Land of Plenty

Our readers across the country (and around the world) are making strides toward living the green life and creating a modern Land of Plenty. We've selected a few of their eco accomplishments - both big and small - to share. Send us stories about how you're trying to make a difference; we'll choose the best to publish in an upcoming issue of the magazine

By You

Photo of Jessica Herrington

We’re the Brooklyn Green Team, a group of six Brooklyn residents (above) who maintain a blog ( and send e-blasts that (we hope) inspire individuals to make small lifestyle changes and reduce their carbon footprint. We launch challenges such as the No New Clothing Challenge!, for which a group of 30 people pledged not to buy any new clothing and purchase vintage instead for six months. In February, we launched the No Disposable Water Bottle Challenge! More than 70 people have pledged not to purchase the throw-away bottles for three months!!
Brooklyn Green Team
Brooklyn, NY


When I began working at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, I noticed that the hospital functioned in a manner entirely unfriendly to the environment. In fact, as I looked into it, I realized we were severely polluting the environment locally and globally and wasting a lot of money in the process. It took some time, but I met up with the administrators and convinced them to pursue a green initiative, with me as one of the chairs of a “going green” committee.

Now our team has incredible support from hospital employees, and we’re actively involved in all new construction and operations of the hospital.  We’ve improved recycling and energy efficiency; we’re pushing for environmentally friendly purchasing and reprocessing of medical products; and we’re considering buying local and organic food. Our members span all areas of the hospital system, from architects to engineers and materials management to clinicians. Our scope includes five hospitals and two nursing homes, and we‘re reaching out to 70 satellite offices. We are pushing boundaries to try to become the first healthcare system to pilot environmentally friendly processes, and we are saving money at the same time!
Ravi Gupta, MD
Falls Church, Virginia

I am copresident of the environmental club at my high school, the Academy of the Holy Cross, which is an all-girl school in Maryland. With the help of our wonderful environmental science teacher, Corky, we have brought the school’s recycling program back into practice. This means that a black trash bin, a tan commingled materials (glass and plastic) bin, and a blue paper bin will be placed in each classroom and office. We’re trying to convince administrators that it’s also important to place them in the hallways, but they are hesitant. If we show them that the bins are working, perhaps this will push them to agree with us. This is a huge accomplishment on the Academy’s part, and I hope it acts as one small step toward making our school eco-friendly!
Monica Perfetto
Kensington, MD

I’ve been taking a couple of little actions to green my life. Instead of driving to work, I walk 20 minutes from my apartment to the subway. I’ve also been collecting plastic bottle caps from my friends and work colleagues in order to donate them to my local Aveda, which will use them in the packaging of a new shampoo debuting this year. Lastly, I have saved my used jam jars to store nuts and my old wine bottles to store different grains (above), such as brown rice and quinoa. The different shapes and colors of the bottles really look great on my kitchen counter.
Jessica Herrington
Washington, DC

Issue 25

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