We like to do our best for the environment every day, but we wouldn’t let the 40th anniversary of Earth Day go by without some special activities. Staff at AVMA headquarters are looking forward to Earth Day tomorrow – Thursday, April 22 – as an opportunity to redouble their commitment to eco-friendly practices.
To start the day, several members of the AVMA staff are planning to bike or walk to work on Thursday, rather than using their cars for their daily commute. They’ll get some good exercise, fresh air… and the good feeling of knowing they’ve done something to help reduce the environment – a triple bonus! Those staff members whose commute is too far to bike or walk will do what they can to decrease their consumption, whether it’s carpooling or just paying extra attention to their driving methods to conserve gas.
We’re also planning to get our hands dirty – literally – with an outdoor clean-up project near our Schaumburg building. We have lovely grounds around our headquarters building, complete with park benches, picnic tables, and a large pond that attracts migratory birds. But with parking lots and commercial areas nearby, there’s always a supply of trash and debris that can make its way onto the grounds. So a group of AVMA staff members have volunteered to get outside, hunt down anything that shouldn’t be part of our environment, and get it into either the trash or recycling, as appropriate.
Our AVMA Green Team (yes, we really do have one!) has also organized a contest to remind staff of eco-friendly habits they can practice every day at work. We’re offering a prize that staff members can win by following these five simple rules:
Rule #1: Do not use any plastic utensils or paper cups during the day. (Many of our staff already do this, bringing their own silverware to work along with coffee mugs, drinking cups and/or reusable water bottles.)
Rule #2: Use no more than 2 paper towels when drying your hands.
Rule #3: If you are able, take the stairs at least once during the day when you normally would use the elevator.
Rule #4: At the end of the day, turn off your computer monitor. (Don’t shut down the computer; just press the button to turn off your monitor.)
Rule #5: Wear your AVMA Green Team sticker!
The contest winner will be chosen randomly – but only after our Green Team members check their computer monitors to make sure they really are turned off at the end of the day!
One of our Green team organizers also has volunteered to collect household hazardous waste items – such as old CDs, batteries and light bulbs – from staff for proper recycling/disposal during a local Hazardous Waste Collection Day event.
And finally, our Green Team also offered a series of other fun ideas and tips for staff to be more eco-friendly on Earth Day and every day. They’re good ideas for everyone, so we want to share them with you as well:
- Print or copy documents double-sided instead of wasting two sheets of paper where one will do.
- Don’t print an e-mail; electronically file it.
- Bring re-usable bags to the store when you shop, instead of getting plastic or paper ones each time you go.
Ask yourself if you really need that weird trinket from the store, or if it’s just going to end up in the landfill?
Our hope is that everyone will continue doing these things every day, not just one day a year. We feel that EVERY day can be Earth Day with just a little extra effort and thought.
So what are you doing to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, either at work or at home? Please let us know in the comments section. We’d love to hear your ideas!