your toner cartridges rather than buying new ones. The fewer spent cartridges in the landfill the better.
I’ve downsized my files and office so I can do most anything I need with my laptop, including during month-long foreign trips. There is little I need a physical office for anymore.

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