Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Easy being green, part 2

Yesterday I went to the monthly meeting of the Environmental and Sustainability Club at my company. This is a fairly new club that started back in April as a result of some employee feedback late last year. I had been reading about their activities when I was in Vienna, and had been really looking forward to participating upon my return to Indianapolis. So when I found out they were meeting, I crashed.

I was really impressed with some of the club's projects. There's an organized recycling effort underway (cans and plastic water bottles) and discussions are taking place with the vendor who services our cafeterias to ditch styrofoam for more environmentally-friendly food containers. A carpooling project is being piloted. A cardboard recycling project is being studied. But perhaps most impressively, a project is underway to plant a large "sustainable" garden in an area of reclaimed land on our urban campus. Here, in addition to growing some beautiful plants, we have the possibility of composting cafeteria food waste and other organic materials as well as recycling water by using rain bins. All while contributing something nice to the community. Can you tell I'm especially excited about this project?

One person reported on an event that the club was recently involved in. Over 600 lunches were served - in corn-based biodegradable containers (which in itself is cool). Food waste was donated for composting, and cans and bottles were donated for recycling. But the really cool thing was that at the end of the event, only 3 bags of trash were taken to the garbage bins. 

Three bags of trash for 600 meals. I'm thinking that's not bad. I'm really inspired now, and today, I sent my $15 check for membership to the designated person. So now I'm an official club member, and I'll no longer have to crash their meetings!