I pledge to be "green"

By Jaime Wilson
Sacramento Zoo Green Team Member

At the beginning of 2007 the Green Team offered up a volunteer challenge to the staff.

“I believe in reducing my environmental impact in 2007. Therefore, I pledge…”

We left the pledge up to the individual and were blown-away with the creative and great ideas that came out of it. Here are the six pledges, all of which were accomplished and (most impressively), all of which are ongoing, or will be done again this year.

Alison: Replace all the incandescent bulbs in my apartment to compact fluorescents. – she did this and started seeing the energy savings within one month.

Delta: to not buy new books but to borrow from the library or from friends – she has significantly reduced her new book purchases to just reference books.

Harriet: Print the large and copious financial statements double-sided. – she saved over 1500 pieces of paper this year.

Leslie: To decline bags at any stores. – she has had to argue with a few businesses to let her take stuff without bags, but as she said, she always wins. Her family and friends have starting doing this as well.

Amanda: To replace all of her chemical household cleaners for greener, safer versions. – she has found that the home made cleaners actually work better, and with a new baby in the house she feels good about her decision.

Jaime: I didn’t buy anything new for over three months (food and consumables were exempt). I borrowed, bought used and figured out that I just didn’t need to consume most of the things I usually bought. I keep a list of all the new items I bought since then and it fits on one-side of a page in my day planner. I plan to do it again starting January 2nd.

As a reward for all of those who took a green pledge we rewarded them at our end-of-year staff meeting with a lovely Swiss-made Sigg aluminum bottle for all their hydration needs. Congratulations to them all for doing their part, and inspiring others!!!

Think about what you could do in the new year, and we will work on our new pledges too!

***My bonus pledge that I decided to do was to see if I could make it through a year and not buy bottled water. A very small percentage of all those bottles are recycled which means that most of them end up in the landfill. I thought I would do my part and use a reusable bottle. How did I do? Over all of 2007, I only bought one bottle of water after a long hike. I had shared my reusable bottle of water with my friends and didn’t have enough water for the rest of the day. This was the inspiration for the Sigg bottle gift for everyone.
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