Green Effort at Conference

Sandra LopezKeynote speaker Sandra Lopez

Organizers for NASW's Annual Practice Conference, "The Aging Boom: Is Your Clinical Practice Ready?" taking place in Las Vegas March 15-16, are making the event environmentally friendly.

The conference will take place in conjunction with the American Society on Aging/National Council on Aging 2009 Aging in America Conference. The NASW practice conference will offer social work-specific educational content and unique networking opportunities through workshops, general and breakout sessions, as well as keynote addresses. Registration was still open at press time.

Going green. Conference organizers said they wanted to carry on NASW's green initiative at the Las Vegas event by eliminating paper copies of presentation materials. Instead of piles of paper, attendees will be given a flash memory stick containing all the necessary information about the conference. The memory stick can be plugged into a personal laptop computer. Attendees without laptops will be able to download and personally print out materials before arriving at the event.

Also, those in attendance will receive biodegradable conference bags to carry their items. These bags can be taken home and reused for such things as grocery shopping.

In 2008, NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark noted, the national office launched a "Going Green" initiative when the NASW Board of Directors decided to host a Virtual Delegate Assembly for the first time. This led to drastically reducing the number of people who would have had to travel to Washington, D.C., from around 300 to only four, thus saving numerous natural resources. "Going green is part of our ethical responsibility to help maintain the natural environment," Clark said.

Another environmentally friendly practice took place when the NASW Press announced in 2008 that it will be issuing its flagship journal, Social Work, in an electronic-only format to regular members starting with the January 2009 edition. The plan will reduce the use of paper and ink in the production process, thus lessening the association's impact on the environment, said NASW Press Publisher Cheryl Y. Bradley.

Aging boom challenges. The upcoming annual practice conference in Las Vegas will feature a keynote address by Sandra Lopez, a clinical associate professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, entitled "Key Challenges in the Aging Boom: Honoring Diversity in Older Adults."

The conference will include welcoming remarks from NASW President James Kelly, ASA Chair Cynthia Stuen and NASW Aging Section Chair Forrest Hong.