A New Way to Green Meetings and Conventions

By Lisa Cericola October 20, 2008, 9:00 AM EDT

Sustainable Cards supplied key cards for the Democratic National Convention in August.

Photo: Courtesy of Sustainable Cards

When it comes to making meetings or conferences green, seemingly small changes can make a difference. Boulder-based company Sustainable Cards aims to replace the plastic key cards used in most hotels with versions made from sustainable, biodegradable wood. According to the company, wooden cards can reduce plastic waste annually by 1,300 tons—the amount traditional hotel key cards generate in the U.S. alone.

Although similar products have existed in Europe for years, these debuted in the U.S. during the Democratic National Convention, replacing 70,000 plastic cards. The cards can be printed with a logo or event information and orders take approximately four to six weeks. Pricing varies according to the number of keys, hotels, and customization. An order of 500 keys for one hotel would run about $1 to $1.75 per key, but the price decreases with larger orders. The company also has relationships with most hotels and can make arrangements on a planner’s behalf.

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