Since its start on April 22, 1970, Earth Day has grown from a one-time event into an annual celebration observed globally by hundreds of countries. Millions of people around the world come together to plant trees, pick up litter and pledge to make more earth-conscious choices in their daily lives.
Though Earth Day is celebrated one day a year, Holiday by Atria is committed to finding sustainable, energy-saving solutions all year round.
Holiday’s sustainability practices
Reducing waste, conserving energy, and protecting our air and water supplies is more critical than ever. Though waste and pollution are big problems, there are many small changes we can all make to help the planet.
Here’s a look at some of the things we’ve been doing to conserve resources and reduce our carbon footprint – and a few ways you can join us in going green.
When Holiday communities were forced into lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our dining teams began delivering meals to residents in their apartments – that’s roughly 90,000 meals per day. While this helped reduce infections, it also caused a substantial increase in Styrofoam waste.
The Holiday Sustainability Team worked with our partners at G.E.T. Enterprises and Sysco to swap out Styrofoam for reusable clamshells and soup containers. By October of 2020, the use of Styrofoam had been reduced by 2.4 million pieces per month – a 92-percent reduction!
Holiday’s Procurement Team estimated that before the adoption of the eco-friendlier carryout containers, 12 million cubic feet of Styrofoam was being disposed of at Holiday communities annually – enough to fill 850 single-family homes floor to ceiling. That’s a sobering image, and one we’re proud of changing.
Switching on to LED
Some Holiday communities are piloting a new lighting project that swaps traditional light bulbs for more energy-efficient LED lighting. Compared to incandescent bulbs, LEDs use 80 percent less energy.
With an average life of 50,000 hours per bulb (approximately 50 times longer than an incandescent bulb), each LED drastically reduces the demand for electricity and, therefore, our dependency the fossil fuels that electricity often comes from. LEDs also generate less heat than incandescent bulbs, making them cooler and safer to operate.
In addition to being longer-lasting, safer, more economical and more efficient, LED lights have health advantages as well. Many studies show that exposure to LED light can increase sleep quality, decrease depression and anxiety, and promote healing after surgery.
Green by design
Holiday’s sustainability program was officially kicked off with a logo design contest, which called on residents to submit original artwork and a slogan.
The winning concept was created by Meredith “Merry” Hall of Holiday The Woods at Canco in Portland, Maine. Her “HoliGreen – Elder Earth Stewards” logo was a clear favorite. The design was finalized by a graphic designer and unveiled to Merry along with a $1,000 prize.
Merry’s inspired work will grace all of Holiday’s sustainability communications and initiatives.
We can all be green stewards
Holiday’s Earth Stewards do their part to improve the planet through a number of initiatives and daily green practices. Here are five ways you can join in:
- Choose reusable. From water bottles and cutlery to drinking straws and shopping bags, it’s easier than ever to avoid single-use products and opt for earth-friendly ones.
- Power it down. Placing your computer in sleep mode or switching it off at night helps save electricity and lower power costs.
- Go plant-based. What we eat has a direct impact on the health of our planet. Reducing your meat intake (even once a week) is a powerful way to address climate change.
- Get growing. The benefits of gardening are numerous, but one major perk is that plants naturally clean the air and soil.
- Shop greener. Natural, green cleaning products and skin care items are more effective and affordable than ever. Look for eco-friendly detergents and cleansers to keep phosphates and microplastics out of waterways.
Come see our sustainability initiatives for yourself. Contact us today for a tour.