Environmental Factor, June 2011, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
NIEHS celebrates Earth Day
By Eddy Ball
Volunteers Dick Sloane, left, and Beth Anderson wait for the next pot of organic coffee. Sloane tried to recruit people to share vehicles, ride the bus, cycle, and telecommute to save energy and reduce stress. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
Paul Johnson, left, and volunteer Betsy Kennington discussed the products of vermiculture - and the worms responsible for the highly successful NIEHS composting program, which has dramatically reduced landfill waste from the NIEHS cafeteria. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)
NIEHS celebrated Earth Day 2011 May 4 in the Rall Building on the main campus and May 5 at its Keystone satellite facility. At both venues, visitors could learn about ways to help the environment, enjoy fellowship and organic, chemical-free coffee, and make a pledge to "Be the Change" by taking specific action to promote sustainability.
Volunteers and members of the NIEHS Environmental Awareness Advisory Committee (EAAC), which organized the event, were on-hand to talk about hybrid, electric, and standard vehicle comparisons; encourage employees to consider reducing energy by using public transportation, cycling, and teleworking; and demonstrate recycling and composting.
People who took the "Be the Change" challenge were entered into a drawing for a gift basket. It included a pound of coffee, a mug, a glass, and a book titled "Javatrekker." A total of 34 people at the NIEHS pledged to make a change while at work. Some examples of the pledges people made were to print double-sided, telework, start paperless meetings, give up personal printers, and to turn off the computer monitor when leaving the desk. The winner of the gift basket was Benny Encarnacion - Congratulations!