There is absolutely no way to effectively describe the scale of CES. It's at least a fifteen-minute walk to get wherever you're going, and you're battling over 140,000 people to get there. Being an outdoorsy type of guy, I own a pair of hiking shoes, but had no Idea I would need them! The blisters on my feet have now turned into calluses and I feel like I barely even scratched the surface... I know I haven't seen even 20% of all the booths.
So, how green is CES this year? Todd at Green Wombat had some thoughts. I liked one of his suggestions: Move the conference to a more pedestrian-friendly city. Every morning it's been a sea of idling taxi cabs in a gigantic traffic jam... I learned my lesson and started taking the monorail, but it's packed handling only a tiny fraction of the conference goers. A nice touch has been the free buses to the major hotels after the show each night; they ought to run them in the morning, too.
I did notice the biodegradable plates and utensils at the conference provided meals, but the vast majority of food here is coming from third-party food vendors, so there's a lot of Styrofoam ending up in the garbage cans.
Parker Brugge, Senior Director and Environmental Counsel of the Consumer Electronics Association let me in on a little secret - the local waste management company is sorting recycling from refuse at the plant this year, rather than collecting it separately.
This is the future: Recycling integrated into the system to the point that you can assume it's happening. At this point in history it's important to keep spreading the message, but I look forward to a day when recycling is the rule and we don't even think about it.
But while the conference itself might be more sustainable, we at EcoGeek aren't sure about the mentality that has 140,000 people flocking to a city in the desert to drool over 150-inch plasman screen TVs. I mean...we're drooling too, but maybe it's time we step back and try to love our gadgets just a little bit less.
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