The Rapidian

A Watershed Moment: Sustainability at Pilgrim Manor

The sustainability manager at Pilgrim Manor discusses why sustainability is important to staff and residents in this northeast Grand Rapids retirement community.
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A Watershed Moment

“A Watershed Moment” is a weekly radio program focused on environmental news and happenings in West Michigan, plus solutions for living a greener life.  Broadcast on WYCE-FM 88.1 on Tuesdays at 8:30am and 5:30pm, this program is produced by Grand Rapids Community Media  Center and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

On this episode of A Watershed Moment, we hear from Carol Parsaca, Sustainability Manager for the Pilgrim Manor Retirement Community on Grand Rapids' northeast side.

Parsaca leads the organization and its residents in practices that encourage high quality of life through sustainable living. Energy and waste management, communication and education are all integral parts of the sustainability program.

Both residents and staff at Pilgrim Manor seek sustainability in all areas of the community through classes and projects that teach "greener" living. A quarterly newsletter, The Manor Tree,  offers information on current environmental issues, tips for "green" living and news about new sustainability projects happening within the Manor.

Pilgrim Manor strives to make environmentally-conscious decisions in order to reduce the ecological footprint in the community and to cut overhead costs. In 2007, Pilgrim Manor saved $12,000 in annual energy costs simply by switching to fluorescent light bulbs.

Pilgrim Manor is a zero stormwater-discharge site. The retirement home features rain gardens and a permeable parking lot to capture the rain where it falls. Thus, Pilgrim Manor does not contribute to the leading source of water pollution in West Michigan, stormwater runoff.

The retirement community also runs a "take back meds" program. Take Back Your Medications programs safely disposes of unused or expired medications so that powerful prescription medications cannot be abused or assist in accidental poisonings. This program disposes of medications in a way that does not harm the environment or pollute our drinking water .

For more information, visit the Pilgrim Manor Sustainability page.

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