by Barbara Walvoord
Lathrop residents and management are thinking a lot these days about being sustainable–in terms of occupancy, finances, services, buildings, and long-range plans. More broadly, Lathrop and the other Kendal affiliates all voted in 2009 to implement thirteen “sustainability initiatives” to help keep not only ourselves but our WORLD sustainable in the future.
- Establish, monitor, and maintain a community-wide, multi-faceted system of recycling or disposal of items such as, but not limited to, paper goods, containers, plastics, batteries, electronic goods, and hazardous materials.
- Establish a program to reduce office paper usage, and purchase of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC, an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests) certified paper for all print materials.
- Establish a program to install and maintain native landscape.
- Provide building automation/energy management system for monitoring mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment for maximum efficiency.
- Develop an energy conservation plan that is measurable.
- Adopt a policy to purchase only EnergyStar appliances.
- Offer environmental educational programs and ongoing reminders and updates to staff and residents about environmental issues and opportunities.
- Establish a program for water conservation.
- Provide a program for incorporating the least possible use of herbicides and pesticides into landscape management.
- Provide a program for using green chemicals in all aspects of operations including housekeeping, laundry, and dining.
- Establish a “food philosophy” which includes incorporating local food in the dining program.
- Establish a program and practice of Green Building standards in any construction or renovation project including finishes and furnishing.
- Establish a sustainability workgroup in the community including residents and staff that actively works to monitor and advance the sustainability efforts of the community; includes a sustainability “library” with references and website links. (http://www.kendal.org/sustainability-initiatives/)