By Chris Finley, Digital Engagement Analyst
Earlier this month, Tori Oman posted Green Team, Episode 1: Trash Edition. This week, the Green Team here in Dallas took some more bold steps for sustainability, with some great events around Earth Day to get us all thinking about how we could save the earth, one polar bear at a time.
Plano Park Cleanup
An intrepid team of nature-lovers gathered on Saturday morning for the GREAT AMERICAN CLEANUP, a national initiative hosted locally by the City of Plano to remove litter and debris from parks, roadsides, and playgrounds. Led by the Green Team, 23 team members, friends, and family from Pizza Hut showed up at 9am to the Sunset Park in Plano to gather trash from Shady Brook Trail. Our Pizza Hut and KFC Green Team Heroes picked up 13 bags of trash and recycling! The team covered roughly 2 miles of ground within Sunset Park and Shady Brook Trail over two hours.
On a national level, the Great American Cleanup takes place in more than 20,000 communities each spring, engaging around 2 million volunteers to gather trash and beautify their neighborhoods and towns. The impact of this program is estimated to be around $175 million in benefits across participating communities: from re-vamped local storefront to recycled cans, bottles, electronics, and even cars, the effort has enormous economic impact, not to mention environmental benefits. (So, more polar bears!)
Dark Hour for Earth Day
Earth Day was officially this Tuesday, April 22. If you were at our headquarters in Dallas, you would have noticed that the lights went out across the building around 12pm. It’s not because we forgot to pay the electric bill, or because we were having a company-wide naptime, but instead it was the Green Team’s moment to raise awareness of the little things we can do to increase sustainability within Yum! and Pizza Hut.
For an hour in the middle of the workday, all non-essential (i.e., non-emergency related) lights were turned off to reduce our energy bill and remind people that going green can be super easy. The Green Team also encouraged employees to bring in your own bottle or mug for water and coffee, snap a picture of it, and post to our internal communications with predefined hashtags. Disposable cups are a one of the biggest waste culprits, and bringing in your own water bottle will save some polar bears. And who doesn’t like polar bears?
A few weeks ago, Tori Oman, Green Team All Star, and myself spent an early morning up to our knees in trash from the Dallas Headquarters. TLDR: the waste audit showed that approximately 40% of our office waste could be recycled, with disposable cups being a leading contributor to the waste. Though our sustainability team has big goals, we’re using these results to start small, and encouraging people to remedy our cup waste with reusable drinking vessels. Stay tuned for more updates on this campaign and more big stuff happening in the coming months!