Some tips for organising a small footprint conference.

  • Offer attendees the option of buying a tree for planting by local community groups (see below how Fifteen Trees can help out there).
  • Put someone in charge to ensure the small footprint theme is consistent.
  • Estimate the total carbon footprint and offset the carbon emissions. Fifteen Trees can help find the right carbon calculator for you.
  • Produce an environmental policy and place it on your website.
  • Advise speakers about your small footprint event.
  • Keep all participants informed about your small footprint event.
  • Use/promote businesses that have green policies. Ask companies for their policies and if they don’t have one, don’t use them but tell them why – very powerful way to make businesses ‘step up’.
  • Make it a ‘paper free’ event, or at the very least use double sided paper and recycled paper (best brands for 100% recycled paper include – Evolve, Vision and Fuji). Avoid Reflex who are using our native forests for their pulp supplies. Take the ‘ethic paper pledge‘ to help protect our native forests.
  • Encourage public transport by offering prizes, discounts, free glass of wine etc when they present their train/bus ticket. Give instructions as to which tram, bus or train to take.
  • Give promotional sustainable gifts that are made from local producers (with little/no packaging).
  • Distribute a low ecological impact lanyard. Use regular thread with a knot/bead linking both extremes.
  • Encourage recycling with simple systems.
  • Offer only vegetarian meals. It won’t kill anyone to go without meat for a day or so.
  • Don’t offer plastic water bottles. Have glasses and water jugs on hand.


Fifteen Trees can help make your event just that little greener by organising the planting of one tree for each attendee at a cost of $5.00/tree (includes GST).  The trees will be planted by community groups (such as schools and Landcare) across Australia and are sourced from local independent nurseries. Once planted (in the wetter months of the year) you will be able to see photos the trees and read the comments by the community groups who have planted them. You are then able to use these images on your website to promote your green credentials.

This is just a short summary of what we are able to achieve for you, please contact us for a detailed proposal.

Here are some comments from organisers of the Linux Conference held earlier this year in Ballarat, Victoria.

I approached Colleen about a year ago as an idea that we had for our conference that was held in Ballarat. I wasn’t sure if it was possible and I wasn’t sure if it was easily done.

Thank you so much for making this possible for our conference, it was very well received. I’m hoping that a lot of conferences take up this option in the future, it’s all so easy and painless to do, I don’t see why it’s not just a standard option at all conferences. I’m sure we will get there at some stage.

Warm Regards

Sae Ra Germaine

As a colleague of Sae Ra’s on the linux Core Team, I’d like to strongly re-iterate how valuable we found the services offered by 15 Trees in our quest to make as sustainable as possible. For a nominal fee which was an incredibly small percentage of overall registration costs, conference delegates were able to opt-in to carbon offsetting their attendance. I’d strongly recommend this service to other conference and event organisers who wish to implement environmentally aware and sustainable measures into their business practices.

Thanks again and kind regards,
Kathy Reid