I’ve been meaning to get around and publish a post about this for awhile.  The Green Team at the CA corporate headquarters in Long Island has been up and running for a close to a year,  and are continuing to push the envelope with new and creative ideas and interesting programs.  These guys are great.  In a conversation with the team captains Loni Frazita and Brett Prochazka we discussed a recent initiative they ran that was designed to get employees involved in sharing ideas about a green lifestyle that I wanted to let you know about.
“Green Gadget Day was a one day program in which employees were encouraged to bring in items that they use in their daily lives that allow them to live a more sustainable lifestyle”, Loni explained.  “We set up an area in the main lobby where employees could share their green gadgets with each other, meet with some local green companies and register to win prizes.”

In order to raise awareness for the event, the team sent a number of internal emails, posted internal details on “Chatter”, the SalesForce.com social network application and posted details via digital signage.  There seemed to be some good buzz around the office and on the day of the event great ideas and gadgets started rolling in.  A few of the highlights included:

●    One team member brought in his car that he has retrofitted to run on biodiesel from recycled cooking oil
●    An employee that is an avid hiker brought in a kinetic energy generator that captures energy from his motion while hiking that can be used to charge cell phones and gadgets
●    One team member brought in a paper thin solar energy gadget charger that can be unfolded and used to charge cell phones
●    One employee brought in sponges.  It may not sound very green initially, but she color codes them in order to ensure they are used for only one task at a time - Yellow for dishes, red for counters, blue for general cleaning, etc..  She keeps them clean by sterilizing them in her dishwasher, allowing her to extend the life of the sponges and eliminate the need for almost all paper towels
●    Employees were encouraged to visit the ‘idea table’ at which team members offered suggestions for sustainability initiatives they feel the company should pursue

In addition, the employees had the opportunity to interact with a number of vendors that exhibited at the event and gave presentations.  These included a residential solar company, a ride share company, and our avid hiker even convinced the hiking products company to present.  All of these groups were very pleased with the turnout and the interactions with the employees throughout the day.  Finally, Brett (the Senior Principal of Facility Services at CA) gave a presentation on sustainability updates underway and completed in the main facility so employees could get a better sense of the progress already being made.

And these guys are nowhere near done.  Coming soon, a ‘Green Garage Sale’ in which the team will be encouraged to bring in unwanted or unnecessary items in order to ensure they are used and not just thrown away.  As Brett mentioned, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”  All employees will be encouraged to buy or bid on the gifts with proceeds going to charity.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and ReGift!  Sounds like a blog post coming up on that one. 


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