We introduced our Greening Initiatives at Capricon 29 and have been thrilled with the response we've gotten the past two years. For Capricon 31, we will continue to try and make Capricon a lean, green Sci-Fi Machine!

Capricon's Carbon Footprint

To give you an 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, 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 an award-winning green printer that uses an all vegetable process, 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
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 began 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. For Capricon 29 and 30, the convention purchased offsets for emissions in 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 cost to offset attendee travel and hotel is not something we can fit in our budget, so we thank those of you who have purchased personal offsets in the past and encourage you to do the same for Capricon 31. If you would like to purchase an offset for your personal footprint for Capricon 31, 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&emdash;you'll reduce your footprint and meet new people!
  • Look into public transportation to get to the convention. Check the CTA, Pace and Metra 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 or book drive.
  • Purchase a carbon offset.

If you would like to get involved, please contact us!

Isabel Schechter, Greening