Raj Tents' new Beach Chic line of pergolas and pavilions layers vibrant shades of cerulean, aqua and white for a stunning summer look that works in any setting. Ask your vendor to use a liner in aqua or another shade of bright blue for a similar look. (310) 329-8222; rajtents.com
During warm summer receptions or sporting events, pass out refreshing Cool Off towelettes, infused with tingle-inducing herbs, botanicals and essential oils. Cost: $14.99 for a pack of 24 via drugstore.com (bulk discounts are available direct from the manufacturer). (210) 824-7799; thequickchill.com
CORT Event Furnishings' new Blofield Air Design collection is lightweight yet durable enough for use on the beach, snow or anywhere. The collection includes love seats and chairs, available in cream or black. Contact CORT for pricing information. (888) 710-2525; CORTevents.com
Tabletop cell-phone charging stations are a great way for exhibitors to attract attendees to their booths. ChargeBar's new CBTT-0100 tabletop unit costs about $125 per day to rent (plus shipping costs) and can charge up to 10 mobile devices at one time. (416) 996 9282; chargebar.com
USBling's durable, silicone USB "bracelets" come in eight colors and can be attached to a bag. Cost: $15.95 for the 2GB size, with other capacities available, as well as bulk discounts and customization. usbling.us
Hop to It
For errands, odd jobs or even extra help at an event, TaskRabbit.com posts your task, and a qualified, background-checked TaskRabbit (a person, not a rabbit) will respond with an offer. Taskrabbit currently is available in nine U.S. cities, with more on the way. Cost, from $20 per task. (888) 661-8105; Taskrabbit.com
For safer box opening, the Slice box cutter is designed to keep the blade far away from hands and fingers. The ceramic blade also stays sharp 10 times longer than steel. Cost: $20. sliceproducts.com
In Hawaii, Starwood Hotels and Resort's four Waikiki properties -- the Sheraton Waikiki, Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani and Royal Hawaiian -- put their used coffee grinds right back into the soil as fertilizer. Thanks to Keith Marsden of Starwood's Waikiki Green Council for the idea. starwoodhotelshawaii.com
Transportation, particularly to an event within driving distance, can be one of planners' biggest obstacles to achieving a truly eco-friendly event. Sally Webb, CSEP, the CEO of Durham, N.C.-based The Special Event Co. (919-248-4709; specialeventco.com), includes a question on registration websites or forms about attendees' willingness to carpool to the event, then she links up interested parties. "It's a great networking opportunity as well," Webb adds. Lori Hill, president of Takoma Park, Md.-based Lori Hill Event Productions Inc. (301-549-3249; lorihillevents.com), says getting attendees to carpool can be a challenge, so she offers participants free or discounted valet parking, coupons or gift certificates.
You won't get flames from striking Matchstick Garden's matchbooks -- they are embedded with seeds. The matchbooks can be customized and come in four varieties: mixed herbs, wildflowers, Italian garden and mixed greens. Cost: $1.75 each for orders of 1,000 and less; bulk discounts for larger quantities are available. matchstickgarden.com
Fill 'er up
At the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, which won the IMEX 2011 Green Meetings Award, organizers placed "Tap water is drinking water" stickers on sinks at the conference center to encourage attendees to avoid buying bottled water. To read a case study with all the ways the conference went green, visit imex-frankfurt.com.
Don't Date It!
Sometimes it's the simple, forehead-smacking tips that can make a big impact. Stuart Katz (973-437-9000; elmcityinc.com), who teaches a course on meeting and event management at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., and has more than 25 years of experience in producing events, reminds planners that the key to increasing the shelf life of folders, name badges and other handouts is to limit printing on those items to the company/organization name. Leave off the name of the meeting, themes or anything else that might date the goods, so extras can be used for future events.