To be eco-friendly, AAA staff works in environmentally conscious ways both in daily office work and in serving our members. In our office, staff goes to extra efforts to conserve energy. We lower our shades (to save electricity for air conditioning) and turn off lights for rooms not in use. Staff volunteers take recycling out for items not already recycled through our building’s property management. The Association utilizes a landfill-free electronics recycler for equipment and furniture that has reached its useful life. We’ve also donated items we no longer use to a local youth club.
AAA also offers greener alternatives to our membership. We’ve created a digital itinerary planner for the annual meeting, in lieu of a printed insert. In 2010, for the first time, some nominations materials were posted online for the nominations committee. We also offer electronic voting and surveys, instead of mailing paper ballots and questionnaires.
AAA offers members the opportunity to opt-out of print copies of Anthropology News and/or American Anthropologist. AAA will continue this initiative and fourteen sections have additionally agreed to provide green alternatives to receiving their publications. Thus, starting in 2011, members can now indicate if they do not want paper copies of American Ethnologist, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Anthropology and Humanism, Anthropology of Consciousness, Archeological Papers of the AAA, Cultural Anthropology, Ethos, General Anthropology Bulletin, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, NAPA Bulletin, PoLAR, and/or Visual Anthropology Review.
Of course our biggest event of the year —the annual meeting—has the most potential for all of us to show eco-friendly behavior. The Anthropology and the Environment Section developed guidelines, called “Greening the Meeting,” to help meeting participants reduce their carbon footprint. Their suggestions include individual choices to be made about transportation, use of standard hotel services, and communications.
Through all of these efforts AAA staff remains committed to guiding the association towards greater environmental stewardship.