Earth Day 2014 at Lilly and the No Print Challenge

Beth Hunter

Today's guest blog comes from Beth Hunter, associate communications consultant for Lilly Health, Safety, and Environment.

Imagine not printing anything from your work computer for a day – even a week. Well, that’s what we asked our employees to do.  For one week only employees are taking the No Print Challenge to reduce their printing, or better yet, not print at all. The No Print Challenge is in celebration of Earth Day (officially observed on April 22).

Our goal is to reduce the number of “prints” from the company’s copy machines and printers by 10 percent.  (We define a print as a single–sided document. A dual–sided document is considered to be two prints.)

You’re probably thinking 10 percent doesn’t seem like much, but here in the U.S. we average about 6 million prints per month. That’s a lot of paper, toner, and energy use! We think it’s a good start and a gentle reminder for employees about the impact of something as simple as not hitting the print button. As someone who writes and loves to review my work at my desk with a red pen, I’ll admit the No Print Challenge will indeed be just that – but I’m going to give it my best shot.

In addition to the No Print Challenge, employees have organized many other Earth Day events at our Indianapolis sites. Employees will be able to find out how to have fresh, local, and organic produce delivered to their door. They’ll learn about alternative ways to get to work and even discover the benefits of installing a backyard rain barrel. They’ll even get to sample chocolate made from 100 percent ethically traded cocoa.

Another event includes teaming up with RecycleForce to bring in personal electronics and other items for recycling. Last year during our Earth Day celebration employees brought in more than 20,000 pounds of e-Waste!

Later this week employees are also volunteering for two days to pick up debris in front of the Lilly Recreational Park Trail and along the White River Trail. The cleanup effort is in partnership with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful.

Although this is just a quick snapshot of some of the Earth Day activities taking place this week, they all have a couple of things in common. They reflect our employees’ commitment to helping the environment and in making the communities where we live and work a better place.