Archive for February, 2013

Smarty Pants: Fairware welcomes guest blogger Shawna McKinley

February 18, 2013

With this post, Fairware begins an occasional series of expert pieces presented by guest bloggers. These people are industry colleagues whose experience and opinions we respect, and we think you’ll be interested in what they have to say. The following post originally appeared here on 27 September 2012.


Tap #water stations prove how much is saved by ditching the bottle

Oracle OpenWorld’s unique approach to water stations is a compelling case study in water conservation for events. Since 2007 Oracle has gradually moved away from individually bottled water, to initially use five-gallon water bubblers and now exclusively uses water stations that provide fresh San Francisco tap water at 11 different venues.

Four different water station designs have been used:





The net result? A staggering reduction in water waste: from 4,369 gallons of attendee drinking water consumed to 1,020 gallons consumed. This while attendance has increased and no complaints have been received about attendees going thirsty. Just how much water has been saved? Enough to:

  • Serve 50,700 cups of water
  • Provide 420 four-minute showers
  • Flush 2,090 toilets

Furthermore, this has prevented the use of over 56,000 water bottles, which have an additional estimated manufacturing footprint of 13,600 gallons of water!


Graphic courtesy of Hartmann Studios

Do you know the difference you’re making by providing a smarter, more sustainable drinking water service for event attendees? Dig into the numbers and quench your thirst to make a difference!

Shawna McKinley is Director of Sustainability for MeetGreen, an event-planning company specializing in “green meetings” and based in Portland, Oregon. She lives in Vancouver, and is the author of Sustainable Destinations, a blog that shares information and ideas that lead to discussion and action about sustainable events and sustainable event destinations. Shawna’s favourite Fairware product is the lanyard library.

Fairware Crush: Anonüm Design

February 12, 2013
Anonum (orange)

Is that the Enterprise on there???


We all hear a lot of talk about “community” these days. It’s thrown around in so many different contexts that it sometimes threatens to become an empty buzzword.

To us at Fairwarecommunity isn’t some trendy, warm-and-fuzzy concept. It means something real and vital. We know that true community requires knowledge and work and the willingness to give and receive support. It’s about defining common goals and working toward them.

Members of our community are frequent sources of Fairware “crushes”. We crush massively on colleagues, suppliers and clients who get what we do and share our values and desire to drive change.

Anonüm Design is a perfect example of a business on which we are proud to have a lovely crush. Anonüm is a Vancouver, BC manufacturer that rethinks the concept of waste and makes beautiful product out of things otherwise destined for landfill.

They take old printing blankets — things that cover the offset cylinder in the printing process for newspapers and catalogues — and make gorgeous computer accessories out of them. Every piece they produce is unique, because each blanket bears the impression of the last printing job for which it was used—so you might find the ghost of a headline on one, that of a picture on another, birth announcements on a third.

Truly, there’s simply nothing like them. We’ve partnered with Anonüm Design to provide custom-branded versions of their cool product. You can find the iPad cover on our site. Check them out.

We think you’ll fall in love, too.

From the floor II: PPAI 2013

February 5, 2013

The safety/responsibility issue is the serious face of the PPAI Expo; the super-cool fun face is the new product ideas featured there. We profile a few of them here.


Shiny red boots!

1.      Rubber boots. These were among our favorite products — so cool, so well-made, and  manufactured from a usable, durable product.

Beautiful things come from all around here.

2.      Custom world globes. We loved this use of a globe and stand. So many of our clients have supply-chain stories to tell their customers about where their food is grown, where their ingredients are sourced, and where their products are made. Here is a great use of a globe as an educational tool – the Body Shop used this to identify the origin of their ingredients.

It’s felt! It’s cork! It’s lovely!

3.      Recycled felt and cork products. We oohed and ahhhed at this new line of recycled PET and cork accessories. The colours are fabulous and the styling contemporary. These were in keeping with the “sustainable style” trend we noted in a previous blog [link to blog post]…


Liivng tools.

 4.      Grow-your-own toolkits. A fantastic use of herb and veggie seeds in these bookmarks – to encourage folks to grow their own food.

Mmmmm. Snacks . . . .

5.      Soft-touch vintage tees. A new t-shirt vendor from San Francisco that makes its product right in the USA produced cool looks, organic options and great designs.
It was a great show. We’re already looking forward to PPAI 2014!

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