DBL Blog

DBL Celebrates Earth Day

By April 21, 2020 No Comments

Spring has finally arrived here in southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, and on this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we would like to share the many ways that Dogs for Better Lives is reducing its impact on our beautiful and amazing planet.

In 2018, an employee-initiated Green Team was formed to take steps towards becoming an environmentally-minded organization to help protect our world for generations to come, and to better steward the resources given to us.

“As a non-profit, this is especially important because every dollar we receive comes from generous and caring donors, and it is essential that these resources are carefully spent to further our mission of finding, professionally training, and placing Assistance Dogs with the people who need them.” – Mike Poremba, Apprentice Dog Trainer & Green Team Member

What we’re doing to reduce our carbon pawprint:

Reducing waste 

  • Co-mingled recycling is picked up on-site: corrugated cardboard, tin cans, plain white paper
  • Other recyclables are dropped off at the local transfer station by DBL staff en route to/from work
  • DBL facility dishwasher is used to clean reusable plates, cups, utensils, and towels, as well as to sanitize dog dishes and toys
  • Enhanced training: dogs are desensitized to towels hanging on oven and refrigerator handles

Saving money while reducing waste

  • Participating in our local Bottle Drop Redemption Center’s Blue Bag Fundraiser Program
    • Returning all refundable bottles and cans to create self-generated funds
  • Reusable plates, cups, and utensils are purchased with Blue Bag Fundraiser money
  • Future participation planned by local schools, clubs, and other community partners
  • Use of reusable cloth towels in all training apartments
    • Less paper towel use by training staff
  • Installed a 306-panel, 97.9 kW solar array on our campus that will produce more than 75% of the organization’s energy needs, saving more than $28,000 each year, thanks to a Pacific Power Blue Sky 2020 funding award.
  • Converted our gas facility maintenance carts to solar-powered vehicles
    • Less fuel, less exhaust= less pollution onsite to affect our on-site staff and dogs, and to help improve the environment everywhere 
  • Using recycled milk jugs to refill with water during emergency seasonal water shortage
    • Eliminates 20-40 gallons of bottled water purchased during water shortages
    • Replaced our water cooler/delivery service with purchased coolers + refillable water bottles
    • One-time purchase eliminates revolving charges
    • Bottles are cleaned and refilled on-site using our filtered well water
  • Installed motion-sensor lights in most offices and training areas
  • Encouraging carpooling and remote work when possible to reduce the CO2 emissions from vehicles, further minimizing DBL’s carbon footprint

Future green initiatives at DBL

  • Introduce native plants in landscaping our parking lots, around our buildings, and along our dog walking paths to reduce the need for watering, mowing, fertilizers, and to benefit local pollinators and wildlife
  • Introduce a pollinator garden to support and improve local native Oregon bird and insect species 

Things you can do

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