Green is Universal | Recycling


Turning Crafts into Compost

How one year, a lot of hard work and enthusiastic employees have helped NBCUniversal become a littler greener.

Roughly 28 tons of waste has been diverted from the landfill over the past year at Universal City, thanks in large part to a group that hasn’t even turned six years old.

As part of NBCUniversal’s cross company sustainability initiative, Green is Universal, the Universal Studios Child Care Center, managed by Bright Horizons, has embarked on a reduce, reuse and recycle program, which coupled with an offsite composting operation, has resulted in the recycling or reuse of 90% of its waste.

Throughout the year, the administration, teachers and children have been reducing what they throw away, reusing what they can and separating the food and other compostable products like arts and craft paper from other waste once they are finished. Containers and packaging are finding new life as elements of the play and learning are invented for what was once trash. Real cups, plates, bowls and flatware are used where possible instead of disposable items creating more waste.

Administrative Director Carolyn Sanders said, “Going ‘green’ is a natural concept for children to grasp – they are naturally curious, want to help and love the outdoors. With their appreciation for how things grow and where things come from, introducing the practice of composting and recycling to reduce waste by using the motto ‘If it was once a plant, it belongs in this bin,’ was something the teachers could do easily. We have a lot of passion around this topic, so with Administration’s support, both the teachers and children embraced it immediately.”

The waste vendor Crown Disposal, already serving comprehensive food waste diversion program across Universal City, facilitates the composting part of the process along with Max Liles, whose son attends the childcare center. Liles, the Director of Environmental Affairs as part of NBCUniversal’s Environmental Health & Safety department said, “It was sort of a eureka moment when I realized that with a few adjustments, the center’s waste could meet the composting criteria. And then when I met with the center to introduce the idea and saw all the other sustainable practices they’d already implemented, I knew we were onto something substantial.”

All this effort and awareness then comes full circle when everyone sees how the certified compost returns and helps nourish and grow the plants that are all around the center.

Photographed by Moses Sparks. Scraping food to be composted is a daily part of the routine at the NBCUniversal Universal City childcare center

Photographed by Moses Sparks. NBCUniversal's childcare center recycles

Photographed by Moses Sparks. The children use the certified compost from their food and paper waste to feed the plants.


NBCUniversal #5 in Computer World’s “Top Green IT Organizations”

Computerworld‘s top 12 green-IT organizations were chosen from a group of 70 applicants, each striving to find new ways to reduce energy consumption in their IT equipment and use technology to lower energy use elsewhere in their operations.

In fact, these organizations have woven energy-saving initiatives into the very fabric of their IT strategies. They are tapping the collective brainpower of their IT staffs to capitalize on existing technologies such as virtualization, telepresence and solar arrays while seeking out new methods to better control their carbon footprints.

NBC Universal CIO Christopher Furst may have said it best: “It’s hard work. There’s no silver bullet. It’s something you have to work on every day.”

To read the entire article, click here. To jump directly to NBCUniversal’s piece, click here.


The Story of Stuff

By Nicole Walters,

Have you ever been to your grandmother’s house and seen kitchen appliances that she bought in the 50s that are still kicking?  And what’s more, they don’t seem like they are going anywhere too quickly.  After I bought my own home a few years ago and started buying newer versions of these appliances I couldn’t help but notice the difference between what I was buying and what I had seen growing up with Grandma.  I kind of assumed that since my products had been outsourced to developing countries so that I could buy them cheaper, that was the reason and left it at that.

Well, Annie Leonard couldn’t leave it at that. She has spent the last 10 years researching the materials economy – the life cycle of all of our stuff – and created this short web-based documentary.  If you’ve got the 20 minutes, it’s a fountain of real eye opening information.


What’s the Hex Code for Green?

By Dana J. Robinson, NBC Universal

If you don’t know what a hex code is, don’t sweat it – there are plenty of other ways for you to go green online! There are tons of ways to be proactive about saving the environment conveniently located on the web, which means you don’t have to leave the house to participate. (Added bonus: you’re also reducing your carbon footprint by not driving anywhere…win/win!)

