This Zero Waste Pet Parent post is sponsored by the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated as a BlogPaws Conference Ambassador to help share information about the BlogPaws 2018 Conference. We only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. BlogPaws is not responsible for the content of this article.
Zero Waste Pet Conference
In 2017, BlogPaws conference attendees helped make the conference the greenest yet by implementing Zero Waste Initiatives. Along with sustainability partners, Only Natural Pet and The Pet Sustainability Coalition, the conference diverted 96% of waste from the landfill. By recycling, composting and reusing, the conference left its smallest carbon footprint to date.
This year BlogPaws is focused on meeting or exceeding this 96% waste diversion rate. Additionally, the Zero Waste Initiative partners want to empower conference attendees to return home with tips for how to incorporate zero waste activities into our lives as pet owners. Learn more about the 2018 BlogPaws Conference and join us in Kansas City for the 10th anniversary celebration April 18-20, 2018!
What to expect at BlogPaws
Kansas City does not currently have residential curbside glass recycling, which is mind-boggling to me after having spent the last 26 years in the “crunchy granola” capital of Boulder, CO where we even had curbside composting! However, local company Bridging The Gap works to make the Kansas City area sustainable by “connecting environment, economy, and community.” Bridging the Gap partners with KCMO hotels, including The Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center Hotel, home of the 2018 BlogPaws conference, to minimize the environmental impact of conference attendees.
It’s not too late! Register now and join us in Kansas City!
Look for separate STOP. THINK. SORT. bins for composting, recycling and trash disposal. If we work together, we can make sure that conference waste is properly sorted, minimizing the number of materials that end up in a local landfill. Also, look for special “Poop Disposal” bins.
Conference waste will actually be weighed so we will know how successful our efforts are in achieving a Zero Waste conference!
As you prepare for the BlogPaws conference, or any large networking event, I encourage you to look for ways to reduce your own carbon footprint. One of the biggest ways we can all reduce waste is to be thoughtful about how many marketing materials we produce and bring to the conference. I promise you, no one needs 1000 business cards or a media kit for every brand.
What can you share electronically, rather than on printed materials?
There are some fabulous free and for-fee electronic business card scanner apps that easily allow you to exchange contact information with those who are interested without having to manually load the information or exchange physical materials. These apps allow you to take a picture of someone else’s business card information and some of them automatically create a contact in your address book. Check the App Store for one that will work with your phone.
Create an electronic media kit and load it onto your website. Email the link to interested parties so they can download as needed. Trust me on this one, the brands are busy and are getting all kinds of materials from everyone in attendance. Send a follow up email after the conference to the brands and influencers you are most excited to work with. Remind them of conversations you had and include a link to your media kit rather than handing them another item to keep track of at the conference. If someone really wants a hard copy, use the hotel business center to print copies as needed.
If you are printing business cards or promotional materials, please consider printing on recycled paper or consider a seeded card which is biodegradable, seeded and plantable!
Get as organized as possible and consider electronic management of all the contact information you receive. You can use our handy dandy Conference Contact Manager. Download it to your computer and upload and sort contact information from the conference.
At the conference (AND EVERYWHERE ELSE ON THE PLANET):
This really should go without saying but, sadly, this has actually been an issue at previous conferences (I kid you not, people! The stories I could tell…)
Seriously. This is Responsible Pet Ownership 101! Wherever you are, grab some biodegradable poop bags and earth friendly litter and pick up your dog’s poop and scoop your kitty’s litter. Do not leave it on the ground and, you know I’m only mentioning this because it actually happened, DO NOT LEAVE PET FECES IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM, IN ELEVATORS, OR ANYWHERE!!! Look for special “poop disposal” bins throughout the conference.
Being able to bring a pet to a conference is pretty cool and it’s a privilege so please treat it as such and don’t make me say things like, “This is why we can’t have nice things!”
Pack reusable water bottles and hot cups for use during the conference to minimize your use of paper or plastic products.
Whenever possible, pack food and treats in reusable or recyclable containers.
Avoid using plastic straws. Either sip from the glass or consider bringing your own glass or metal straw.
BECOMING A ZERO WASTE PET PARENT AFTER THE CONFERENCE
Pet owners spend more than 70 billion dollars a year on stuff for our pets. WHAT?!?!? We have reached a level of anthropomorphizing our pets that has resulted in extreme levels of consumerism. That much product produces a TON of waste. What can you do to stem flow of waste into landfills?
Buy responsibly. Look for companies with recycling programs, limited packaging, and a commitment to sustainable production.
Play the “Need or Want” Game. Think about what your pet really needs before making that next purchase. For those items that fall in the “want” category, can you make any yourself by repurposing something you already have? There are so many amazing DIY bloggers like Jodi Chick from Kol’s Notes who has a DIY project for almost anything you can think of from gifts to outdoor items to leashes and collars to sewing projects and more!
Recycle whatever you can. Check your local area and find out what kind of curbside or drop off recycling is available near you. Consider donating what you can to others or to your local rescues and shelters. If your area doesn’t have the kind of program you would like to see, consider staging a “plastic attack” like these shoppers who were fed up with the amount of plastic in their local grocery store!
For a fantastic guide on how to be a Zero Waste Pet Owner, please check out Maggie Marton’s (of Oh, My Dog Blog fame) forthcoming E-Book, The Zero Waste Pet! This is NOT an affiliate link. I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of this fabulous resource. Maggie provides clear explanations and easy-to implement steps you can take towards creating a Zero Waste life for you and your pets. The book will be available on Earth Day 2018 (April 22nd). I highly encourage you to sign up now and Maggie will send you some cool freebies before the book is released! 🙂
I also highly recommend this guide on how to live a Zero Waste pet-friendly life from our friends over at Kol’s Notes!
Nervous about attending your first conference? Read our 7 Tips for How to Make Networking Events Not Suck!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogPaws. The opinions and text are all mine.