Over the course of a year, I might go to four -- maybe even six -- tradeshows and conventions where everything from the newest products to the most cutting-edge speakers are on display for three uber-hectic days. Thousands of companies exhibit at hundreds of tradeshows, and when you consider that each company offers samples in plastic cups, under huge megawatt lights, in PVC-laden booths, it's pretty obvious that conventions represent a huge part of the corporate environmental footprint. But as more and more companies -- especially in the outdoor industry and natural-products realm -- are trying to practice the green messages they preach, we're seeing huge growth in truly eco-conscious business practices, as well as a new trend toward greening up the tradeshows where they exhibit.
At a recent show, I noticed that companies such as Annie's Homegrown offered samples in compostable paper cups. And at a large natural-industry tradeshow in September, EFA-supplement company Nordic Naturals will spearhead efforts to recycle paper and plastic products. These might seem like baby steps, but they are indications that some companies in the natural-products industry care sincerely about the environment and our health. And it makes me proud to be involved and to be able to spread the eco-word!