For Capricon 29, we introduced our Greening Initiatives.  We were thrilled with the response we got, and continue this year to try and make Capricon a lean, green Sci-Fi Machine! 

Capricon's Carbon Footprint

To give you ane idea of how large Capricon’s carbon footprint is, here are some average 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 (www.nativeenergy.com), a convention of Capricon’s size and duration would lead to the following CO2 emissions:

Travel:                          248 tons of CO2 emissions
Function Space:            3 tons
Hotel Rooms:                26 tons
Total:                            277 tons of CO2 emissions


What Capricon Is Doing to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

For the Souvenir Program Book and pocket program, we will once again be using a green printer, soy ink, and recycled paper with at least 30% post-consumer waste content, as well as purchasing offsets for both items.  We will also have members pick up a souvenir book at Registration only if they wish one, as opposed to providing multiple packets that may go to waste.

Con Suite
Disposable cups, plates, and flatware add up when you’re hosting 1000 people for 4 days, so we are in the process of switching to compostable bio-ware.  To try and reduce the need for individual plastic bottles, we will have large water dispensers available in the con suite.  There will also be water dispensers throughout the function space, so people can refill their own water bottles.  We will once again be selling water bottle holders for just $1.

Our hotel already has some green aspects in place, and in 2010, the entire Westin brand will be implementing a company-wide green initiative. Some of the current green features of the hotel include:

  • Green housekeeping products
  • Towel and Linen re-use program
  • Recycling of paper, cans, and plastic
  • CFLs (energy saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs) and turning off lights not in use
  • No VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint
  • 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 will again be purchasing carbon offsets.  In 2009, Capricon purchased offsets for 22.25 tons of emissions for the following categories since we are directly generating that portion of our carbon footprint:

  • GoH Travel and Hotel
  • ConCom Travel and Hotel
  • Phandemonium Board Travel and Hotel
  • Capricon function space usage
  • Capricon waste
  • Capricon Souvenir Program Book and pocket program

The attendee travel and hotel offset total was not feasible for our budget last year, so we appreciate those of you who purchased 2.64 tons of personal offsets! If you would like to purchase an offset for your personal footprint for Capricon 30, we will be selling offsets during the convention for $1/person.

We will have a display next to Registration 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, as well as information about the project that we will be funding with our offset dollars. 


What You Can Do to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

There are many ways to help reduce the carbon footprint of the convention!  Participate in 3 or more of the greening action steps listed below, and you will earn an "It's Easy Being Green" ribbon!

  • If you're traveling by car, try to carpool!  Post a ride share notice on the forums - you’ll reduce your footprint and meet new people!
  • Look into public transportation to get to the convention.  Click here for more information.
  • Instead of using multiple disposable cups throughout the weekend, bring your own re-useable water bottle or coffee mug.
  • Bring your own bag for use in the Dealers Room.
  • Commit to eating vegetarian or vegan during the convention.
  • Donate an item (or more!) to our food drive.
  • Purchase a carbon offset.

If you would like to get involved, please contact us by e-mailing greening.

126 E. Wing Street #244,  Arlington Heights, IL, 60004