~~~ Guest Post by Jenny Gettelman ~~~
It’s not hard to believe that a lot of Utahans feel that our state’s spectacular National Parks, greatest snow on earth and breath-taking mountain scenery are out of this word. At Dell EMC, we agree! That’s why in April, we set out to form a new chapter of an Employee Resource Group (ERG) called Planet Utah.
Our Mission: To be environmental stewards that work toward fostering a sustainable future. We work to engage our team members, area businesses and community leaders to make our community a clean and safe place to live and work for this and future generations.
Shortly after forming, Planet Utah got right to work organizing trash pick-up events at the Dell EMC Lone Peak and Vista Station offices to celebrate Earth Week. During trash pick-up at the Lone Peak office, folks that participated noticed a large number of cigarette butts that were being left on the ground. To help combat this litter issue, Planet Utah is now looking into a cigarette waste recycling program that does the following:
- The collected material is first sterilized using gamma radiation, which removes toxins or bio-contaminants.
- The material is then shredded and the remaining tobacco and paper remnants are composted.
- The shredded filters are blended with other recycled materials collected by TerraCycle and pelletized.
- The resultant plastic pellets can be used in wide variety of industrial applications including the creation of plastic shipping pallets.
|Trash pick up participants|
Jordan River Trail:
In May, Planet Utah was invited to join 25+ Mozy team members on a Jordan River Trail clean up. Their goal was to eradicate a non-native thistle weed from an area close to the Vista Station office. The Jordan River Trail offers over 40 miles of pedestrian and equestrian trails, picnic areas, canoe launches and is a great urban park.
|Kenzie and David getting to work|
|Tyler with the biggest thistle|
|Jordan River Trail volunteer group|
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium:
During Earth Week, Planet Utah partnered with the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium to host lunch ‘n learns around the topic of Ocean Plastics. Plastic now accounts for 90 percent of the trash floating on the ocean surface. Dell EMC recently announced they are taking a leading role in keeping plastics out of the ocean by using packaging materials made entirely from recycled content, including ocean plastics. The initial goal is to keep 16,000 pounds of plastic out of the ocean this year, scaling to 20,000 next year. This is a great example of how Dell and a local business can partner to educate people on an issue we are both passionate about.
|Special guest from the Loveland Planet Aquarium|
As Planet Utah works to grow our membership, we look forward to boosting recycling programs, partnering with UCAIR to improve air quality and working with other ERG’s to make them more sustainable. We are proud that our recently dedicated Vista Station office building attained LEED Silver certification for the sustainable approach to the way building was designed, constructed and operated. Planet Utah members feel fortunate that our leadership cares about issues of sustainability and environmental protection ensuring Utah is a great place to live and work.