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We’re Getting Green for Earth Day and Beyond

Happy Earth Day from Red Cross National Headquarters! This is Lesly in the Communications Department, and in addition to my everyday work here, I am a founding member of the Red Cross Green Team. We’re a group with people from all departments who came together last year to look at how we could make the things we do a bit greener.

It’s been a challenge but we are getting there, and today we hosted our first ever Earth Day Fair in the lobby of our office in Washington, DC. We invited other departments with green initiatives, local businesses, and federal agencies to set up a table and tell our employees and volunteers about what they can do to get more involved, either in the office or at home.

Commuter Connections, a DC-metro area group that helps people set up carpools is here, the EPA is passing out tons of literature (I know, paper, but its useful information) and our own International Services department is talking about its work with the World Wildlife Foundation to protect spaces affected by natural disasters, like the Southeast Asian tsunami.

While this Fair is a huge step forward for us, there is so much more the Green Team wants to do to get our staff and volunteers involved in this effort. So today we are also kicking off an education campaign in our DC area building, featuring some simple but (we hope) effective signs, reminding people to turn off TVs and computers when not in use, take stairs instead of elevators for short (one or two floor) trips, and think before printing. For an organization that is looking to save money, getting greener can help reduce our footprint and keep some cash in the coffers. We’re not wasteful now, but there is always more everyone can do.

It hasn’t been easy, and it’s a small start for a huge organization, but if the feedback we’ve gotten so far is any indication we’re off to a great start. If you have suggestions for us, please share. We need all the big ideas we can get! Tell us how we can keep our employees and volunteers interested in greening the Red Cross year round.

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