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Expo West '08: Green Behind the Scenes

When you're running a show like Natural Products Expo West, it only makes sense to make the convention a little more environmentally friendly. At this year's show, held March 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California, there were plenty of green practices going on behind the scenes, according to the show's organizer, New Hope Natural Media.

"We've been working as much as we can with the Anaheim Convention Center and our vendors to make the show greener," Nicola Ferrell, executive marketing director at New Hope Natural Media, told Progressive Grocer.

Some of those efforts included:
-- Powering the 930,000-square-foot convention center with wind and solar energy through offsets.
-- Providing attendees and exhibitors a green-powered travel option, through purchases of renewable energy certificates via registration.
-- Using sustainable building materials for show structures and exhibits that will be reused over a three-year period.
-- Sustainable product order forms were available for each booth.
-- Biodegradable flatware at show events.
-- Collecting and donating unused samples.
-- Biodegradable table linens in all booths.
-- Biodegradable badge holders.

One of the vendors that took advantage of the green options -- while also relying on plenty of green innovation of its own -- was Nature's Path Foods, based in Richmond, British Columbia in Canada. Its display booth, made of sorghum reed, can be used in seven different configurations, according to Maria Emmer-Aanes, director of marketing.

The countertop used in the booth was made of recycled cereal boxes -- a natural move for Nature's Path, which produces organic cereals among other food products. Even the baskets used for sampling were earth-friendly -- they were made from water hyacinth. The booth floor was made of recycled post-consumer plastic. Finally, the chairs featured 80 percent recycled aluminum.
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