Going Green

Holding any national or international conference raises questions about environmental impact and sustainability, and holding one with a focus on sustainability itself makes those questions even more noticeable!  Conversations about this have been going on within NCPH for a number of years, but in many ways, the 2014 conference represents our first concerted effort at addressing them as an organization and a community of practitioners.  This page will give you a sense of where we’ve gotten to so far, as well as some ideas about ways to reduce the “carbon footprint” of your own individual conference travel.


  • In June 2013, Leah Glaser summarized the discussions so far.
  • In the fall of 2013, the NCPH Task Force on Sustainability conducted a survey and reported on the results.
  • NCPH already works to minimize its printing (for example, by sending digital rather than paper copies of the program to attendees before the conference) and to recycle paper and other products (for example, plastic name-badge holders) whenever possible.  In a December 2013 post, Program Manager Stephanie Rowe shared her thoughts on the challenges of “greening” a professional conference.


  • Recycle paper and plastic whenever possible.
  • Make sure to turn in your plastic name-badge holder after the conference so it can be re-used.
  • Bring your own tote bag.
  • Bring a travel mug for beverages.
  • Use water glasses wherever they’re provided.
  • Be very conscious of water usage–California has been experiencing drought conditions this winter, just one among many extreme weather patterns that are becoming more and more common as the climate continues to heat up.
  • Turn lights off in your hotel room when you leave it.
  • Use our ride-share page to find others who may want to car-pool.
  • Consider purchasing carbon credits to offset the environmental impact of your travel.  While not a perfect solution by any means, these can be a useful step in increasing awareness and creating renewable infrastructure, as Cathy Stanton wrote in a Nov. 2013 post on the subject.
  • When eating out in Monterey, patronize restaurants that source locally.

You may also want to see what our sister organization, the American Society for Environmental History, is doing about addressing its own organizational environmental impact.