White Sands residents embrace environmental stewardship

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April 22, 2021 -- For more than a year, Carol Studebaker, Ken King, and about a dozen residents at White Sands La Jolla have embraced environmental stewardship through the resident-led Green Committee. With Earth Day 2021 celebrated today, their work is more important than ever.

“I think both Ken and I have a sense of devotion to the continuance of life on our planet,” said Studebaker, who added more than a billion people around the world participate in Earth Day activities each year and the committee’s goal is to help seniors find places that allow them to confront the ecological crisis we’re all a part of.

Inspired by former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s pledge in early 2020 to support the devastated monarch butterfly population, the committee purchased milkweed plants for residents to nurture on their patios. They’ve since released three hatches, or about 16 of the iconic black-and-orange butterflies.

“During COVID-19, it was a real spirit lifter,” said King, who has served as a docent at nearby Torrey Pines State Reserve for almost 20 years. “It’s a piece of nature to watch; we get a beautiful butterfly as a result and help address the bigger picture of continuance of a species.”

It isn’t just the monarchs committee members are dedicated to. They recently introduced an eyeglass/hearing aid recycling program sponsored by the local Lions Club; replaced takeout containers in dining services with a biodegradable, corn-based option; provide tips to residents on proper recycling; and are researching how residents can properly and safely dispose of prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs that are no longer needed. They have also offered to be a resource to other HumanGood communities to share information and expertise on how to start similar committees.


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