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Capricon and Global Warming

We have been working on making Capricon more environmentally sustainable by reducing the carbon footprint of the convention. As we plan the convention this year, we will share the changes we are making, and will take your feedback into account. We are interested in your ideas on how we can continue to improve. There are many ideas to explore, and you can get involved by e-mailing greening @ and coming to the discussions we'll have as part of the Capricon program.

Capricon's Carbon Footprint

To give you some idea of how large Capricon�s carbon footprint is, here are some relevant numbers:

  • 1000 attendees
  • 80% traveling by car
  • 10% traveling by air
  • 35,000 square feet of function space for 4 days
  • 700 hotel room nights

Using Native Energy�s carbon calculation (, a convention of Capricon�s size and duration would lead to the following CO2 emissions:
Travel = 248 metric tons of CO2 emissions
Function space = 3 tons
Hotel rooms = 26 tons
Total = 283 short tons of CO2 emissions

What Capricon Is Doing to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint


For the Souvenir Program Book, we are using a green printer and soy ink and recycled paper with a 30% post-consumer waste content, as well as purchasing offsets for our souvenir book.

In the past, we have provided a souvenir book to all members, and unfortunately, some of those have been thrown out, especially in households with multiple people attending the convention. This year, we will be asking members how many souvenir books they would like, and we will be reducing our print runs in the future accordingly.

Con Suite

Disposable cups, plates, and flatware add up when you�re hosting 1000 people for 4 days, so we are looking into using compostable bio-ware.

We are also looking into having water dispensers available in the con suite, instead of individual plastic water bottles.


Our new hotel already has some green aspects in place, and in 2010 the entire Westin brand will be implementing a company-wide green initiative. We�re excited about the future (we are into sf after all), but for now, some of the green features of the hotel include:

  • Green housekeeping products
  • Towel and Linen re-use program (you know, you hang up your towels and set out that little card your bed that says you don�t need new sheets)
  • Recycling of paper, cans, and plastic
  • CFLs (energy saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs) and turning off lights not in use
  • No VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints
  • A/C set to 72 degrees in the summer to save energy

Carbon Offsets

Even with all the best energy-efficiency and energy reduction measures, our convention still has a large carbon footprint, so we are purchasing carbon offsets from Native Energy. Capricon will pay to offset the categories listed below and offer attendees the option of purchasing their personal carbon offsets.

  • GoH Travel and Hotel (emissions, electricity, heat)
  • ConCom Travel and Hotel
  • Phandemonium Board Travel and Hotel
  • Capricon function space usage (electricity, heat)
  • Capricon waste
  • Capricon Souvenir Program Book

It makes sense for the convention to cover these categories since we are directly generating that portion of our carbon footprint.

The attendee travel and hotel offset total is approximately $3000, which is, unfortunately, not in the budget. If you would like to offset your personal footprint, we will be collecting money during the convention. The average offset costs are:

Hotel = $1/person
Travel (average/person)
$1 Local area drivers
$2 Non-local area drivers or those who commute daily to the convention
$11 Fliers (flying from St. Louis will be closer to $2 and flying from LA will be closer to $16)

We will have a posterboard display with information on ways to offset your carbon footprint, plus details on the convention and average attendee footprint so you can see how the numbers were derived. We will also have information about the project that we will be funding with our offset dollars. The posterboard will be set up in the fan table area the entire weekend, and that will be where we will be collecting money for offsets.

What You Can Do to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Since travel is the largest contributor to our carbon footprint, one way you can help us make the convention more sustainable right now is by reducing or offsetting your travel to the convention.

  • If you're traveling by car, try to carpool-post a ride share notice on the Phandemonium forums-you�ll reduce your footprint and meet new people!
  • Taking the Metra to the convention is also a great option, especially since our new hotel has a free shuttle that will take you anywhere within a 5 mile area, including 3 different Metra stations and lots of restaurants!
  • If you can purchase an offset, great, we�ll have a table available on site for you to do that! However, we know that offsets are not in everyone�s budget, so if they�re not in yours, don�t worry, you can still reduce your carbon footprint in other ways.

While checking out the freebie table, take only the number of flyers you need, and sign up for electronic delivery if possible.

Instead of using multiple disposable cups throughout the weekend, bring your own reuseable cup or water bottle.

Bring your own bag for use in the Dealers� Room.

Of course, this year is only the start of a long-term process of improvement. We�ll try to keep you informed of our progress, and ask that you keep sending us your comments and suggestions.

What's New
New Campground!
Please remember we have a new Campground! We will be camping at the lovely

Westin Chicago North Shore

Located at:
601 North Milwaukee Avenue, Wheeling, IL 60090
Visit our Hotel page for more information.


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