Archive for the 'environment' Category

Recycling 75 CRT monitors

monitor recycling

Last week we recycled 75 CRT monitors that were hanging out in our pole barn and IT basement, thanks to Recycling Jackson.

We recently upgraded most of our workstation monitors to flat-screen LCDs, which use less power and take up less space (both on desks and in the recycling bin), and use less materials to make than the heavy, glass-screen CRTs. But upgrading all those monitors meant we had a bunch of old ones hanging around.

Thankfully Recycling Jackson helps local organizations and individuals recycling electronic waste (e-waste) like ours. President Steve Noble (above) met us at their drop-off site on Brown St. in Jackson, behind Home Depot, to help us with our e-waste. There’s no telling how much all those monitors weigh, but it took a lot of gloved hands to get them in the recycling boxes.

American 1’s IT department also recycled some old fax machines and computer workstations, with more on the way.

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American 1 helps replace ash trees in Jackson

American 1 Federal Credit Union is helping to replace city trees with a hefty donation, covering the remainder of the balance left by a Consumers Energy donation.

American 1 is donating $1,947, the balance remaining from the city’s $4,445 cost of replacing ash trees struck down by the emerald ash borer. Consumers Energy gave the city a $2,498 grant to help replace 50 trees, the Jackson Citizen Patriot announced last week.

Hundreds of ash trees had to be removed from the city in recent years because of the invasive ash borer. Tom Steiger, superintendent of cemeteries, parks and forestry for the city of Jackson, is replacing the ash trees with a variety of other native trees.

Without the donations from Consumers Energy and American 1, the funds to plant the replacement trees would have come out of budgeted tax dollars.

“We have had budget cuts,” Steiger said, “so every little extra bit helps.”

Steiger will probably redirect the budgeted funds to cut down a few more ash trees and plant replacements.

“It frees up a few thousand dollars so I can do more things for the city,” he says.

Introducing: Receipts on demand

Receipts On Demand

Like many other businesses, American 1 is always looking to cut costs for our members, reduce waste, and leave less of an impact on the environment.

That’s why we’re excited to announce Receipts On Demand, a program that introduces both a new receipt and a new way of doing things.

For one, we’re no longer automatically printing receipts for our members for each transaction. If you come into a branch to manage your account, and you want a paper receipt, you will ask for one. Otherwise, we won’t print a receipt. Ask yourself: do you really need a printed receipt for your transaction? Sometimes you will, sometimes you won’t. We’ll assume, in most cases, that you won’t need a receipt.

Second, we’re launching new thermal receipts and printers at three of our branches – Home Office, Argyle, and Parnall – starting Monday. Those receipts you get when you pay for gas at the pump? They’re kind of like those. They’re smaller, lighter, and only one sheet – instead of the yellow-and-white sheets we used to have.

This new on-demand receipt system does many things, all of them good, including:

  • Save money on paper costs and waste
  • Reduce our environmental impact with smaller receipts AND less of them
  • Make most transactions faster, saving time
  • Reducing identity theft, since there’s less of a paper trail

While this on-demand receipt system is kicking off at three of our branches, we plan to install it credit-union-wide over the next few months.

So when you make a transaction at an American 1 branch, and we ask if you want a receipt, make sure you really think about it. For some members, a printed receipt helps them manage their money better.

But if it’s just going to end up in the trash, say “no thanks.”

Project: Zero Waste cleans up Jackson

Zero Waste - Welcome to Zero Waste

American 1’s Project: Zero Waste day was a hit.

Over the course of five hours on Saturday, April 18, we collected 57 televisions, 50 computer monitors, 55 flourescent tubes, 490 tires, 34 LP tanks, 240 gallons of motor oil, 5,000 lbs. of scrap metal, 506 lbs. of clothing, eight pieces of furniture, 170 lbs. of household items, 12 yards of cardboard, 10 yards of grass and clippings, and tons of paper, plastic, and glass. About 140 people came through the Jackson County Fairgrounds to participate.

Not bad for the first time, eh?

American 1 partnered up with area waste haulers and recyclers to help clean up Jackson the weekend before Earth Day. Lots of people asked if we were doing it again, and all we can say now is that we need to hear from more people. Would you find another Zero Waste day useful? Did it help? Was it affordable?

Be sure to check out more pictures on our Flickr site from the day, and let us know in the comments below what you thought of the first ever Project: Zero Waste.

Our Parnall Branch is recycling

rparnall1

I got an e-mail from Michelle over at Parnall, asking for advice on how to start a recycling program in her branch.

Now we’re talking.

Michelle is getting her staff involved in the process, and they’re looking for ways to reuse dishware and silverware, reduce the amount of waste they produce, and recycle whatever they can: paper, plastic, and cardboard.


rparnall2

As you can see, their initial effort is going strong. This is their makeshift recycling room, with paper, cardboard, and even some styrofoam ready to be recycled.

Nice job Parnall!


Plastic recycling a hit at Home Office



In just under one week, our new plastic recycling bin in the Home Office break room filled up.

I think it’s officially a hit.

A few straggler items, like plastic bags and cutlery, had to be pulled out – but otherwise, it’s nothing but plastic bottles and yogurt containers and water jugs. All of those could’ve gone to the trash, and then on to some landfill or incinerator somewhere. But not at American 1.


Savings trees, one stack of papers at a time



According to the National Recycling Coalition’s “Conversionator” (check the bottom of the page), American 1 is saving four trees a year just by recycling our Sunday editions of the Jackson Citizen Patriot. The rest of the weeks’ paper that gets recycled? We can probably double or triple that.

Do you recycle your newspaper? Why the heck not?