Participants receive bags, created by Greenbags, a young Portuguese company, dynamic and concerned with sustainable development. It sells and develops environmentally friendly products without compromising future generations. The company guarantees the quality of materials. The bags are a national product, created with organic cotton and OEKO-TEX® certified. Beyond their use during the congress, the bags can also be used for shopping bulk food, such as bread, fruit and vegetables.
The congress short notebooks were created by using stored paper, offered to SPECO many years ago. The organization thought in a way of using the notebooks, not only for its practical function during the congress, but also to have an impact and sensitivity whoever look at them. Twenty of César Garcia’s photos were carefully chosen to depict Portuguese iconic biodiversity and landscapes, giving sense to the sentence “an image is worth a thousand words”. The notebooks will be used in SPECO’s future initiatives, thus reinforcing their aim by raising positive reactions in the Portuguese public, familiar to the images. This was the reason behind the decision of having coloured covers rather than simpler ones. All paper sheets are FSC and ISO 14001 certified.
The pens were manufactured with PET plastic from recycled bottles, kindly provided by Ciência Viva, the Portuguese agency for scientific and technological culture.
The lanyards were handcrafted with an organic cotton thread acquired in a local store. Since we minimized the use of printed documents, the personal identification of each participant, the programme summary, map and other useful information were put in a single leaflet, attached to the lanyard. There was no need to use the traditional plastic bag. The organization also promoted an online-based dissemination of the congress.
The participants receive a reusable water bottle “Fill Forever”, provided by EPAL, meant – and encouraged by the organization – to be filled with drinking tap water.
Two printed large canvases exhibited at the venue will have a second life. They were handed over to “Formª”, a Portuguese company that transform them into useful design objects. The decorations used will be reused. With these and other initiatives we move towards a more circular economy.
At any time, apart from the identification leaflet, every other material could be returned to the congress staff, in order to be reused in future events.
There were no plastic or paper disposable crockery. In the conference rooms and during catering, tap water was served in jugs or glass bottles. The catering was inspired in our gastronomic tradition, aligned with the Mediterranean diet. It seeks to offer a healthy and balanced diet, facilitating seasonal and local/regional ingredients, always with a vegetarian option.
All waste produced at the congress was separated and sent for recycling. The number of recycling bins were reinforced for the event.
Valuing the organic waste
During the congress, a lot of potential residues will be produced! As Nature and its ecological processes, we see it as an abundance of resources and a great opportunity to close the congress organic cycle. We will selective collect the organic leftovers and use it to feed our red worms and black soldiers flies (BSF) in the vermicomposting station of Faculty of Sciences. In the end, we will have a high-quality compost to enrich out campus soils and BSF larvae to feed our chickens as protein supplement. So, choose wise where to put your residues if you want to help to improve our soils, take care our chickens and help to grow organic food!
The organization will embellish the congress rooms with life. We will use mainly plants (the full organism, not just the flower), mainly perennials, produced in a healthy soil enriched with compost from the campus. After the event they will be planted at the Faculty of Sciences’ campus as a legacy of the congress. The pots that will hold the arrangements will be created with non-consumable products by reusing urban residues in a creative and sustainable way.
The event venue and the catering, the recommended hotels, the welcome reception and the congress dinner were all located relatively close and in central areas of Lisbon. Most distances were walk distance, others easily accessed by public transport or shared bicycles.
There will be at disposable a book of the congress where you can insert compliments, suggestions or complaints about the whole organisation, including catering choices.