Green is Universal | Blog

Comcast NBCU Commits to Sustainability with New Telemundo Center

Comcast NBCUniversal works to reduce the environmental footprint of our facilities. Our buildings identify ways to improve efficiency in energy, water consumption and waste reduction through innovative design elements. The Telemundo Center, a new state-of-the-art global headquarters for Telemundo in Miami is one such example, rising to the challenge of building better.

The Telemundo Center’s 500,000 square-foot facility is built on 21 acres with studios for news, sports, entertainment, international and digital media all under a single roof. Moving from Hialeah, Florida, the guiding principle for the new headquarters’ conceptual design plan ensures the adoption of advanced sustainability standards and initiatives.  Among the main business practices promoted at the new facility are waste reduction methods that limit environmental impact and promote sustainability.

Here are some significant green initiatives being implemented throughout the new building:

Energy

  • “Think before you print”: A new digitalization and archiving policy to incentivize less printing and conserve paper, ink and electricity. Secure Printers that employees can access throughout the building also eliminate the need of additional individual printers.
  • Lighting and Energy Saving: The building uses 100% LED light to consume less electricity than incandescent or fluorescent lighting.  Each light can be controlled individually so they can be off when not in use and save additional power usage. Strategically placed skylights also allow for natural light throughout the building.
  • Cafeteria: Non-disposable silverware is provided to all employees. For takeout orders, eco-friendly packaging and cutlery are offered. No plastic utensils, mugs or straws are used. To promote further waste reduction, discounts are offered at the coffee bar for employees that use reusable mugs.

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Water

  • Water refilling stations: No plastic water bottles are sold in the building to eliminate waste. Instead, there are 4 water-refilling stations available on each floor. Each one monitors how many plastic bottles have been saved with every fill at the facility. This effort alone keeps an average of 443 plastic water bottles out of circulation daily which adds up to 115,180 bottles per year. To date, 20,241 plastic bottles of water have been eliminated thanks to these refilling stations alone.

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Waste and Recycling

  • Organic Waste: Establishing a clean desk etiquette, no organic waste is permitted in work areas. All organic waste is collected and disposed of in pantries or the cafeteria.
  • Trash and Recycling Bins: Clearly identified trash and recycle bins are located throughout Telemundo Center near the printing stations and pantries. There are no individual waste baskets in the offices or workstations.
  • Recycling Program: A robust recycling program promotes employee awareness and maximizes engagement on an ongoing basis to inspire habitual practices for employees’ homes and families.

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Transportation

  • Electric Car Charging Stations: There are 10 ChargePoint CT4000 series electric car-charging stations available, at cost, for all employees. Once cars are fully charged, a notification is sent via text/email advising the employee that the car is ready for pick-up.
  • Carpooling and Commuter Services: The Telemundo Center uses the RideFlag app. Employees submit their destination and find ideal carpool matches based on overlapping routes. Giving employees the choice on whom to ride with, the system seamlessly routes the driver to the rider. RideFlag also verifies the carpools, the miles that were driven and CO2 savings.

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Vendors

  • Eco-friendly Vendors: An essential element of Telemundo Center’s efforts is doing business with eco-friendly vendors that prioritize recyclable materials. A prime example is the dry-cleaning company that provides services for employees. They use biodegradable bags and environmentally friendly GreenEarth solvent.

Promoting sustainability is a full-time occupation. To support Telemundo Center’s sustainability initiatives, a dedicated Green Team drives all sustainability efforts within the building. The Green Team ensures implementation, progress and continues to find new ways to protect the environment and the future. The buildings where we work, live and play every day offer great opportunities to make our operations more sustainable, and Comcast NBCUniversal’s newest location at Telemundo Center is fully committed to that effort.

 

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Sustainable Filmmaking: Pitch Perfect 3

© Universal Pictures
© Universal Pictures

Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3, the next chapter in the beloved series that has taken in more than $400 million at the global box office. After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time. Pitch Perfect 3 is again produced by Paul Brooks of Gold Circle Entertainment and Max Handelman & Elizabeth Banks of Brownstone Productions, and is directed by Trish Sie (Step Up All In).

Filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, the Pitch Perfect 3 production team worked hard to implement practices to reduce their environmental impact. This started from the beginning in the production office, where they set up half a dozen water stations to reduce disposable water bottles, recycling bins throughout the office and at each staff member’s desk, and purchased 100% tree-free white copy paper made from sugarcane waste fiber.

