Recently, the Democratic Party held the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver Colorado. With constant news coverage highlighting various tensions, strategies, and historical significance of this year’s election, the underlying green theme may have been overlooked. There actually was a lot of time and focus placed on making this convention as green as possible.
The Democratic Party has historically been more of a champion for eco-friendly causes. This played a part in the party’s decision to hold a green convention, but even more prevalent was the point they hoped to convey. Fuel shortages and alternative energy programs have become one of the major issues of this campaign. Not only was it important for the Democrats to show they are practicing what they preach, but to send an underlying message that they have the stronger solution.
Not only was the convention focused on green, but the whole city of Denver got involved. “Hotels have also been caught up in an effort to put on what the mayor predicts will be ‘The greenest convention in the history of the planet.’” Denver Going Green… Hotel Interactive, August 25, 2008. Hotels placed recycle bins on every floor, distributed brochures encouraging guests to reuse their linens and towels, and initiated food waste composting programs. During the convention, over 900 volunteers were assembled for garbage pick-up, catered meals were restricted to a healthy diet, a wind-tower provider was brought in, everyone was encouraged to ride bicycles or to conserve travel, and even the celebratory balloons were tested for their biodegradability.
Although the city-wide commitment to a more eco-friendly event is admirable, one has to question whether the millions spent was wasteful in its own right. Both conventions demonstrate the immense amount of money spent on these political campaigns; leading us to wonder if money really does determine who our next president will be.