Sustainability 101

Earn Extra LEED Credit For America Recycles Day?

cardboard tower 2011 with SRDid you know that you can use events and outreach activities you are planning for America Recycles Day (which falls on November 15) to earn extra LEED credit for your building?

This “design yourself” Innovation in Operations (IO) credit is not assigned to any one LEED category. Instead, it allows you the freedom to present “new and creative solutions to sustainable operations and maintenance.”

This can include any events, activities, or materials you produce for America Recycles Day. But it is important that the events or activities are done in an ongoing way, and in conjunction with another outreach method, such as a newsletter.

“This will not work if it is just a one-off event. They want to see how your outside-the-box ideas work with your LEED goals in a sustained, ongoing way.  So marking ARD each year is one way to go about it,” says Anna Dengler, Great Forest’s Director of Sustainability.

Your ARD event can be big or small, but it should meaningful.  How do you do that?  Here some ideas we have used successfully to help clients earn that extra LEED credit:

  • Create and install an attention-getting recycling display in your lobby or in the cafeteria (any place with a lot of pedestrian traffic) to get people thinking and talking about recycling.
  • Conduct surveys to gauge awareness of recycling in general and your green programs.
  • Produce videos, newsletters and other educational materials to distribute electronically or in hard copy at your ARD event.
  • Conduct green tours of your offices.
  • Offer talks on recycling, or bring in an author for a book reading about the topic.
  • Stage fun games or organize recycling competitions.
  • You can even involve your wider community by inviting children of your staff/tenants to exhibit their drawings about recycling, or mobilize volunteers for a recycling event.
  • Have sustainability consultants on-site to talk to staff and tenants, and answer questions.

So are you ready for American Recycles Day?

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