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Since its start on April 22, 1970, Earth Day has grown from a US event into an annual celebration, observed globally by hundreds of countries. Millions of people around the world come together to plant trees, pick up litter and pledge to make more earth-conscious choices in their daily lives.

Reducing waste, conserving energy, and protecting our air and water supplies is more critical than ever. It's easy for you to reduce your own impact on the planet. See the tips at the end of this article and try them out. Then tag us on Facebook to show us your work!

Here are some ways Holiday Retirement has been stepping up to help make our communities healthier and more environmentally-friendly.

Dining Goes Green

When our communities were forced to go into lockdown in 2020, our dining teams began delivering meals to residents in their homes—roughly 90,000 meals per day. While this helped to reduce COVID-19 infections, it also caused a sizable uptick in the amount of styrofoam waste.

Working with our partners at G.E.T. Enterprises and Sysco, the Holiday Sustainability Team launched a plan to swap out styrofoam for reusable clamshells and soup containers.

And by October of 2020, we'd reduced consumption of styrofoam by 2.4 million pieces per month, a 92% reduction! Director of Procurement Todd Howell estimated that before the adoption of the eco-friendlier carry-out containers, 12 million cubic feet of styrofoam was being disposed of at Holiday communities annually—enough to fill 850 single-family homes floor to ceiling!

We are incredibly proud of this achievement and we're working on more ways to reduce our communities' environmental impacts.

Making the Switch to LED

Some Holiday communities are piloting a new lighting project that swaps traditional light bulbs for more energy-efficient LED lighting. And by more; efficient, we mean EXTREMELY so. Compared to incandescent bulbs, LEDs are on average 80% more efficient to run!

With an average life of 50,000 hours per bulb (approximately 50 times longer than of incandescent), each LED drastically reduces the demand for electricity and therefore, our dependency on fossil fuels. LEDs don't generate the heat that incandescent bulbs do, which means they are cooler and safer to operate.

In addition to being longer-lasting, safer, more economical and more efficient, LED lights have one more unexpected advantage. Many studies show that exposure to LED light throughout the day can increase sleep quality, decrease depression and anxiety, improve mood and promote healing after surgery.

We'll keep you plugged in to the latest developments on this exciting pilot project.

Did You Know?

Holiday Retirement's sustainability program was officially kicked off with a logo design contest, which called on residents to submit original artwork and a slogan. The winning concept was created by Mrs. “Merry' Meredith Hall of the Woods at Canco in Portland, ME.

Her “HoliGreen - Elder Earth Stewards' logo was overwhelmingly chosen by the committee, finalized by a graphic designer, and unveiled to Mrs. Hall, along with a $1,000 prize.

Thank you, Merry, for the inspired work that will now grace all of Holiday Retirement's sustainability communications and initiatives.

HoliGreen Elder Earth Steward Launch of HoliGreen

Ready to be a HoliGreen Elder Earth Steward too?

Here are 5 easy ways to get started.

  • Choose reusable. From water bottles and cutlery to drinking straws and shopping bags, it's easier than ever to avoid single-use products and opt for earth-friendly ones.
  • Power it down. Placing your computer in sleep mode or switching it off at night are the best choices for saving electricity and lowering your power costs.
  • Go plant-based. What we eat has a direct impact on the health of our planet. Reducing your meat intake (even once a week) is a powerful way to address climate change.
  • Get growing. The benefits of gardening are numerous (read about them here!), but one major perk: plants naturally clean the air and soil around your home.
  • Shop greener. Natural, green cleaning products are more effective and affordable than ever! Look for eco-friendly laundry detergents, cleansers, hand soaps and so much more.

Want to learn more about Holiday Retirement? Please contact us today! We look forward to welcoming you with a virtual or in-person tour soon.

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