When shooting on stages and at the Georgia Aquarium, the facilities provided power drops which reduced the need for generators. More than 50% of the lighting fixtures on some sets were LED, lowering energy consumption. To avoid using tropical hardwood Lauan plywood, the construction department used the more environmentally sustainable alternative Revolution Ply to build set walls.

The Pitch Perfect 3 crew made a conscious effort to donate to the community when possible, as well as repurposing materials to avoid waste. The construction team donated excess paint to the non-profit Global Paint for Charity as well as a local school theater. The production office donated excess paper to a local preschool, and donated furniture to the non-profit Women of Gilgal. The Universal assets team was able to re-purpose over 125 linear feet of set walls and materials to other local productions, and donated over 12,300 lbs of lumber and set building materials to the non-profit Lifecycle Building Center. Catering donated 5,140 lbs of excess food to Women of Gilgal and the Atlanta Mission, which equates to 4,280 meals served to the hungry. These practices and more contributed to Pitch Perfect 3 receiving a 2017 EMA Green Seal.

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Sustainable Filmmaking: Darkest Hour (2017)

 

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© Focus Features

A thrilling and inspiring true story begins at the precipice of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Filmed primarily in London and Yorkshire, the Darkest Hour team implemented sustainable production practices to reduce their environmental impact. Offices were set up to minimize waste. Best practices included recycling, plumbed in water coolers, and replacing disposable food service products with washable glasses, dishes, and cutlery. On set, reusable bottles were supplied to crew on Day 1 of the shoot to cut down on plastic water bottle waste. This resulted in cast and crew using approximately 11,000 less water bottles than other productions of this size. As a period drama, nearly all set dressing and props were obtained second hand, reducing the need to purchase new. When building sets, the construction team utilized sustainable building materials such as FSC Certified Plywood.

In wrap, sets from the film’s “War Rooms” found a second life on the RMS Queen Mary, where they will be transformed into a restaurant. Set Dressing and production supplies such as shelving and furniture were donated to three local non-profits: Shelter (housing assistance,) Dad’s House (food bank), and the British Heart FoundationDarkest Hour received a 2017 EMA Green Seal, recognizing its sustainable efforts in production.

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Cool Planet Award Honors NBCUniversal

Today, NBCUniversal was honored with the Cool Planet Award-Media Sector by The Climate Registry and Southern California Edison. According to The Climate Registry, the award “recognizes the valuable contribution of Southern California Edison business customers who demonstrate exemplary leadership in energy and carbon management.”

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The award was given for fifteen energy efficiency projects at Universal Studios from 2014 to 2017. Those projects include LED lighting installation in broadcast studios, LED lighting improvements at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, and retrofitted central plants among others. The projects submitted for the Cool Planet Award are now saving the company approximately 6.2 million kWH annually.

“California continues to demonstrate that carbon emissions can be decoupled from economic growth. The Cool Planet Award recognizes businesses that incorporate sustainability into their long term plans,” said Ann McCabe, Interim Executive Director of The Climate Registry. “The Award recipients demonstrated a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint by working alongside SCE in order to manage their energy use.”

The awards ceremony and luncheon took place at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, CA. For more information, please visit www.theclimateregistry.org

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Sustainable Filmmaking: The Snowman (2017)

Universal Pictures and Focus Features are committed to reducing the environmental impact from filmmaking activities. To assist in this effort, NBCUniversal developed a Sustainable Production Program which empowers our film divisions to integrate sustainable best practices across their productions.

At the foundation of the program are easy to use infographics which illustrate sustainable production best practices. These practices span across all production operations and equip filmmakers and crewmembers with the tools to take action and reduce impact. To view the infographics and learn more about our sustainability program, click here.

Read on for examples of how our film crews have integrated environmental action into their everyday work:

The Snowman, October 20, 2017

© Universal Pictures .                                                                                                                      ©Universal Pictures

Michael Fassbender (X-Men series), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence), Val Kilmer (Heat) and Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) star in The Snowman, a terrifying thriller from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller.

When an elite crime squad’s lead detective (Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

One of the largest productions to be filmed in Norway, The Snowman introduced sustainable production practices to the local film community. The production earned qualification points towards the Norway Film Incentive through the implementation of this sustainability strategy. Going beyond standard practices in Norway, the production partnered with the local city council to provide reusable water bottles to crew and coordinate location recycling pickups.

