Celebrating our KIDS for the BAY Staff Team Environmentalists!
Written by: Mikayla Martin
The term “Green Office” is defined as “promoting continuous improvements toward reducing the environmental impacts of office work.” (Sustainability Explored, 2019).
KIDS for the BAY aims to inspire everyone to be an environmentalist! This includes encouraging not only our school students, teachers and families, but also our staff team members to help the environment with conscious choices for sustainable lifestyles. KIDS for the BAY staff recently decided to implement monthly “Green Challenges” to help with these efforts. Actions like composting, using beeswax food wraps, and buying second hand were a few challenges staff decided to try this month.
The green actions selected by each staff member were challenging for some, and not so challenging for others. Overall, we saw the importance of tailoring the challenges to the individual in order to improve sustainability in our own lifestyles.
Mandi Billinge, our Executive Director and Founder, explained how she approached her challenge and her personal commitment to help the environment. “It has not been too hard to use the reusable food wrappers instead of using foil wrap. I have to remind myself to use them, and I have to wash and dry the wrappers in between uses. Even if it takes more time and thoughtfulness I think it is worth it,” she said.
Shay Hart, our Lead Program Manager, selected the challenge to use shampoo bars. She was excited to try this new product and to promote sustainability by reducing her plastic consumption. “I learned that shampoo bars are amazing and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to using the plastic containers full of shampoo and conditioner!” said Shay. She also explained how “extremely wasteful” it would be to continue using personal hygiene products from plastic containers, and how she is excited to try conditioner and body wash bars as well.
Program Manager Yvette Diaz Samayoa reflected on her experience of shopping second hand, and shared how she would change the execution of her green challenge to better suit her lifestyle. She explained, “To shop second hand more I need to plan it out and set up a time for this activity. I found that I loved shopping for second hand baking pans because I found some in good condition, and for books and blankets for my dogs. I found some really nice second hand blankets that are keeping my dogs warm!”
KIDS for the BAY maintains a green office by composting, buying eco-friendly cleaning supplies, and reducing paper usage among other practices. Inviting our staff to take on green challenges each month helps us to work together as a team on sustainability throughout our organization, to be more conscious of our habits and lifestyle choices and to be more resourceful and sustainable.
What green challenge will you take on today, to help the environment we all share and to be an environmentalist?