What makes a trade show display green?

Icon for Green Trade Show Displays

‘Green’ is a common expression meaning environmentally responsible.[1]  Epic Displays therefore classifies green trade show displays as those utilizing materials that significantly and verifiably reduce harmful impact on the environment.[2]

All green displays, or their components, on this website are noted with a small green leaf icon. Each item description will include information on how the display is environmentally friendly, with links to learn more.

Green Materials

Environmentally friendly materials are commonly made from recycled goods. This requires less energy than producing goods from virgin materials. When energy demand decreases, fewer fossil fuels are burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere.[3]

Manufacturing methods also contribute a great deal to a display's environmental impact. For example, Paradise Fabric is the highest quality 100% recycled content fabric made in America available on the market today, reclaiming hundreds of thousands of water bottles from waste every year.


Not all earth friendly materials are necessarily recycled. Bamboo is a noted and popular material as it is a rapidly renewable resource - it is a grass and grows very quickly. Where oak takes 120 years to grow to maturity, bamboo can be harvested in three.[4]


It's recognized as a green material under LEED, and as they mention in Environmental Building News: “Environmentally, it's hard to argue with a wood substitute that matures in three years, regenerates without need for replanting, and requires minimal fertilization or pesticides.”

As a trade show floor, any time bamboo is used over typical hardwood flooring, it takes pressure off of rapidly dwindling forests.[5]  Bamboo flooring is a favorite for designers not only for green material aspect, but the aesthetic beauty of the grain.

Other Green Factors To Note

While materials are the primary way we determine displays as green there are other factors to consider for those looking to lower their tradeshow's impact on the environment.

  • Lighter weight exhibits reduce the carbon emissions generated by shipping.[6]
  • Energy efficient displays can greatly reduce wasted power consumption.
  • Minimal packaging using post-consumer materials, or reusable shipping cases for your display, also lower impact.[7]

[ 1 ] - As defined in the MeetGreen Glossary
Source: http://meetgreen.com/resources/glossary/

[ 2 ] - While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other governments around the world have begun the process of setting quantifiable standards by which displays and meetings can judged green no industry standards exist to date.
Source: http://green2b2c.com/dev/index.php

[ 3 ] - For further reading consult the Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines page of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website
Source: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/procure/index.htm

[ 4 ] - Quoted from treehugger.com, a fantastic source for researching current eco-trends and resources. This article, “Bamboo Flooring - Is It Really Treehugger Green?”, also notes some of the negative aspects of bamboo as a completely earth-friendly product, and what can be looked for to address this.
Source: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/09/bamboo_flooring.php

[ 5 ] - Sourced from Page 2 of Salon.com's “Bamboom!” article
Source: http://dir.salon.com/story/mwt/the_big_idea/2004/10/14/bamboo_1/index1.html

[ 6 ] - Those looking to further offset the CO2 emissions created during transport can consider freight companies that focus on this initiative.
Example: http://www.deliveredgrean.com

[ 7 ] - From the Exhibit Production - Minimum Best Practices section of the Convention Industry Council's Green Meeting Report
Source: http://www.conventionindustry.org/projects/green_meetings_report.pdf