For the past 43 years, every year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. The event has grown way more than anyone would ever have imagined and today more than one billion people take part in Earth Day to make sure that we think about the planet that we live on and how we need to protect it for generations to come. And since THPL needs a healthy and vibrant environment to foster high performance it would be only fitting that we turn our focus today to the Life theme of THPL. What is remarkable is that from humble beginnings we have taken this day to a point where across the globe, individuals, communities, organizations, and governments acknowledge that planet earth is our home and we need to take action to protect it.
And yet sometimes we wonder what can we do as individuals to “save” the planet? Well, I think the analogy to THPL is there – as it turns out, our individual decisions do make a difference. You can see it in your personal performance - read another book and you get smarter, do another set of pushups and you get stronger, recycle a water bottle and you reduce waste. THPL connects with the mission of Earth Day and we need to role model behavior such that one day Earth Day is really every day and that we all live an optimized life as a result,
For example, at Penn Foster our core values are not just about personal behavior, they are about community behavior – our sixth core value is – “ Take care of the Earth and give back to the community in which we live and work” . And from this we have implemented a wide array of changes and programs including a recycling program that recycled over 2,000 pounds of aluminum and plastic in the past year, we have donated our time to clean up the Lackawanna Heritage Trail and we have started the Penn Foster Urban Garden. None of these would have happened without a deep held care for our planet.
And since this topic is important enough I thought I would mention a few very simple acts that each of us can take to better live an an environmentally conscious lifestyle that you can start today, on Earth Day, that get us to live in a more Earth-friendly way
· Carry a reusable water bottle | According to the Dopper Foundation, 6,000 single-use plastic water bottles are thrown away every four seconds in the U.S., and only roughly 20 percent are recycled. Carrying a personal water bottle that you can fill up with tap water can cut down on waste and save you money.
· Unplug electronics after you’re done with them | Many of your electronics and appliances, like microwaves, televisions and cell phone chargers draw power from the plug even when you are not using them. According to the Stanford University School of Earth Sciences, you can cut down on this so-called “vampire power” by simply unplugging devices when they are not in use, or buying a smart power strip that will do this for you.
· Replace old incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescents | The EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, which identifies power-saving products in the marketplace, says that replacing just one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent will save $40 in energy costs over the lifetime of the bulb. Compact fluorescents use about 75 percent less energy, produce 75 percent less heat and last at least six times as long as standard bulbs.
· Bike to school or work | According to BikesBelong.org, for every one mile on a bike instead of in a car, you can save one pound of CO2. (I started this last week and have made it four days - with a 9 mile round trip I have save 9 pounds of CO2).
Have fun being Earth friendly and I am positive that your THPL journey will be even that much better.
Loving Life on Our Beautiful Planet