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 @ capricon.org 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
- 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:
||248 metric tons of CO2 emissions
||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
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
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
||Local area drivers
||Non-local area drivers or those who commute daily to the convention
||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
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
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.