Living Green at Any Age – Staying Young
Residents of The Evergreens and the local community celebrated the third annual Fair and Celebration of Planet Earth at the continuing care retirement center by showing that people of any age should be environmentally friendly and eco-conscious now and for future generations.
The festivities are normally observed in honor of Earth Day, which this year was held on April 22 and happened to fall on Good Friday. Because some members were scheduled to be away for the Easter holiday, the fair was moved to last Thursday.
Attendees of the merriment signed the Green Passport Pledge at LaMonte Hall promising to continue to live a green life, as Earth Day characters, Trash and Recycle, strolled to the music of a guitar player. Giveaways, like flashlights, key chains and potted plants, were offered in reusable tote bags.
“At The Evergreens, we do our part in staying green,” said Alice Moseley, director of facilities and the organizer of the fair. “Last year alone, we recycled over 79 tons of refuse.”
The residence, home to nearly 300, has switched to compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs throughout the campus. CFLs consume approximately 75 percent less energy. New boilers have been installed that meet the Energy Star rating. And, only paints with zero volatile organic compounds (VOC) are used throughout the buildings.
During the year, The Evergreens donates items to Habitat for Humanity, restricts the use of toxic pesticides and has invested in a water-wise irrigation system.
The fair was also an opportunity to offer advice and remind folks to be conscious when shopping. Nowadays so many items are stamped eco-friendly or environmentally friendly, and options are growing like dandelions. So, nearly 16 area environmental vendors were on hand to communicate their services and display the newest in products and technology.
A new sustainable cleaner, the Activeion Pro, cleans by converting regular tap water into a powerful cleaner.
“With an electrical charge, the tap water is separated into an oxygen-rich liquid which breaks down dirt, said Jan Black, account manager of Accommodation Mollen, Inc. in Philadelphia. “In residences where there is a lot of cleaning done, like nursing homes, this works great.”
During the season, J. Ambrogi Foods, the produce supplier for The Evergreens, tries to buy from farms locally. Residents, with the help of John Kennedy, director of dining services, grow vegetables and herbs all year in a greenhouse. During the spring, more food crops and flowers are cultivated in the adjacent grounds.
“The residents enjoy growing their own plants,” said Kennedy, who has a bit of “green thumb,” according to Moseley. “And, the interaction with each other is rewarding.”
“These products are released into the soil over a period of time,” said Boracci, “and make the nutrients continuously available to the plants.”
Guests dined on cheese, crackers and sandwiches, all compliments of Dietz and Watson, whose family member, Ruth Dietz, 86, is a resident.
“Have a sandwich,” offered Dietz to passersby. “The chicken are my favorite.”
The Evergreens is expanding its campus with new buildings that will be designed with sustainable furnishings and high-efficiency appliances, all to reduce the footprint on the planet.
“This event is becoming a tradition,” said Doug Halvorsen, chief executive officer of The Evergreens. “Our goal is to make a proclamation—‘It’s easy to be green.’