Let’s Not Celebrate Earth Day Today
Today is Earth Day, when the world celebrates sustainability efforts and the environment. Although that sounds great, I believe that Earth Day is the worst thing to happen to the sustainability movement – it created a single event instead of a way of living. Earth Day is like dieting for one day and expecting to lose 20 pounds.
At Prometheus, we work to protect our environment year-round. This Earth Day, we’d like to share just some of what we do at our Neighborhoods 365 days a year:
- Protecting indoor air quality through the use of low VOC paints and a 100% non-smoking environment.
- Recycling whenever possible, including our carpeting. (Carpeting actually accounts for 3.5% of all waste in U.S. landfills – that’s more than 4 billion pounds a year.)
- Paperless leasing. All steps in the leasing process are completed electronically.
- Water-conscious landscaping. We use mulching to lock in moisture, plant native species whenever possible and now have smart irrigation at 100% of our California Neighborhoods.
- And, most recently, beginning to implement composting in California.
We are working with our trash providers to develop compost programs at all of our California Neighborhoods. Our compost will be processed off-site, which means we’ll help the environment without needing to have the unpleasant parts (fermentation anyone?) on-site.
Here are just some of the benefits of composting:
- Waste reduction. Did you know most people throw away as much food as they consume? Compost is nature’s way of recycling.
- Soil enrichment. Compost doesn’t just contain vital nutrients for plans – it helps sandy soil retain water.
- Drought reduction. Many scientists believe that compost is one of the key elements to combating drought – which is particularly important given the long-standing drought in California.
If you live in one of our California Neighborhoods, look for more information about composting soon.
Don’t celebrate Earth Day today…
…instead, celebrate it every day by picking up a new eco-friendly habit:
- Use (and reuse) cloth napkins instead of paper.
- Buy local produce and meat.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Bring a reusable water bottle instead of buying a plastic one.
- Shorten your shower by 2 minutes.
Mother Nature and I thank you for thinking of her every day, not just today.
Mary Nitschke is Prometheus’s in-house sustainability expert and Director of Ancillary Services.