I have blogged about the ecological cost of conferences, speculating that in the future our consciences (not to mention our pocketbooks) will make us think three or four times before winging or wheeling our way across the country or the world for professional development. What are the unique, irreplaceable aspects of face-to-face training that webinars and other virtual training will never replace? When we do choose to travel, how can we reduce the environmental impact, while making the most of the unique benefits of such opportunities?
To explore this theme, Stephanie Almeida, an independent consultant specializing in establishing museums in virtual worlds, is preparing to don the cape and mask of the Green Ranger to attend the Western Museums Association meeting next week in San Diego. Trailing her bag of recyclables behind her, Stephanie will explore questions such as: what’s the best way to reduce your energy use in a hotel room? How do you hustle a low-impact cup o’ Joe? How do you choose a restaurant that contributes to the “greenness” of your trip?
I will help chronicle the Green Ranger's adventures—look for updates on this blog and on WestMuse. Join the conversation as we explore the pros/cons, myths and hype surrounding carbon offsets, “locavore” culture and green hotel practices.
If you are coming to the conference, you can join the experiment! Bring a coffee mug to personalize with a “Proud Greenie” sticker, and use it for the duration. (The sticker, and other Green Ranger products, are available at Café Press.) Estimate and share with us your own carbon cost for your trip. Whether or not you are coming, comment on this post for suggestions for Stephanie on what she should track or try—what are your tips for green travel? What do you think is the best use of her time in San Diego?