As individuals, many of us are striving to reduce our impact on the environment. As employees, we want our organization to do so as well.

At the 16th Street J, we are doing our best to be good and ethical stewards of our environment, and to incorporate the aims of reduce-reuse-recycle both in-house and in the programming we offer to the community. Here are some examples:

1. The Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service's annual spring Day of Service, "Spring into Action" is environmentally focused.  This year the Center organized volunteer projects at the Kenilworth Park, Aquatic Gardens, and Marsh to clean up trash from the river and wetlands, remove exotic invasive plants, clean the river using a canoe or kayak, and renew recreation areas.

2. We have redesigned our monthly magazine to a smaller, lighter brochure.  Our  monthly Journal and many of our larger brochures are  printed on paper that is 50% recycled and 25% PCW and uses only soy inks, and is printed by a company whose electrical energy is at least 15% wind-generated, and whose plant is certified "Carbon-Neutral" by a leading organization in the Green Printing Movement.

3. We are moving more and more of our communications and marketing to email and the web from paper mailings and flyers.
4. We are replacing burned out light bulbs with high-efficiency light bulbs.

5. We are working toward 100% compliance in recycling paper and plastic in our offices and after our programs.

6. We are replacing our Styrofoam plates and cups with biodegradable paper products - next step is biodegradable bamboo utensils!

7. Ordered new free weights for the gym and donated the old free weights to Gospel Rescue Ministries and ordered more energy efficient cardio equipment.

8. We stopped mailing heavy paper packets to our Board and now send only electronic documents prior to Board meetings.

9. Our Green Seal-certified janitorial service has a holistic approach that encompasses sustainable cleaning processes and sustainable cleaning products. Green Seal is a non-profit organization devoted to environmental standard setting, product certification, and public education.  Green Seal certification requires use of environmentally responsible cleaning products that are phosphate-free, fragrance-free where possible, chlorine-free, and sustainable.

10. With the help of a grant from the Graham Foundation, we purchased a new more fuel-efficient truck for Behrend Builders, our award-winning shelter repair program.