Online conference sets a clean, green example

An online conference is setting a clean, green example by reducing its carbon footprint and eliminating travel costs.

The Lives and After-Lives of Plastic conference hosted by Massey University’s Political Ecology Research Centre launched earlier this month and brings together diverse speakers from universities, think tanks and environmental and political organisations around the world.

Together, they are examining the social and environmental impact of mega-tonnes of plastic waste infiltrating land, oceans and our bodies.

By hosting it entirely online, organisers are showcasing an innovative, sustainable approach to fostering global conversations and knowledge sharing.

By hosting the conference online, none of the participants need fossil fuel-guzzling long haul flights, taxis, or other prohibitive travel expenses to take part.

The conference, which runs until July 14, has reduced its carbon footprint for travel-related costs by a whopping 99 per cent compared with a conventional conference, say organisers Dr Sy Taffel and Dr Trisia Farrelly from Massey’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The pair says the conference is an exciting model for the future.

They were inspired to trial it here, following the success of a similar one held last year by the Environmental Humanities Initiative at the University of California Santa Barbara, which estimated their online conference had a one per cent carbon footprint.

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