With Earth Day fast approaching on April 22, we want to take a moment to recognize a few Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) employees who celebrate each day as if it’s Earth Day. These WE employees impact the earth in a positive way through their commitment to improving our environment, their lives and the lives of those around them.
Meet Phillip Buffington, Seattle: Have you ever had one of those days where you realized that between your commute to work and sitting nearly all day at a desk, you hardly walked? Phillip Buffington had one of those days seven years ago, and as a bike rider, he decided that it was time to start riding instead of driving to work. Phillip began biking to work in 2005, and now he bikes 11 miles to and from work each day. “There are many benefits to riding, among them: not sitting in traffic, saving on gas money and, most importantly, it’s fun!” said Phillip. He encourages his co-workers to ride and believes it’s not as bad as people may think. He participates each year in Cascade Bicycle Club’s Group Health Commute Challenge, a national campaign that encourages people to bike versus drive to work for the month of May. Phillip believes, “it’s not just about improving the environment, it’s about improving your personal environment as well.”
Meet Jason Wells, Portland: Jason gives his time to Tualatin Riverkeepers by cleaning up a stretch of the Tualatin River that runs near his home in Sherwood, Ore. Jason initially got involved with Tualatin Riverkeepers 10 years ago when he volunteered his technical skills to help the organization build its website, and he was reconnected with it this past spring when he became fed up with the amount of trash he saw floating in the river. As a kayaker, Jason spends a lot of time on the water and has a personal goal of keeping his neighborhood and local waterways clean. He now volunteers with Tualatin Riverkeepers at least once per quarter, helping to beautify the stretch of the river near his home.
Meet Sara Noonan, Boston: For Sara, being ecofriendly runs in her family, which owns a farm and grow its own produce. Sara walks nearly four miles each day to and from work and has being doing so for the past two years. She has seen positive health benefits and uses her walks to call and catch up with her mom. She also shops via a Community Supported Agriculture program in Boston to take advantage of all the great local produce. Aside from the cost benefits, as an avid cook Sara prefers the taste of fresh vegetables. Sara said, “I would feel wrong if I didn’t do what I could to protect the environment and the community. I believe it doesn’t take a lot of effort to do little things; often times your simple efforts will become second nature.”
Meet Shn Juay, Singapore: A couple hours per month, Shn participates in the Environmental Challenge Organisation (ECO) Living Programme audit. Shn audits Lorong Lew Lian residents’ utility bills and shares energy-saving tips with them. The initiative is intended to help citizens save money by educating people on how to reduce their use or reliance on electricity and water, as well as educating them on environmental sustainability. During a period of one year, households win prizes, ranging from Starbucks vouchers to free paint jobs. ECO also distributes compact fluorescent light bulbs and recyclable bags. “The program provides good value,” Shn said. “I have seen improvements translate into cost efficiencies and reduced utility bills. It is fulfilling to see residents waiting eagerly for our visit. I hope this pilot project will be a success, and there will be an opportunity for ECO to expand this auditing model to benefit more Singaporeans!”
For many WE employees, making a difference for Mother Earth isn’t just about doing something once a year. It’s about taking steps year-round to become more energy efficient and to create a healthy planet of which we can all be proud.