My Baby Tree

The Indonesian rain forests are disappearing at an alarming rate, thanks to factors such as the country’s massive rubber and palm oil industries. According to the site, forest the size of 6 football fields is destroyed illegally. People and animals, both in Borneo and around the world, need these forests in order to thrive. For a small donation, you can pay for a new tree to be planted…but it doesn’t end there! You get to watch your tree grow up right before your eyes (and from the comfort of that sofa you’re probably still on… ahem!)



Green Screens Recycling Event Coming to NYC, Volunteers Needed


On America Recycles Day, help clean up NYC and make electronics waste history!

NBC Universal and the City of New York are teaming up to create “Green
“, a FREE two-day Electronics Recycling Collection in all five

Saturday and Sunday, November 15 – 16 from 8 am to 2 pm, bring your unwanted computers, TVs, cell phones, radios,
cameras, VCRs and other electronics for drop off at any of the locations
listed after the jump.

We need YOU! Please volunteer to help make this event a success.



Green Screens End of Week Update

By Susanne Sonderhoff, Marketing Manager, HP Social, Environmental Responsibility

I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone in New York and around the country that has come out during Earth Week 2008 to responsibly dispose of their old electronics. While there are many industries that have a very obvious impact on the environment, technology is not typically the first that comes to mind since the production and use of technology products doesn’t directly involve carving holes into the earth,
felling trees, or using up excessive amounts of water. So why are tech companies
taking environmental issues so seriously?



Green Screens Sunday Update

By Dan Estabrook,

I spent yesterday beginning the process of “greening” the NBC Universal Corporate Mailroom at 30 Rockefeller Plaza by eliminating the company’s junk mail. If you don’t know about GreenDimes, we are the trusted leaders in eliminating junk mail for consumers. When you purchase our full service reduction service, we also plant 5 trees to help offset the waste even more. You can find out more at

GreenDimes is working with NBC Universal during Earth Week to promote junk mail elimination. If you visit the NBC Experience Store, you will find a kiosk where you can order our service. The windows at Rockefeller Center are decorated with junk mail exhibits and it was amazing to see the GreenDimes logo in the middle of it all. The whole display is eye-catching and very cool.

I arrived to the mailroom to find 17 boxes filled to the brim with junk sent to NBC over three days last week. I expected volumes, but I was shocked to find over 1,000 pounds of junk mail. Over an average week, that works out to just over 2,100 pounds (assuming not so much comes in on weekends). Per day, it equals 300 pounds (as much as the average household receives in one year, based on our data). That’s three entire trees!



Green Screens Sunday Update

The second and final collection day of green screens was an even bigger hit than Saturday.  At almost every location, collection numbers were larger.  Check out the widget below.  Previous means Saturday, November 15th and Current means today, Sunday, November 16th.  Yes, that’s 206,000 lbs. collected just today!  For a total New York City collection of 359,000 pounds of electronic waste this weekend.  What a wonderful way to kick off Green Week!

Again, I want to thank all of the New Yorkers who turned out in the thousands this weekend to recycle your electronic waste responsibly.  I worked at the Queens location and we saw some folks come back up to three times.  Every time with a smile and appreciation that we were offering this event.  A lot of people also asked when we would do this again.  So check back at often for updates on our next event.


Green Screens Recycling Event: Full List of Accepted Materials


This year’s Green Screens Recycling Event will take place in each of the 5 Boroughs of New York City November 15-16 from 8am-2pm.

Our recycling collection partner, Electronic Recyclers International, can be reached at 1-800-RECYCLING for any questions.

The following is a full list of the materials they will and will not accept during the recycling event.



Little Things Make a Big Difference

By Carl Eckersley, Manager, Personal System Group Product Stewardship

I consider myself very fortunate and I am proud to work for a company that has valued corporate citizenship for over 50 years, caring for the environment and caring for others is part of who we are at HP. Even if your company doesn’t have a history of environmental responsibility, it’s never too late to get started. There are lots of simple things that any employee at any company can do to help reduce the impact of their workplace on the environment.

To get started, take a look at power use in the office. As an individual, you can ensure your PC always has power management features enabled, which will put it in “sleep” mode after a short period of inactivity. Some PCs, like those from HP, are built with energy-efficient features and ship with power management enabled, so looking for those types of features is always the energy smart choice when purchasing new equipment.



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