Additionally, the construction team incorporated existing materials to create the look and feel of the film. Sets were built with more sustainable options such as birch, poplar and OSB. In wrap, a large portion of their materials were sold to local art schools to avoid disposal. The Snowman implemented energy efficient practices including LED set lighting, tying into the grid to avoid diesel generators, and utilizing trailers with solar panels. The production office donated leftover paper to local kindergartens and the Red Cross. These practices and more earned The Snowman a 2016 EMA Green Seal, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices.

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Reducing Waste at Global Citizen Festival

Plastic water bottles are turning music festival grounds into a mass synthetic graveyard. According to Rolling Stone, the 2015 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival with 90,000 attendees in Tennessee, produced more than 679 tons of waste of four days. That is equivalent to around 169 tons of waste per day that is produced at the pace of 7 tons an hour. Most of the waste produced comes from plastic water bottles. Since the 50’s, humans have produced more than 18 trillion pounds of plastic. A burden so heavy, that it’s only matched by the volume of 25,000 Empire State Buildings. Whew!

Attendees filling up their bottles

On September 23rd, MSNBC and ComcastNBCUniversal joined forces with our partner Global Citizen at their annual Global Citizen Festival, starting a conversation on the importance of sustainability and water access for people around the world. Artists including Stevie Wonder, Green Day, Demi Lovato and Pharrell took a stance, lending their celebrity to solutions that can help end extreme poverty and provide clean drinking water for all.

 

On this particularly warm summer day in New York City, MSNBC and Comcast NBCUniversal set up multiple water stations around the main stage in Central Park. Volunteers distributed re-fillable water bottles and filled the compostable cups of thirsty festivalgoers. With more than 60,000 attendees, this effort shined a light on the abundance of plastic water bottles amassed at music festivals and large gatherings. By filling reusable bottles, we highlighted some important facts about drinking water and the necessity for access to clean drinking water for all.

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MSNBC and Comcast NBCUniversal continue to partner with pro-social organizations like Global Citizen to bring positive change in our communities. Missed Global Citizen Festival? Continue the conversation and catch-up on all the highlights http://www.nbcnews.com/globalcitizen.

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NBCUniversal Leads Sustainable Production at the 2017 EMA Awards

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(Clockwise from top: Universal Pictures’ “Pitch Perfect 3,” USA’s “Mr. Robot,” Focus Features’ “Darkest Hour,” and NBC’s “Chicago P.D.” were recognized at the 2017 Environmental Media Awards)

NBCUniversal had a record-setting year at the 27th Annual Environmental Media Awards, continuing to demonstrate its leadership in sustainable production.

EMA Green and Gold Seals were awarded to thirty-five NBCUniversal television and feature film productions, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices. This is the third year in a row NBCUniversal has received the most EMA Green Seals of any producing studio. Twelve of the acknowledgments were EMA Gold Seals, recognizing the top performing productions based on a new comprehensive sustainable production scorecard.

Below is a complete list of the NBCUniversal 2017 EMA Green and Gold Seal recipients. Check out the Green is Universal Film and TV pages to learn how NBCUniversal’s filmmakers and crewmembers are reducing their environmental impact.

  • Universal Pictures: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom* and Pitch Perfect 3
  • Focus Features: Darkest Hour, The Beguiled, and Victoria & Abdul
  • Universal Television: Bates Motel, Brooklyn Nine-Nine*, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice*, Chicago Med, Chicago P.D.*, Gone, Great News, Grimm*, Gypsy, Law & Order: SVU, Marlon, Master of None*, Midnight Texas, Pure Genius, Shades of Blue*, Superstore, The Bold Type, The Good Place, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt*
  • Universal Cable Productions: 12 Monkeys*, Channel Zero: No End House, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce*, Mr. Robot*, Playing House, Psych: The Movie, Suits, The Arrangement, The Magicians*, and The Sinner

*EMA Gold Seal winners

In addition, The Path was recognized for its environmental messaging on screen. It was one of four shows to be nominated for an EMA Award in the Television Episodic Drama Category. The episode “The Father and The Son”, written by Julia Brownell and directed by Michael Slovis, tackled the important issue of water quality. The Path is produced by Universal Television and distributed by Hulu.

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(The award ceremony was hosted by Jaden Smith, an EMA board member. Natalie Portman and Russell Simmons were among the recipients of awards for their commitment to environmental activism. | Photo credit to Environmental Media Association)

 

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Sustainable Filmmaking: Victoria & Abdul (2017)

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© Focus Features

The Focus Features film Victoria & Abdul tells the true story of the amazing and unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria (Academy Award® winner Judi Dench) and a young clerk, Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), who becomes her teacher, her spiritual advisor, and her devoted friend in the later years of her life.  In 1887, Abdul travels from India to present a ceremonial medal as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee but surprisingly finds favor with the elderly Queen. The unlikely relationship causes a battle royale within the royal household, pitting the Queen against court and family. Victoria & Abdul explores questions of race, religion, power, and the farce of Empire through the prism of an unusual and moving friendship.

