Today is Earth Day, a day where people across the world come together to celebrate our planet and the need to protect the valuable resources it provides us.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), “we currently consume 50 percent more natural resources than the Earth's ecosystems can replenish.” Additionally, if we continue to consume the way we do, by 2030 the resources of two planets will not be enough to support our population.
While it may seem that what you do as an individual makes little difference, the exact opposite is true.
Let’s take your morning coffee cup for example. Did you know that:
- Every minute over one million disposable cups are discarded to landfill.
- In the United States, 16 billion cups were used for coffee as of 2006. This equals about 6.5 million trees.
- Using one disposable cup per day results in 23 lbs of waste per year, just from the cups that are thrown away.
- A reusable coffee mug is designed to be used about 3,000 times in its life, and provides about eight years of use for the average daily coffee drinker. That is compared with approximately 3,000 throw-away cups.
- In 2013, five Symantec sites used approximately 2 million cups.
If one person used a reusable mug everyday this year it would save 87 lbs of CO2. If all Symantec employees used a reusable mug every day for one year it would save 1,883,400 lbs of CO2.
As you can see, some of the most important steps to minimizing our impacts on the planet are a combination of individual acts.
At Symantec, waste management is central to our environmental strategy and we’ve therefore set a goal to reduce paper cup usage by 15 percent, and to achieve 80 percent waste diversion at all of our audited sites.
To do this, we’ve launched the “One Mug, One Planet” campaign to help reduce waste across our operations and encourage all employees to think about the impacts they make both inside and outside the office.
We’re asking all employees to sign the “One Mug, One Planet” pledge – and make a commitment to use a reusable mug every day. Our goal is 1,000 pledges signed across Symantec, and 10 percent of employees at sites that have opted in to join this campaign.
As part of the campaign, employees will take “Mugs Shots,” a picture of themselves, their colleagues, or team with a reusable mug. We’ve also asked employees to use their Mug Shot to encourage colleagues to sign the pledge by sharing via email, posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter using the hashtags #1mug1planet #Symantec.
The most creative Mug Shot will win a prize announced at the end of the campaign.
Additionally, we are handing out free reusable mugs for those that sign up to the pledge AND send us a mug shot – so there’s no excuse not to reuse!
The saying “Every day is Earth Day” really is true and if we all follow this, we may be surprised what our collective efforts can achieve. You have to start somewhere, right? Why not start with your coffee cup!
Symantec employees: Interested in signing your site up to our waste reduction campaign? Or interested in joining the Green Teams? Email Environmental_Responsibility@symantec.com for more information.
Have you snapped a MugShot yet? If not, do so and send to Environmental_Responsibility@symantec.com!
Chris Abess is Symantec's Vice President, Sales Operations, and Global Green Team Executive Champion.
 http://www.ecopedia.com/environment/reusable-coffee-cups-a-simple-step-for-a-huge-impact/ ; assuming only one cup per day
 Based on 2000 study by Starbucks that calculated the average paper-based coffee cup produced 0.24 lb of CO2 – assumes 21,500 Symantec employees, one cup per day, 365 days per year; http://www.ecopedia.com/environment/reusable-coffee-cups-a-simple-step-for-a-huge-impact/
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