Heidi Duncanson | Development and Communications Coordinator
When you’re a science center focused on keeping the ocean clean and “blue,” what do you call your committee focused on “green” initiatives? We call it the Teal Team, because what happens on land makes a direct impact on ocean health!
Our Teal Team is made up of six staff members from different departments, all of whom want to find ways for the Center to be as ecologically responsible as possible. Current Teal Team members include Laura Bahl, Henry Burke, Jeremy LeClair, Sarah Toupin, Allan Waterfield and Andrew Weaver.
Here are some of the actions the Teal Team has taken to reduce the Center’s impact on the environment:
- Installed LED bulbs and energy-saving water pumps in our Gulf of Maine exhibit tanks
- Installed hand dryers in all restrooms to eliminate use of paper towels
- Put all aquarium lighting on a timer for optimal use
- Contracted for a single-stream recycling dumpster for the Center to make recycling simpler
- Arranged for recycling/composting/trash stations at all of our on-site events
- Set up water bottle filling stations at our Rescue Run to reduce single-use plastic bottle use
- Posted signs on all light switches in the building to remind people to turn off lights when not in use
- Recycle all batteries, ink cartridges and light bulbs used at SSC
- Put out reusable dish cloths and hand towels in SSC kitchen to reduce paper towel waste
The team’s newest initiative was to install water bottle filling stations at both of the Center’s water fountains this winter. They provide a convenient way for visitors and staff to fill up their re-usable water bottles, and will discourage the use of single-serve plastic water bottles. A digital counter at each station displays how many plastic water bottles have been saved based on how many times bottles have been re-filled. With hundreds of campers and 80,000+ visitors in the building each year, we know these water bottle filling stations will get lots of use.
As an additional way to promote the use of reusable bottles, SSC has custom-designed 24-ounce Nalgene bottles featuring sea creatures for the Center’s 25th anniversary year. These bottles are on sale in the Nature Store for $15 each, and every purchase supports the ocean education efforts of the Seacoast Science Center.