Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Exorcising my Armchair Solutionary

You know, people take you pretty seriously when you show up to work a conference event in a suit accessorized with bright blue surgical gloves and tongs. Especially if you pull up the cuff and snap it as you approach them.

This past week I spent about 24 hours staring down the bottom of a convention centre trash can. I dug into landfill bins to rescue more coffee cups for compost than I can count. I retrieved 5 china plates, numerous pieces of silverware, 15 clothes hangers, about a dozen unopened bottles of water (for shame) and two full-length mirrors. Even hopped into a dumpster to rescue some carpet rolls for recycling. Yes indeed, event planning is glamorous!

To be honest - in spite of the odor - it was nice to be so hands-on with event sustainability again.

In recent months I have been feeling at risk of being an "armchair solutionary". You know the type: the outsider who comes in and lays out plans and ideas for sustainability with little practical experience in your event? The person who directs others to implement purchasing and waste plans without being willing to get down and dirty themselves? I recognize it because I have, at times, been guilty of being that person.

Have you?

What helps you exorcise your armchair solutionary?

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