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It seem that being “green” is totally the trendy awesome thing to do now, and it’s crept into way too many professional conferences. Take the DPS for example: the big “green” movement started with the Ithaca meeting where we were all given thermal mugs as part of an attempt to be green. But g*d forbid if you wanted water in the “poster hall” (ie the Cornell gym which wasn’t actually handicap accessible so yay for being exclusive douches) you could only get it in bottled form as there wasn’t a functioning fountain in sight. I later in the meeting pointed out this wasn’t very green considering we had all be given drinking vessels, yet I had to grab bottled water to get my preferred liquid and got a look of total confusion. Oh and at this same conference we got to listen to the bragging about corn based plastics, which are not easily compostable like most people think (they require a higher temperature to compost which is why most cities who do compost won’t even accept them) and made from one of the worst crops you can grow with respect to water consumption and removal of nitrogen from the soil. A better choice would have been bamboo, but then we couldn’t have helped prop up the American Corn industry.
I think perhaps slowly we’re moving towards greener conferences. The AAS conference has almost always been greener with respect to the fact that it’s in major cities that are major airline hubs- so unlike the DPS people haven’t had to take multiple planes to get to the conference destination (like my 3 flight odyssey followed by a $200 cab fare between Rochester and Ithaca because my drivers license got lost somewhere in terminal 4 at LAX after having to run from the United terminal because they had mechanical dipshittery and were going to leave me stranded in LA for half the conference). I actually found my cold bitchy heart melting a little the other day though when I checked the DPS registration this year- there was a little ticky box for I don’t want a paper copy of the Bulletin. Thank ceiling cat, perhaps we can save some member money on not printing that epic pile of dead tree for everyone and ya know, not kill some trees. Invariably at the end of the AAS and DPS you see orphan AAS Bulletins that someone left behind because they’re heavy and obnoxious and no one really wants them.
I just have to hope this trend continues with the winter AAS in Seattle. Listen up AAS: the people don’t want to carry around the Bulletin! Functioning internet at the meeting would make the damned thing obsolete and honestly, I did all my talk selections in DC with the help of my shiny iPhone because the internet was pretty craptastic in the poster hall (though somehow the AAS wireless was available up in my hotel room more than a few floors up from the internet cafe).