Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. EPA is also turning 40 this year. Around the same time that these entities came into being, landmark legislation was enacted in response to environmental concerns. The Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act are the two most obvious examples.

As usual, community activities are taking place across the country to commemorate and engage in environmental stewardship. To get involved in an event near you, check out EPA’s Earth Day Events website here.

As a former Governmental Affairs intern at the conservation organization Ducks Unlimited, anything related to environmental issues always peaks my interest. That’s how I ended up at NEMA. I work for the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), a not-for-profit located within NEMA’s offices that facilitates the recycling of mercury-containing thermostats. TRC was voluntarily founded in 1998 by Honeywell, GE, and White-Rogers and now has nearly 30 members who historically made mercury-containing thermostats. To date, TRC has recovered over 4 tons of mercury and almost 1 million thermostats.

TRC isn’t the only environmentally friendly project going on around here at NEMA.

In 2006, NEMA issued a “Call to Action” to eliminate hazardous substances in many NEMA member products by July 2010. Check out the full document is here.

In 2007, NEMA was named in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to participate in the efforts to enhance the productivity, efficiency, and sustainability of the electrical grid. I found this explanation for consumers on the Smart Grid informative. Check out the document here. Smart Grid development continues to be one of NEMA’s main foci, as we work to facilitate more energy efficient technologies.

NEMA’s work in Environmental Stewardship is ongoing, and more details can be found on our website’s Environmental Stewardship page.

I’m looking forward to checking out the events happening on the National Mall this weekend and seeing the National Sustainable Design Expo, which will showcase the best new green technologies and alternative energy designs from more than 40 college teams.

Happy Earth Day!


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