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Protecting the Planet Starts with You

( 04/22/2019 ) Written by: Stephanie Faucher

For nearly 50 years, people around the globe have participated in the largest civic-focused day of action in the world – Earth Day. Celebrated annually on April 22, Earth Day brings together more than 1 billion people in 192 countries to increase global ecological awareness. Here’s how our team members are doing their part to protect the Earth and its resources.

Marc Johns is committed to wildlife conservation. A part-time Deputy State Game Warden in Cambridge Springs, Pa., for nearly 10 years, Marc volunteers with Tamarack Wildlife Center, an organization with a mission to rehabilitate injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife. He also helps transport injured animals – everything from baby opossums, bunnies, and birds to eagles suffering from lead poisoning, and owls caught in traps. His stories are endless as he devotes his time to rehabilitating wildlife to return them to their natural habitats in support of the Earth’s ecosystem!

Tom White was compelled to begin composting after the popularity surge of single-use coffee pods (think Keurig K-Cups). “I hate seeing these little sealed plastic containers of organic matter tossed in the trash, making it tough for the grounds to decompose in a landfill,” he shared. To combat this waste, Tom added two containers in the LORD Cary campus lunchroom – one for spent coffee grounds and things like banana peels and apple cores; and the other for spent K-Cups. Both containers go home with Tom to be added to his compost pile. He safely cuts open the K-Cups to remove the coffee grounds before adding them to the compost pile, and he recycles the plastic. “It’s tedious and messy, but worth it. The very last resort is to throw anything in the trash,” said Tom.

For Anaëlle Vaurs-Colnot, adopting a “zero waste” lifestyle is simple: reduce, reuse, recycle! Anaëlle has made changes in several areas of her life in France and at LORD Suisse. “I found a local zero-waste grocery store where I use reusable bags and jars to buy bulk items like pasta, dry fruits, rice, and more,” she shared. “I learned to sew and made my own bags from recycled materials.” Anaëlle also buys local, seasonal, and organic foods when possible. “When food doesn’t travel long distances, you’re promoting better air quality and reducing pollution,” she said. And she eliminated one-use disposable products and plastic bottles. “I’ve decreased my environmental footprint while saving money and building a healthier lifestyle,” added Anaëlle. Next on her to-do list: composting!

Keeping the community clean is a priority for Drew Howard and his family. For more than 15 years, they have participated in the Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania by cleaning up litter and trash along the roadsides and streams in their neighborhood. The goal is to empower Pennsylvanians to keep their communities clean and beautiful. This project is important to Drew and his family because the area surrounding the neighborhood has been designated as a Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Area due to several plant, insect, and aquatic species or natural communities of concern, including the globally rare West Virginia white butterflies and Shumard’s Oak, a Pennsylvania Endangered tree species. “It’s important to share a respect for natural areas, to volunteer in the community,” shared Drew. “I take pride in passing on this tradition to my children.”

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