Though they’ve only been together since April 2021, the Green Team is already making a difference at Meramec Bluffs, a Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) Life Plan Community in Ballwin, Mo.
Consisting of environmentally conscious residents, the Green Team meets monthly to discuss “greening” Meramec Bluffs and exploring the educational aspects of recycling and green activities, often inviting speakers to present.
“I have gained a wealth of information that I utilize every day,” said Debbie Wondell, Meramec Bluffs Supervisor of Transportation and Green Team member.
Kass Stolzberg, Lifestyle Enrichment Coordinator for Meramec Bluffs, and resident Jim Vail are also members of the Green Team alongside Debbie and have enjoyed becoming champions at Meramec Bluffs for green efforts. “Being green connects us to our core value of responsible stewardship,” said Kass. “I look at it just being part of a member of a group that is helping our community do a better job of recycling and caring to bring it front and center in our community,” added Jim.
One of the most visible accomplishments of the team are the new benches on campus. Meramec Bluffs enjoys stunning views of the Meramec River alongside extensive walking paths around the campus that residents regularly enjoy. The Green Team realized that they could showcase innovative conservation with the type of new benches selected.
They partnered with NexTrex, who manufacturers outside park benches using 100% recycled plastic.
Meramec Bluffs participates in NexTrex’s program where residents and team members can deposit plastic that they have collected. When 500 or more pounds have been turned in, a bench can be made. Through the efforts of the Meramec Bluffs Green Team, 2,200 pounds were collected in three six-month periods. This resulted in two benches on the Meramec Bluffs campus, and a third is on the way. The benches would have a retail value of approximately $500. The team is a little more than 42% of the way to gathering enough plastic for another!
“We really only have one planet at this juncture, and it is important to continue to find ways to make it last as long as possible. Our children’s children deserve nothing less,” said Margaret Cox, Director of Lifestyle Enrichment for Meramec Bluffs.
“I have learned so much about being greener and really trying to make a difference. Each one of us can play a small part but each little component can add up. Just like the 2,200 pounds of plastic have,” said Margaret.
“Being on the Green Team has made me aware of the importance of recycling and 24 of the members of my family are recycling and they never have before. Even my grandkids at age 9 and 10, continuing it on the generations. My 13-year-old grandson gave a talk on recycling,” said IL resident Doris Wolff, another Green Team member.
“I am so proud of what our community has accomplished. Everyone seems to really be into the plastic recycling and are becoming more aware of how each piece matters to the whole and how everyone can do their part to make the world just a little greener and a little cleaner,” said Margaret.