Stop and Smell the Flowers: It’s World Environment Day

If you’re anything like those of us on the Aqua team, Earth’s beauty blows you away every single day of the week.

Today, though, we have a good reason to take our celebration of our planet to another level: It’s World Environment Day.

First observed in 1972, World Environment Day both acknowledges the complex beauty of our home planet and brings awareness to the many factors that endanger the precious ecosystems and habitats that surround us.  

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is Connecting People to Nature, which was chosen by Canada, this year’s host country.

985 events are on the #WorldEnvironmentDay map!
Tell us how you'll connect #WithNature & let's get to 1,000: https://t.co/gTGjbXCfwS pic.twitter.com/WRAJ05gWki

— UN Environment (@UNEP) May 31, 2017

Take a moment to think about how you connect to nature on a daily basis. In a single day, you might mow the lawn, listen to birds sing and snap a photo of a beautiful bundle of flowers to post online. Take it one step further, though, and think about what concrete actions could be done to preserve that grass, those birds or those flowers.

At Aqua, we’re determined to protect and provide water—Earth’s most precious resource—in an environmentally responsible, sustainable way. In addition to our daily operations providing water to our customers, we’re lucky that our employees are individually enthusiastic about being positive stewards of the environment.

In Pennsylvania, members of Aqua’s leadership team such as Chief Environmental Officer Chris Crockett, Director of Environment Compliance Deborah Watkins and Watershed Specialist Robert Kahley came together last October to plant native trees at the Perkiomen Creek Watershed, which is adjacent to Aqua’s Green Lane reservoir.

The group of volunteers planted more than 620 trees in one day that now consistently release fresh oxygen into the air, ultimately working toward a cleaner, healthier ecosystem across the neighboring community and the world.

Likewise, Aqua employees know the importance of all aspects of our environment—not just water. Our own Kevin M. Culver wrote an ode to bugs (yes, bugs!) in and around the Kankakee River in Illinois.

Why, Kevin asked our blog readers, should they care about bugs? Here’s his answer:

I care about the bugs because one can determine the health of a stream by the number and type of bugs living in the stream. Not only can the bugs be used to determine water quality, but fish and fresh water mussels can also be used as biological indicators of water quality.

There you have it: A healthy bug is a sign of healthy water. Who wouldn’t care about that?

Clearly, the environment is a crucial matter to Aqua employees, both personally and professionally, and we couldn’t be prouder of their efforts.

We encourage you to get involved during World Environment Day! Take the time to go outside, smell the fresh air and think about how lucky we are to be inhabitants of our beautiful planet. You can also take part in celebrating the day by sharing photos of the Earth’s beauty with the hashtag #WithNature on your favorite social media channels.

 

Share This Post:

Get the (Earth Day) Party Started with Aqua!

 

At Aqua, we’re obsessed with all things related to our most precious resource: water

Since we’re also obsessed with the source of that water (Earth) it should come as no surprise that we’re big fans of Earth Day

In anticipation of the upcoming occasion, which eco-conscious folks all over the world will celebrate on April 22, we thought we’d take an inside look at the ways Aqua is committed to acting as a sustainable steward to the environment.

Read our thought-provoking conversation below with Network Control Engineer Dan Kirchheimer, our Aqua employee responsible for compiling Aqua’s sustainability report.

 

 

Dan Kirchheimer

With Earth Day just around the corner, what does Aqua do as a company to celebrate or recognize the occasion?

Aqua sponsors a number of stream cleanup days throughout March and April where employees and other volunteers walk along streams, creeks and rivers and pick up trash and debris that have collected along the shoreline and in the water. Each year, volunteers pull hundreds of tons of trash across numerous cleanup sites.

The final mountains of trash bags contain more than just plastic bags, paper and soda cans. Volunteers find tires, engines, refrigerators, shopping carts, scrap metal and just about anything you can imagine. Aqua partners with the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, the Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association (CRC), and the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance, just to name a few. The annual CRC cleanup alone has removed more than 600,000 pounds of debris over the last 18 years.

Aqua Illinois customers in Kankakee depend solely on the Kankakee River to serve more than 80,000 residents. Aqua Illinois employees and local volunteers are now entering their 34th annual river cleanup as part of the Adopt-a-River program. The company is responsible for a one mile portion of the river that employees clean twice a year. This is one of the oldest continuous river clean-ups in the country.

Aqua Pennsylvania has also supported the TreeVitalize Watersheds program since 2005. This group has assisted in the planting of more than 40,000 trees along the banks of key watersheds for the last decade.

By investing in reforesting stream banks, this natural infrastructure helps reduce the amount of contaminants reaching our source water and helps slow natural erosion and soil degradation. This greatly improves stream water quality, improves the habitat for local environments and decreases storm water runoff.

 

Aqua Illinois employees during the annual Kankakee River Clean Up

What can Aqua customers do to make a sustainable difference this Earth Day? 

Carry a Nalgene, thermos or other water bottle around with you – even a simple cup with a lid. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to save money and still have fresh, cold water at hand.

Other ideas for how to help in a positive way on Earth Day include:

·      Volunteering for a local stream cleaning event. It will only take a few hours, and your actions will make a huge difference and make you feel great.

·      Planting trees along a creek, in a park or even your own backyard.

·      Composting your old food scraps and feeding that to your hungry plants.

·      Replacing a shower head to a low flow variety. If you live in a drought-prone area, this can save thousands of gallons of water over its lifetime for only a few dollars.

Just keep in mind, if you do nothing, expect nothing to change. One person may not make a difference, but if everybody just helped a little bit, things would start to look a lot better.

How would you like to see Aqua and similar organizations continue to practice and improve sustainability efforts in the future? 

Ever since the Industrial Revolution,  man has created amazing machines and technology to increase efficiency, production and our way of life. However, for too long, the environment has paid the price for our actions. In this modern era, we have the knowledge and ability to do things better and keep the environment in mind. Being sustainable doesn’t always have to cost more. I’d like to see more companies get creative and create mutually beneficial partnerships that both save money and help protect the environment.

“Going green” shouldn’t be a catch phrase or a way to simply cut costs. Companies have the power to inspire and create change. They can and should find opportunities that help everyone involved.

We don’t always have to keep doing things because we’ve always done them that way. Change can be good. We should embrace technology, new ideas, methods, viewpoints and ways of thinking.

Inspired to make a change this Earth Day? Remember what Dan said – everyone pitching in a little bit can make a big difference.

 

What will you pledge to do for your planet on Earth Day 2016?

 

 

 

 

Share This Post: