Natural Foods Merchandiser

Behind the (green) scenes at Expo West

As the operations manager for Natural Products Expo West, I’m probably not the best person to write exciting things about Expo. In Ops we tend to be the little gnomes behind the scenes—the ones that make sure your booth is where you expect it be, that there are signs telling you where the party is and that there are tasty libations when you get there.
But there is something we do that is interesting to our exhibitors and attendees and not just to we logistics geeks. Every year, we work with our vendors and our show team to think of new ways to reduce the environmental impact of Expo West. This year, we’ve made some really significant developments and changes.
The big headline is that we will no longer be producing a physical show directory, saving more than 7 million pieces of paper. However, did you also know that we will no longer be using badge holders—an elimination of more than 50,000 little pieces of plastic?
Our catering vendor, Aramark, continues to amaze us with the ways it is working to not only improve the quality and taste of the food at Expo, but also reduce the impact that food has on the environment. This year, the concession stands will feature 100 percent post-consumer unbleached napkins and no petroleum-based products.
Another change that I continue to be excited about is that we’ll no longer be using environmentally costly foam-core signage. Our decorator, Freeman, found an alternative of recycled and recyclable cardboard signage to get you where you need to go.
For more information on our newest efforts to make Expo West the greenest show around, please visit

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