Plan a Green Meeting in Boulder
The days of handing out plastic water bottles and throwaway tchotchkes to every attendee are long gone. Today’s attendees (and clients) expect meeting organizers to be conscious of the event's impact on the environment. It's a big (important) job, but when it comes to green meetings, Boulder has already-in-place ways to make it happen.
This city has taken an eco-friendly approach to everyday life for decades, so just by hosting your meeting here, you’ll be ahead of curve.
5 Ways to Make Your Meeting Greener
1. Count on Local Green Businesses
Boulder’s eco-conscious culture has naturally spawned a large number of businesses that can help you keep your meeting green.
- Bloomin is a Boulder company that can print corporate collateral for attendee bags onto plantable seed paper, which guests can take home and plant.
- A Spice of Life Catering has adopted a zero-waste program of composting and recycling and saved thousands of pounds of waste from landfills—all while providing exceptional food and service.
- Print Experts can help you with any signage you may need while offsetting 100% of their energy consumption and replanting trees in the process.
- Beyond Boulder Bike Adventures was started with the goal of creating a fun yet environmentally friendly group activity. They can even take you on a green tour of Boulder's most eco-conscious companies and places.
- Emergence Leadership Consulting hosts groups on a 55-acre, eco-friendly ranch-retreat facility to develop their personal leadership skills with horses.
Boulder takes pride in its commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices. As a meeting planner, you can align your event with the city's values by opting for green venues, promoting recycling and encouraging participants to use public transportation or bicycles. — Penny Bergsten DES, Senior Director, Global Accounts, Lamont Associates
2. Source Your Food From Down the Street
Boulder is surrounded by fertile farmland — and local chefs love it. So many of them have relationships with farmers and know how to make their seasonal bounties shine. Treat your attendees to local fare that goes easy on its carbon footprint and big on flavor. These restaurants and catering options are just the start:
See our guide to local group dining and food experiences.
3. Choose a Green Venue
More than 120 buildings in Boulder have earned LEED certification, and a number of them are meeting and event venues. Fill out an RFP so we can help you find one that meets your needs. For starters, check out the following:
- eTown Hall, designed with reclaimed materials and completely solar-powered. Largest space: 1,800 square feet.
- Boulder JCC, a state-of-the-art 2017 building that went green from the start. Largest space: 4,000 square feet.
- City of Boulder Main Library, intimate spaces right on the Boulder Creek and a cafe that sources its food from local farms. Largest space: 1,800 square feet.
- University of Colorado Village Center, a flexible LEED Platinum-certified building (just one of 28 LEED-certified green buildings on campus). Total capacity: 500
4. Group Volunteering
Having your group pitch in on a community project in your host city is a great way to spend quality time together while giving back.
- Trails Help with forest restoration, seed collection, farming, trail repair and more through Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks ongoing and well-organized volunteer programs.
- Farm Volunteering Nothing brings teams together than a day out in the fresh air, digging in the dirt together, meeting friendly farmers — all with a mountain view. Several Boulder farms offer opportunities, such as Cure Organic Farm, McCauley Family Farm and Isabelle Farm. Email us for info.
- Seniors The organization Cultivate helps seniors flourish with assistance and community. Your group can help with a day of yard work at seniors’ homes in Boulder, a fruitful (and caring) way to spend time outside together.
5. Lessen Your Transportation Footprint
- Get Here Greener Boulder is in the center of the country, so attendee flights from other states are usually only about two hours or so in length. Once you land, Eight Black Airport Shuttle can give your attendees a lift. After all, 20 passengers in one shuttle means 19 off the road.
- Plan a “Walking” Conference Boulder’s compact geography and historic downtown core make it a highly walkable city. By planning a meeting that utilizes a network of neighboring hotels, unique venues and restaurants, you can skip the headaches (and impact) of group transportation. More about walking conferences.
- Use HOP This convenient and clean city bus runs a loop through all the town’s major areas, stopping every 12 to 15 minutes. A 3-hour pass is just $3. More about HOP.
- Rent BCycle Your attendees can get to your reception or breakout session by hopping on one of Boulder’s public bikes, with 50 BCycle stations and more than 300 e-bikes located all over Boulder. A 24-hour pass is $15. Another option is to rent a fleet of electric-assist bikes from Pedego Boulder (or take a fun group e-bike tour!).
- Scoot Scoot If your conference or meeting happens to be taking place in tech-centric East Boulder, hop on a Lime e-scooter, which can be found in designated zones on or near sidewalks east of 28th Street and in commercial areas. Use the Lime app to find available e-scooters. Note: E-scooters are geofenced and will shut down in "no-go" zones, such as on Pearl Street Mall, trails and cemeteries. For more information, read the City of Boulder's FAQ page on e-scooters.
Boulder's Green Resume
- First city in the U.S. to tax itself for the acquisition of open spaces
- The highest number of certified B Corps in the nation (businesses who prioritize their social and environmental efforts as much as revenue)
- The largest concentration of natural products companies in the nation
- Many leading solar and cleantech organizations are based in Boulder
- No. 1 most bikeable city in the U.S.
- Boulder diverts 57% of its waste from landfills. You’ll see recycling bins everywhere.
Let us connect you to the right venues, conference hotels and service providers for a sustainable event.