Lebanon Valley Businesses Have a Green Heart

With Earth Day upon us, The Lebanon Valley Conservancy would like to highlight businesses and organizations doing great work to be stewards to our planet. By making one small environmentally-responsible step, we move closer to improved air quality, cleaner streams and a more sustainable Lebanon County.

Lebanon Transit

Lebanon Transit’s fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Buses have hit the road! CNG is an odorless, colorless, readily-available alternative to gasoline, and is an abundant American-Made energy source. In addition to being an abundant and lower cost fuel, CNG is also environmentally friendly and produces up to 29% less greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline and diesel vehicles. Lebanon Transit is proud to be operating CNG Buses that will provide significant fuel and maintenance savings, while helping to improve the air quality of Lebanon County. Find more information on the buses at lebanontransit.org.

Swatara Coffee Co.

Swatara Coffee Co. lessens the environmental impact of their coffee shop in three main ways: sourcing hyper-local products and services whenever possible, being intentional about the waste that is created, and managing outdoor areas. Through local and hyper-local sourcing, they help reduce the amount of packaging and fuel used in transportation and delivery, while contributing to the community’s economy. This summer, they plan to expand their garden and serve vegetables that are grown right at the shop. All of their take-out packaging is biodegradable, compostable and/or recyclable (including plastic bags and straws). They use rain barrels, feature a nationally-certified butterfly garden, and highlight native plants in the shop’s backyard area.

Gretna Theatre

Being America’s oldest summer theatre, Lebanon’s only professional theatre, and in an effort to do their part, Gretna Theatre has adopted eco-friendly administrative practices. The box office must print, on average, over 7,500 paper tickets for their patrons. They have committed to a ticket paper vendor who has received both SFI and FSC certification and all the paper-based and synthetic tickets are recyclable. They are investing money in new BOCA printers for our box office, which uses water-based, flexographic inks to minimize the environmental impact. Within the last two years, Gretna commissioned an original, world-premiere musical for their summer Kids Series about the importance of recycling. Designers now submit their sketches to the theater digitally. Gretna sells and rents its costume and set pieces to other theatres before they consider disposing of them. Now, they also first seek donated or reused materials for their sets and props before purchasing goods from a retailer. Their mission is dedicated to growing community and they hope their actions, in harmony with other local businesses, will help create more theatre and less waste for the Central PA community.

Quittapahilla Watershed Association

Founded in 1997, winner of the Governor’s Watershed Stewardship Award in 2001 and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts Watershed Protection Award in 2002, the non-profit Quittapahilla Watershed Association (QWA), in partnership with TLVC, has garnered more than $1 million in state grants to undertake stream restoration work in the highly impaired Quittapahilla watershed. Most recently, in 2018 the QWA and TLVC secured more than $300,000 in PA-DEP Sunoco Penalty Grants for design and permitting work on Beck and Snitz creeks. The QWA works in close alliance with the Lebanon County Stormwater Consortium, local municipalities, and other local non-profit organizations in the effort to reduce the amount of sediment and contaminants flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. It also works to raise public awareness about the importance of healthy waterways for the health and well-being of our local communities.

This Earth Day, we ask that you get started on some environmental initiatives of your own! Start a recycling program, reduce waste, collect rainwater, use native plants in your business landscaping, reduce paper waste, use less energy by turning down the thermostat, change to LED lighting, and even carpool to work. There are a million ways to be a leader in environmental stewardship at your business or organization. Have a green heart!

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