While filming primarily in the United Kingdom, the Victoria & Abdul team worked hard to reduce their environmental impact whenever possible. A large portion of the LED set lighting used on location was battery powered in an effort to reduce generator use. To limit plastic water bottles, reusable bottles were purchased for office and shooting crew to refill at the water coolers placed around set. Most paperwork was able to be distributed digitally, but for items printed they used a majority of 100% white recycled content paper.  Since Victoria & Abdul is a period piece, 90% of set dressing, props, and costumes were rented instead of purchased, which helped in their efforts to practice reuse. In many locations, the production utilized existing set dressing and had minimal need for the construction department to build from scratch.

The caterers on Victoria & Abdul sourced local produce to integrate into their menu. They also avoided using red meat on their menu several days of the week, reducing carbon emissions related to crew meals. The art department kept all leftover materials, fabrics and trimmings that were used to upholster furniture and sold them to another production. During wrap, many items were donated to the local RSPCA charity shop. All leftover color paper was donated to a children’s nursery.

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Sustainably Dancing the Night Away

Fall is not the only season beginning in the month of September. Ballet, along with many other dance companies are preparing for a new season of performances and concerts for fall 2017. To our surprise, some of these companies are taking the initiative to use their stage to inform others about sustainability and the importance of conserving the use of natural resources. One in particular has taken the initiative by storm –The Long Center in Austin, Texas. The Long Center is Austin’s only live performing arts center to embrace and emphasize local talent and art, with over 80% of performances coming from local artists. The Long Center has something for everyone—from ballet, symphony, and opera to Shakespeare, tap dance, musical theatre and outdoor concerts. Here are a few ways The Long Center takes center stage to make dance an environmentally aware, interactive and sustainable experience.

Recycling

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(Courtesy of the Long Center)

The Long Center is home to a wide range of performances and rehearsals including ballet, symphony, opera, musicals, and outdoor performances. During the time of its construction the performance center recycled an astounding 95% of the 44 million pounds of construction materials used from their former performance building, Palmer Auditorium.

One of the best examples of their commitment to recycling is the repurposed aluminum panels. These panels, which initially formed the Palmer roof, are currently used for internal and external finishes of the Long Center. The panels on the exterior of Dell Hall (part of the Long Center campus) along with the inside of elevators are also repurposed from that very rooftop.

The exterior of the performance center also embraces the importance of sustainability. Serving as a recreational area, the Butler Park hill and fountain are constructed and filled with excess dirt “excavated” for Dell Hall. In addition, the Palmer Auditorium’s former roof support structure currently serves as the “ring” that gives Long Center its very unique appearance.

Environment & Energy

(Courtesy of the Long Center)

(Courtesy of the Long Center)

The Long Center doesn’t stop with their central building—they also carefully implemented environmental and energy related initiatives at their property. The property lawns and plant beds are created by non-potable water from the local Lady Bird Lake.

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The performance center is the only live entertainment venue in the city of Austin with a LEED accredited advisor on staff to thoroughly analyze the continuation of the facility’s energy efficiency. For example all light bulbs have been replaced with LED bulbs saving approximately 226,000 kilowatt hours of energy.

Whether you are a veteran in the performing arts, a beginner, or simply someone who has an appreciation for performances, The Long Center creates a place for all to enjoy the arts in a sustainable way.

Sustainability at NBCUniversal

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Here at NBCUniversal, we definitely have an appreciation for the performing arts—especially when it comes to using our facilities that host performances in an eco-friendly way. Using great opportunities, we work, live and play every day to make our operations more sustainable.

Rockefeller Center is known for holding a wide range of performances as well—from daily live-to-tape late night shows to seasonal outdoor performances for the Today Show Plaza experience. These performances take place on a property that embraces sustainable practices.

To reduce the impact of our workplaces on the environment, we work to lessen the footprint of our facilities by improving efficiency in energy and water consumption, reducing waste and implementing new design elements. 30 Rockefeller Plaza currently utilizes a single stream recycling plan which mixes metal, glass, plastic and paper to be sorted off site at a recycling facility.

