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At the Spokane Convention Center, It's Very Easy Being Green

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Spokane, Washington, is widely known for its fresh air, relaxing environment and the overall high quality of life enjoyed by its residents. Those things not only make Spokane an attractive place to live and visit, but also make it an increasingly desirable place to hold meetings and events. And the Spokane Convention Center, the city’s premier hosting destination, is helping make it easier for those meetings to mirror the city itself by going green.

Originally built on a "brownfield" (contaminated) site, which was rehabilitated and cleared of contaminants and pollutants, the Spokane Convention Center is eco-friendly, literally, from the ground up. Located on the scenic Spokane River, the convention center even has historical environmental significance - the first environmental world fair, Expo ’74, was held there. Now, the Spokane Convention Center boasts being one of the first buildings in the greater Spokane area to be awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) rating; it is also only one of three convention centers in the United States to achieve such an award. In fact, the Spokane Convention Center has integrated green practices in its day-to-day operations, using recycled materials and local resources, conserving energy and water use, and improving the air quality inside the center, making it a healthy environment for both employees and guests. During the 2013 Conclave, attendees will experience the benefits of these methods and see, first hand, the seamless integration of environmentally friendly practices with successful large-scale event hosting.

Once in Spokane, attendees will notice that the convention center is located in the heart of downtown. As such, the "Lilac City," as it’s affectionately known, is easily accessible by mass transit, bike trails and pedestrian walkways. That convenience, coupled with its close proximity to dining, shopping and entertainment, go a long way to reducing energy and emissions.

Inside the Spokane Convention Center, the green measures flow so inconspicuously with the décor, and compliment it so well, that they often go unnoticed. The abundance of windows serves a dual purpose- providing beautiful natural lighting and reducing the center’s electrical needs. Attendees may take care to notice the well kept accommodations, maintained through use of the center’s "green" cleaning policy, which employs the use of cleaning products that meet certain Green Seal and EPA standards, thus reducing environmental damage and guests’ exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals. Clean air and water are also a priority. The indoor air is monitored for carbon dioxide concentrations and smoking is prohibited within twenty-five feet of any of the center’s entrances. Drinking local water is encouraged and supplied by the Spokane Aquifer, which is the sole source of drinking water for the 500,000 people in the region. At the Spokane Convention Center, even the dining experience is committed to being "green." Centerplace, the food and beverage provider, purchases local fare from nearby farms and businesses whenever possible and donates excess food and beverage left over from events to local shelters and soup kitchens. The convention center also has a composting program, a recycling program and works diligently to reduce paper consumption.

The beauty of Spokane is not only in its picturesque views and lush greenery, but also in its commitment to valuing its environment and keeping it clean. So, when in Spokane, attendees will have the opportunity to see and be a part of that process, while learning more about green meetings during the 2013 Conclave session "APEX Sustainable Meetings," with Amy Spatrisano of MeetGreen. Additionally, knowledgeable staff at the convention center will be available to consult with any CMPs interested in more information on conducing, or incorporating green practices into their events, showing you that it really is easy being green.

For more information on how to make your meeting or convention more sustainable, check out these helpful tips, provided by Visit Spokane.

 

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