WEF Eco Cycles and Shreds Through Environmental Stewardship Goals

January 25, 2018

Featured, WEF Resources & Efforts

Kristen Martin, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) staff, was among nine staff members who rode a collective 4406 km (2738 mi) on her bike as a participant in the National Bike Challenge. Other participating staff included Barry Liner, Suzanne Shutty, Patrick Dube, Matt Ries, Caroline Pakenham, Elizabeth Conway, Amy Kathman, and Jessica Rozek. WEF photo/Martin.

Kristen Martin, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) staff, was among nine staff members who rode a collective 4406 km (2738 mi) on her bike as a participant in the National Bike Challenge. Other participating staff included Barry Liner, Suzanne Shutty, Patrick Dube, Matt Ries, Caroline Pakenham, Elizabeth Conway, Amy Kathman, and Jessica Rozek. WEF photo/Martin.

At Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) headquarters, staff members work to plan conferences, provide career development opportunities, and support more than 30,000 members. In addition to these labors, WEF makes time to minimize its footprint on the local environment. The WEF Eco team, launched in 2007, spearheads this effort. In 2017, the team led efforts to reduce carbon emissions and to recycle paper.

Biking for a benefit

Between May and September 2017, nine WEF staff members participated in the National Bike Challenge, an annual, nationwide effort to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions organized by the League of American Bicyclists (Washington, D.C.).

For 222 days, the program encouraged participants to ride bikes for recreation or transportation purposes. In that time, WEF riders logged a total of 4406 km (2738 mi). This surpassed the organization’s goal of 3103 km (1928 mi), a target chosen to honor the year WEF was founded. During the challenge, participating staff collectively burned more than 125,000 calories and kept more than 680 kg (1500 lbs) of carbon-dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere.

The totals ranked WEF at 238th out of 426 participating workplaces across the country.

WEF riders also joined the Clean Water Warriors League (CWWL), a coalition of Bike Challenge teams committed to protecting water resources. Out of 27 registered leagues participating in the challenge, CWWL placed 7th, with 88 riders contributing a total of 113,690 km (70,644 mi).

Saving trees by shredding waste

Following a successful e-waste collection drive in 2016, which recycled more than 147 kg (325 lbs.) of batteries, light bulbs, and computer accessories, WEF Eco this year turned its attention to paper waste.

On Aug. 3, WEF enlisted the help of a mobile shredding company to collect and recycle stacks of outdated paper materials at its headquarters. The result went beyond expectations — in a single day, WEF recycled 2090 kg (4608 lbs) of paper. According to estimates from the University of Southern Indiana (Evansville), that amount saves more than 30 trees and over 52,995 L (14,000 gal) of water used in the paper production process.

Read more about ongoing WEF Eco efforts in WEF Highlights.

─ Justin Jacques, WEF Highlights

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