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Is Green Getting Tired?

is just a fad and that we all need to get back to business as usual. After deep introspection, even a sustainable AV proponent can understand why people may come to feel this way. But the fact is, more and more practioners of green AV are quietly toiling away. Their experiences will demonstrate that this isn't just a fad. PRO AV's Midori Connolly explores.

I have an announcement to make, and you might want to brace yourself. I, Midori Connolly, the girl who is so green her name means green, am suffering from green fatigue. This worrisome condition seems to have set in after I saw yet another roll of "earth-friendly" toilet paper, named thusly for its biodegradable qualities. Pardon me, but isn't all toilet paper biodegradable? Isn't that the point?

Midori Connolly

Midori Connolly

Upon first realizing that green fatigue might be setting in, I began to wonder: If someone as passionate and dedicated as I am could be feeling this way, how must the rest of the world see the green AV movement?

In conversations, I've increasingly heard from within the AV industry about this "fad" of being green and of a need to get back to business as usual. Never before deterred by skeptics and naysayers, it led me to wonder, "Have I been a zealot?" This feeling of doubt has sparked deep introspection into what green AV is all about. And as I delved deeper into my woeful situation, I began to recognize why I, and apparently others in the industry, have come to feel this way.

It boils down to the sophisticated, eloquent question, "Where's the beef (or the vegan tofu patty)?" A lot of people are excited about greening their businesses and finding new ways of practicing sustainable AV. But we've been lacking the anecdotal meat to whet our ravenous appetites for more information. Where have the leaders been? Who's actually doing this green AV stuff, aside from the same handful we already know about?

Plus, there's a total lack of standards and guidelines. And if there's one thing this industry loves, it's a standard. To date, the U.S. Green Building Council hasn't recognized any innovation points for AV, so there's no precedent to look toward there.

Take heart, nascent movements often start this way. Now that we're in a bit of a conundrum, what can we do? Can we rouse enough energy to advance the green AV movement beyond its prematurely fatigued state? You bet.

Our first action item should be to actually define "green AV." At a recent presentation on green staging, I defined green AV staging as "a collective movement, a collection of AV professionals using sustainable materials and best practices to fulfill their obligations to society and the environment while improving the profitability of a meeting or event." Certainly this could be applied to integration, design, or any other aspect of AV by tweaking the words slightly.

But we must acknowledge that it's not one person, or even a few people, making the change. Before anything, we must recognize the need for solidarity. As I've always said, we're not trying to save "the" environment; it's "our" environment. We need to band together and promise not to attack (those leading the movement) or feel attacked (as those who are just beginning to adapt). There can't be a greener-than-thou approach to sustainable AV.

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