ASTRO is committed to doing its part to mitigate the effects of climate change on patient care and promote environmental sustainability practices within our field. While we recognize that face-to-face events, such as ASTRO’s Annual Meeting, offer a valuable way for our specialty to connect and network in person, we also understand the importance of organizing a meeting that is environmentally and socially responsible in terms of its consumption and production. In that spirit, below are some of the green initiatives that you will see at ASTRO 2023 and ways that you, as an attendee, can help lessen the meeting’s environmental footprint.
- Utilize registration bags made from recycled materials; unused bags will be donated to a local charitable organization.
- Reuse structures and signage for areas such as Posters, Industry-Expert Theaters, Game Zone and the ASTRO Resource Center.
- Aisle carpet in the Exhibit Hall is made from 25% recyclable materials and reusable at future events. Once it is no longer usable, it is 100% recyclable.
- Digital signs are used outside of meeting rooms to display the session schedule.
- All posters are digital, thereby eliminating the waste that comes from traditional paper posters.
- Easel and meter board signs are made of a recyclable material.
- Employ a meeting app for meeting schedule and information and use digital options for attendee feedback and surveys.
- Implement a fully virtual meeting for those unable to attend or travel to the meeting in person.
Venue – San Diego Convention Center
As the host venue for the 2023 ASTRO Annual Meeting, the San Diego Convention Center strives to be a good steward of the environment. The convention center is a leader in green meetings beginning with the facility’s LEED Gold certification. Their business practices emphasize environmental responsibility in operating and managing a venue and focus on various sustainable efforts such as energy efficiency, food waste reduction and recycling and composting. Some examples of specific green efforts include:
- Extensive recycling program includes use of 4-stream waste receptables that permits attendees to help with the recycling process.
- The entire facility is equipped with LED light fixtures which has helped to lower the venue’s electricity usage.
- The convention center also utilizes low flow automatic sinks and toilets, drip irrigation for outdoor landscaping and energy-efficient dishwashers.
- Donations are arranged with local organizations like schools, libraries, churches, nonprofits, shelters, etc. for unused promotional items or supplies from events.
- The convention center does not utilize in-sink garbage disposal units in their in-house kitchens; instead, staff have been trained to compost and place excess food scraps into their green compost bins.
- The in-house caterer sources food locally and purchases within a 150-mile radius whenever season permits.
- The convention center partners with the San Diego Rescue mission to provide unserved food to San Diegans in need and annually giving enough food to plate more than 100,000 meals each year.
- Water bottle refill stations are located throughout the building.
Visit the San Diego Convention Center website to learn more about their sustainability practices.
Click on the links below to learn more about sustainability programs that many of ASTRO’s official hotels have instituted to reduce their environmental impact.
What can you do as an attendee to reduce your environmental footprint while attending ASTRO 2023?
- Travel with a reusable water bottle and take advantage of refill stations located throughout the convention center.
- Choose to reuse your towels, skip daily housekeeping and remember to turn off the lights in your hotel room during your stay.
- Use recycling bins located throughout the convention center and in hotels to dispose of waste materials.
- Exchange contact information with exhibitors using the scan code on your badge, thereby limiting the use of paper business cards.
- Most of ASTRO’s official hotels are conveniently located within walking distance to the San Diego Convention Center. ASTRO provides complimentary shuttle service to the convention center for some of the hotels at a further distance. To promote sustainability, we encourage attendees to walk to their destination or use other forms of public transport. Learn more about San Diego’s public transportation options.