When Canoecopia flings open its doors in a few short hours, Rutabaga's annual paddlesport expo will do so with the intention to finish the weekend as a green event. For the first time this year, Canoecopia organizers have worked with exhibitor Teko Socks and the Alliant Energy Center to calculate the tons of CO2 that this weekend's event will generate due to electricity and natural gas consumption.
Teko, winner of a 2005 Backpacker magazine Green Award for its use of materials that minimize the company's environmental impacts, then invested in carbon offsets through the Chicago Climate Exchange to compensate for the event's projected CO2 load.
Canoecopia also directs participants and attendees to Native Energy, where patrons of this weekend's paddlesport expo can calculate their own CO2 emissions generated by their travel to Canoecopia -- and purchase renewable-energy credits to offset those individual emissions and render their travel to the show carbon-neutral.
Canoecopia's carbon-credits precedent occurs this year in the context of recent trends in the paddlesports industry toward finding greener ways of doing business. Rutabaga itself began buying carbon credits last year to offset its carbon footprint. Teko's Green Award cited its use of organic cottons and recycled polyester in the manufacture of its socks, along with EcoMerino wool from a Tasmanian farm that subscribes to holistic, sustainable practices.
Many of the other exhibitors at this year's Canoecopia have been following suit by employing a variety of innovative manufacturing methods and materials to reduce -- and in some cases all but eliminate -- their reliance on fossil-fuel economies.
Many of the industry's green innovators have been touting their innovations on their Web sites, recognizing the value it adds to customer perceptions of their products.
Opening from -- products that will comprise a significant percentage of those on display during Canoecopia this weekend. Opening from 4-9 p.m. today at the Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall, Canoecopia continues from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.