As much as we’re excited to convene our community in person again, we’re also keenly aware that the global halt in business travel during the pandemic drastically reduced carbon emissions, highlighting the environmental impact of in-person events. As such, we are committed to ensuring that the events we host build community without simultaneously tearing down the environment.
Here are some key ways we’re putting those commitments into action:
- Digital materials to reduce paper waste. The Forum’s agenda, maps, FAQs, and more are housed in a dedicated event app, which also gives attendees a space to network with another asynchronously. This removes the need for paper materials that will just be tossed at the end of the day.
- Sustainable swag, food, & drink. As we enjoy each other’s company over food and drink, we’ll also be enjoying the use of compostable materials (recycled through Black Bear Composting) and vittles sourced from local farms, vendors, breweries, and wineries. Not to spoil the surprise, but we’re also gifting each attendee with a reusable stainless steel water bottle to be used in place of disposable plastic water bottles throughout the event. Nametags are made from bamboo harvested by hand from a sustainable bamboo forest in North Carolina and are printed with a 100% plant-based dye. We also printed the nametags with only name and organization so that they are more easily reusable after the event.
- Walking distance only: We’re lucky to have offices located on Charlottesville’s historic downtown pedestrian mall, and we’ve capitalized on the proximity of so many amazing local businesses. By keeping all venues centrally located, no attendees require vehicle transportation during the event. The furthest two venues are a 10-minute walk through the crisp Virginia autumn air, with all other event locations situated in between.
- Using local businesses for all food, drink, & materials. Silverchair’s commitment to supporting our local community far precedes the pandemic, but we’re delighted to showcase some of our favorite businesses for our visitors. Those include: Petite Marie Bette, Feast, the Catering Outfit, Wine Guild, Three Notch'd Brewing Company, Common House, T&N printing, Hedge Fine Blooms, New Dominion Book Store, Merrie Mill Farm & Vineyard, and more.
- Green venue: Our main day of programming will be hosted at the CODE Building, a LEED Gold+ certified building that is also designed to harvest and reuse rainwater for green roof irrigation.
- Carbon offsetting of travel. Of course, bringing together representatives from almost 50 publishers means travel. To help alleviate those effects, we’ve offset travel for all attendees via COTAP, Carbon Offsets To Alleviate Poverty.