Event planning goes 'green'

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Spotlight > LA resident starts environmentally friendly business

By Gina Velasquez

Going “green” and becoming dedicated to sustainable living are buzz phrases in today’s society.
Los Alamos resident Kimberly Hoch has started Piñon Events, a business which consists of conference and event management, but on a level where it is environmentally friendly and a way to reduce a carbon footprint.
“I strive to provide quality event management services for everything from fundraisers to weddings, to large scale conferences and trade shows,” Hoch said.
While living in Colorado, Hoch was employed by BBI International as event manager. BBI International was one of the first professional conference and event companies to implement full scale “no-low waste” greening services for the its events, Hoch said. The point was to use reusable, compostable, or recyclable materials for events, such as cups, napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, signage and marketing materials.
“I’m particularly passionate about leaving the lightest footprint possible and continuing the greening initiatives I learned and implemented,” she said.
Efforts a business can to achieve a green event may include full scale composting and recycling stations, use of bio-products for food and beverage disposable items, electronic marketing and reusable print marketing.
Hoch uses that past experience as event manager to bring new clients’ goals and vision to reality, according to a recent press release.
Currently, Hoch is focused on Los Alamos, but is hopeful that in the future, the services will expand to northern New Mexico and other parts of the state.
Her goal is to get small businesses to utilize sustainable energy as a tool.
Hoch said she tries to work with small businesses to find a viable source of energy and “finding a way to produce enough to fit the demand. It is up to the client how far the client wants to take it.”
Hoch is a volunteer for this year’s ScienceFest, previous named “C U in September.”
She has been in touch with Suzette Fox and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce to work with MainStreet on a Sustainable Living Series.
Slated for September, the kickoff quarterly event focuses on community and environmental sustainability with a screening of the film, “Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil,” according to pinonevents.com.
The evening will begin with a meet and greet reception before the movie is screened and after the film, there will be a short discussion. The date for the event has yet to be determined.
Other events for the Sustainable Living Series are panel discussions, demonstrations, lectures and fairs. Programs in progress are a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and “Grease” and “Sound of Music” sing-a-longs.
Another idea Hoch has for the Los Alamos community is Earth Hour, where the town will shut off all non-essential sources of energy, such as lights and all electronic devices.
The worldwide event is scheduled for March 28, 2015, however Hoch still needs county approval to go any further. The event began in Australia and other regions of the world can be seen via the Internet before and during the hour. “To see the difference is amazing,” Hoch said.
Anyone interested in more information about the Sustainable Energy Series or to inquire about services can visit pinonevents.com. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Hoch can be reached via email, khoch@pinonevents.com. Also visit the Sustainable Living Series Facebook page.