by Lynn Batten, Publicity and Gallery Manager
“Tikkun Olam” is a Hebrew phrase that translates to “repairing the world.” This simple phrase holds a powerful meaning, suggesting that humanity has a shared responsibility to heal, fix and transform the earth on which we live. Here at the JCC, we continue to take steps that fulfill this responsibility by creating an energy efficient “green” campus.
As part of this movement, we are proud to announce initiatives that will help us work at “tikkun olam.”
1. Reducing Paper Use and Increasing Paper Recycling. Our quarterly newsletter, the JCC Centerpiece, is now an online publication. The Centerpiece will no longer be mailed. Instead, it will be available for download off of our website, www.jccomaha.org. Limited printed copies of the Centerpiece will be available at the Member Services Desk. In addition, we continue to recycle paper in our offices.
2. Recycling Plastic Bottles and Encouraging Use of Reusable Bottles. We are placing new recycling bins, specifically for plastic bottles, near vending machines on campus. Please take advantage of this service by placing your EMPTY water and soda bottles in the bins. We’ve also recently installed a new water bottle filling station in the JCC Fitness Center. This new station greatly reduces our dependency on plastic water bottles, reducing our post-consumer waste. We encourage you to bring your own reusable water bottle when you come to work out. If you don’t have a reusable bottle, you can always purchase one from Member Services for $10.
3. Saving Electricity Through Reduced Energy Consumption. The towel service we offer at the JCC Pools, Health Spas, Locker Rooms, and Fitness Center is a feature we pride ourselves on. This service, however, requires energy to complete. As part of our “green” initiative we replaced the electric dryers in our laundry room with natural gas-powered dryers. The generation of natural gas power generally produces half as much carbon dioxide emissions than that of its coal powered electric counterpart. In addition, we anticipate that we will see a 75% saving in energy cost because of this change. Beyond the laundry room, we are installing energy efficient features such as lighting fixtures and bulbs.
4. Replenish and Reconnect With the Earth. Our campus has beautiful grounds for our Members to explore and enjoy. We host the Harold and Linda Mann Frohm Foundation Community Garden site, which provides hands-on education to community youth and those who wish to reconnect with the land through gardening. In addition, our Grounds & Maintenance Staff uses all of our lawn clippings and tree debris as mulch for future use on the campus.
As we move ahead in making our campus a “green” facility, we look forward to your participation and support. Together our small, yet collective, actions will truly make a difference in “tikkun olam.”