The 2008 conventions are fast approaching, and the host cities—Denver for Democrats followed by Minneapolis/St. Paul for the RNC—are bracing themselves for the mass influx of reporters, supporters, and political insiders. Which leads to the inevitable question: What is each party doing to keep the events environmentally conscious?
For its part, the RNC has sprung into action to keep its energy use and waste to a minimum. The St. Paul Pioneer Press via Politico reports that their efforts will include the following:
[H]ybrid electric trucks delivering soft drinks to the Xcel Energy Center. Almost 300 containers for used cans, bottles, paper and all other things recyclable. A thousand bicycles available for convention-goers to get around the Twin Cities. Recycled desk chairs, cubicles and carpeting. Even 45,000 biodegradable discount cards for visitors.
The greening effort has been so Herculean that convention press secretary Joanna Burgos is quoted as saying, “I think we are going to be the greenest convention in GOP history,” which is sort of like calling The Gates the biggest collection of giant orange curtains in Central Park history. Still, it’s a start.
Corporate sponsors are also getting in on the act, with Coca-Cola stating a goal to recycle 100 percent of its products consumed in St. Paul, which amounts to an estimated 250,000 containers of Coke, Sprite, etc.
The Democrats, meanwhile, are “doing much the same—and arguably more—at their convention,” which is expected to draw 50,000 people. They’re “even pushing an effort to reduce carbon emissions from delegates and alternates traveling there,” according to the Press. We’ll assume the “arguably more” part doesn’t include free haircuts for the homeless.