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A number of our facilities also use the latest in lighting efficiencies, including advanced automated controls that have motion, occupancy, temperature and ambient daylight capabilities. Many of our offices are participating in rideshare programs. New York Tristate offices offer an intra-facility shuttle bus service between various New York and New Jersey facilities to reduce the number of individual cars on the road and eliminate the emissions created by commuting.

We are always learning of new ways of how to incorporate more sustainable habits in our everyday practices. This season, as you prepare to visit your favorite theatre or venue watch a performance, be sure to find out how they’re doing their part to make our planet a greener place. For more information on how NBCUniversal is taking the initiative be green, visit our Facilities page at www.GreenIsUniversal.com/earn/about-us/facilities/.

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It’s a Good Time to “Be Kind”

Treat others as you would like to be treated—a simple reminder that we are told at a young age. However, it does not always carry over into our day-to-day activities. Yesterday marked the start of the annual ‘Be Kind to Human Kind’ week, a week long initiative encouraging others to display acts of kindness to one another. Being kind is something we strive for on a daily basis, but what if we began to include the environment around us as a recipient of our compassion? Take a look at how you can kindly be green.

 

Sunday

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Sacrifice Our Wants For Other’s Needs Sunday is normally recognized as doing something for someone else in need. It’s about helping others find a little extra support. We can do the same for our environment and ecosystem. Flowers and plants, believe it or not, need our assistance. When they don’t receive the proper amount of sunlight and water to flourish and produce pollen and nectar, they become brittle and dry. If you’re passing by a plant at work or home and you realize it needs a little extra attention, make a small gesture and move it towards the  sunlight or pour a generous amount of water in its pot.

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Lending a helping hand to greenery does not need to be limited to flowers and small plants. When strolling through public spaces, you can easily spot improperly discarded cigarettes, plastic cups and wrappers around greenery. This is especially true for areas that do not have proper waste management resources. You can help, even if Sunday has already passed. If you see debris lying around, take the initiative to pick up a few items. If everyone does their part, our green spaces can be cleaner, greener and healthier.

 

Monday

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In 2015, 5,376 pedestrians and 818 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles. For Motorist Consideration Monday, is named to show patience towards others while traveling. When living in a congested city, you can spot all sorts of travelers. Pedestrians, bicycles and cars, all are trying to get to a destination. Drivers can support cyclists and pedestrians by making plenty of room for them when they are crossing, and by being courteous and avoiding tailgating. While using a more sustainable way of traveling, cyclist and pedestrians can also contribute by obeying the rules of the road and only crossing when prompted. As simple as it seems, being kind and patient on the road serves as a good practice—decreasing stress and making the road a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.

 

Wednesday

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According to OneGreenPlanet.org, there aren’t any government agencies that are responsible for cleaning trash from rivers—it will usually only happen if a community gets involved. “As many as 2 million seabirds are killed every year due to debris ingestion and entanglement. Another 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from the same cause.” Willing To Lend A Hand Wednesday is designed to offer your time, help or advice. The amount that you give does not have to be grand, even the smallest effort is recognized and helps.

So how can you offer your help or advice to our marine life? Simple; roll up your sleeves and start looking through hundreds of environmental volunteer opportunities across the country. These include, volunteering for a local marine conservation or spending quality time cleaning a local river. If you’re aware of information to improve the environment, try to relay your knowledge to your local community centers, it can make a tremendous impact.

 

Thursday

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Thoughtful Thursday is the time to be mindful of those around you at home, work and in public who may have a concern you’re unaware of. A great way to boost someone’s overall mood is by offering a small green plant. According to GetNiwa.com, being around plants itself can help you be more energetic and productive. Natural environments induce a positive outlook on life, making people feel more alive and active. It also increases the feeling of vitality; boosting energy levels which results in an improved state of mind.

These were just a few ways you can share kindness with the environment; however there are plenty of new and creative ways you can offer a kind gesture to your community and ecosystem daily. Being kind can be infectious—so, invite a friend and spread the love.

 

How We Share Kindness

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Each year Comcast NBCUniversal holds Comcast Cares Day. Tens of thousands of our employees, their friends and families, along with our nonprofit partners join together to make change happen in our communities and celebrate our company culture of caring year round. This year marked our 16th year celebrating Comcast Cares Day. We hosted more than 100,000 volunteers, improving 1,000 project sites at community centers, schools, gardens, parks, beaches, and more, throughout the U.S. and in 20 other countries. Mark your calendars for next year’s Comcast Care’s Day on April 21st, 2018. For more information please visit ComcastInTheCommunity.com.

 

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