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Earth Day at 50

SynTerra celebrates Earth Day, every day.

By Chris Haire (Posted April 21, 2020):

The smog over Los Angeles has disappeared, the world-famous canals of Venice are clear once again, and air pollution in the American Northeast has decreased by 30 percent. Each one of these is an example of how quickly the environment has changed since COVID-19 sent most of the world into a quarantine.

While some say this is a vision of what the world would be like without us, others say this is an indication of what the world might one day be like thanks to technological advances and changes in behavior. In many ways, this is the promise of Earth Day.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, our annual reminder that this is the only planet we’ve got and that we need to take care of it.

“The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day reminds me of a few experiences that shaped my life and career,” says Dr. Matt Huddleston, environmental toxicologist, and SynTerra natural resources program director.

“I’m sure many of you remember the Keep America Beautiful television commercial of the early 1970s featuring actor Iron Eyes Cody. The commercial stirred something in me, and yes, I had the t-shirt,” Matt adds. “Thankfully, Kentucky’s Green River of my youth looked nothing like the TV commercial depictions, and I was determined to keep it that way.”

This steely resolve led Matt to the career he has today at SynTerra.

“As I got older, I knew that protecting the rivers and forests would somehow play prominently in my career. During one of many lively discussions with my father, he said that if I work with water, I’ll always have something to do. How right he was,” Matt says. “So, on this 50th celebration, I say thank you, Mother Nature, SynTerra, and, of course, Dad.”

In addition to being a celebration of the pale blue dot we call home, Earth Day is a call to all of us to add environmentally healthy practices to our everyday lives. Those efforts can be big or small — it doesn’t matter because every little bit helps.

Here at SynTerra, the staff contributes in a variety of ways.

home garden

Lawyer’s garden that uses compost made in her worm farm.

For SynTerra’s president, Mark Taylor, that means compositing, thermostat control, installing thermally efficient windows, and recycling, which, he adds, is “vitally important” since “recycled paper is a raw material for many of the paper mills we support.” Mark also owns both a hybrid and an all-electric vehicle.

Meanwhile, SynTerra HR Generalist Maris Lawyer uses a worm farm to compost, and SynTerra Marketing Coordinator Briana Carr uses reusable shopping bags, reusable sandwich bags, and metal reusable straws.

As for Katherine Amidon, local and regional market leader for SynTerra, her household uses reusable bags composts and recycles, and she sets her thermostat to optimize heating and cooling when they are not at home.

While SynTerra recycles and composts in our offices, we are proud to have so many team members who recycle and compost at home. Carmen Wyatt, GIS analyst, combines recycling and composting by creating an indoor recycle garden for starting seeds that will planted in raised gardens.


To learn more about what you can do to help the environment, visit the official Earth Day site.