Happy Earth Day 2012

Rock Creek Park cleanup 2012

This past weekend I started my Earth Day celebrations with a Cub Scout-sponsored cleanup of one of the DC area’s greatest natural treasures – Rock Creek Park.  And according to my fifth-grade son, he and I have been participating in annual park clean-ups since he entered elementary school.

What is special in this seemingly ordinary experience is that to him, Earth Day is a normal, annual ritual.  While he was running to join the others rock-hopping across the narrow bend in the creek, I overheard him say, “My mom works to take care of the environment all year round.  Earth Day is a big deal around our house and we’ve got a lot of activities planned.”  Those words were uttered with both nonchalance and pride.  What a difference a generation makes.

Earth Day is every day at NAEM.  Each of us believes that in fulfilling the association’s mission of empowering corporate EHS managers with knowledge and practical insight, we are making a difference in helping the planet.  The staff at NAEM is joined together by a shared values orientation, and we are proud to support a community of professionals who work hard to meet the ethical obligations for compliance, reduce their company’s environmental footprint and help to make workplaces safer and healthier for their fellow employees.

But even though we have chosen to work at place that reflects our personal beliefs, the weeks around April 22 are especially fun for our staff.  Last year we created some wonderful videos from our Green TIPS Guide. This year we’d like to share with you some of the ways our personal practices reflect the work we do at our jobs.  Whether it’s our passion for the outdoors, rehabbing an older home or riding a bike to work, I hope you will enjoy the NAEM facebook page and we welcome your pictures and stories of Earth Day celebrations.

As I was walking back from my morning of playing in the river beds, walking on logs across the creek and following my son holding a full bag of garbage, this thought came to my mind:

We pay attention to what we value…. We value what has meaning to us... That meaning comes from our heart, our community, and our experiences.

I hope that you will get to celebrate Earth Day in your way, and I encourage you to commit yourself to taking action every day.

About Carol Singer Neuvelt

Carol Singer Neuvelt is Executive Director of NAEM. Her long-term perspective and insights into corporate EHS and sustainability best practices also have been featured in a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune, the Bureau of National Affairs, Environmental Leader, the National Safety Council’s Safety+Health magazine and Sustainable Life Media. She is the former Deputy Director for the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Public Liaison, where she managed the agency’s interaction with external stakeholders. Follow her on Twitter at @carol_neuvelt.

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1 Comment
  1. David Newman

    April 23, 2012

    Carol, thanks for reminding us why we do what we do. Sometimes in the corporate world we forget what really is at the base of our careers: reducing our companies’ impacts on employees, communities and the environments in which we operate.

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