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Celebrating the Earth: Environmental Concerns Committee continues green efforts

Posted on May 19, 2017 in General

Pennswood resident Ann Baker, chair of the Environmental Concerns Committee

As a Quaker community, Pennswood Village is a dedicated steward of the environment. Residents, staff and administrators come together to take critical steps in maintaining the beauty, health and vitality of the environment, not just for their own community, but for generations to come.

“This is a community that cares more than most,” says Joan Thorne, Pennswood resident.

The campus currently features an award-winning storm water management system, LEED certified buildings, a comprehensive recycling program, and a geothermal system that heats and cools the main building and health center. And, with help from the resident-led Environmental Concerns Committee, new green efforts spring up every year.

2017 Earth Day Celebrations

Each year, Pennswood Village sponsors a wide range of activities and events to celebrate the earth and promote environmentally friendly habits centered on Earth Day.

“We wanted to do something less prescriptive this year than we’ve done in previous years,” says Ann Baker, chair of the Environmental Concerns Committee. “This time, we wanted to focus on celebrating the earth and it’s beauty and how it supports us. We concentrated to a great degree on how the earth is celebrated in the arts.”

One starring event of the Earth Day Celebrations was a play titled “Call 911,” written by Pennswood resident, Joan Thorne, and performed by 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from the neighboring Newtown Friends School. “These are the children who aren’t going to have an earth,” explains Joan. “When they have their own children in the year 2050, the 9/11 museum will be underwater, there will be climate refugees all over the globe. These terrible predictions are embedded into the play…Theater is my craft, and climate change is one of the things I put on the top of the list.”

The Newtown students used props such as sunglasses when talking about global warming, umbrellas when explaining flooding, and medical facemasks when referencing the dangers of air pollution.

“Do we want to leave this to our grandchildren? When we attach the dangers to our own families, we realize that we need to do what we can to help,” adds Joan.

Other events included a singing performance by the preschoolers of Newtown Friends, and reciting poems that celebrate the beauty of the earth, by poets like Frost and Dickinson.

Continued Collaboration for the Earth

The Environmental Concerns Committee has also been busy at work with several other campus efforts this year, like making signage updates to the Trash Room for better trash separation, testing the logistics of reusable food containers in the café, and being more inclusive of staff members in green efforts.

“The committee put together a survey asking for feedback on the satisfaction of the trash room,” says Ann. “We also work closely with food service who did a lot of the work to introduce washable take out containers in the café.”

The committee is testing a variety of reusable take out containers to see if residents prefer them, and to find out if it will reduce costs. The committee has also continued to encourage residents to bring their own bags and baskets when taking food from the café to reduce plastic bag usage.

For more information about the Environmental Concerns Committee, or about the green efforts of Pennswood Village, give us a call today at 866-740-4977.