Happy Earth Day from Lantana

Written by Dani Robinson-Holland

In recognition of Earth Day on April 22, Lantana explored ways to contribute to environmental responsibility as individuals and as a company. For this year’s Earth Day theme—“Planets vs. Plastic”—our environmental interest group, greenLantana, had a spirited conversation about our favorite alternatives to single use items, services that reduce plastic waste, and sustainable solutions for everyday problems. In this blog we reflect on our choices to reduce plastic usage and share ideas for improving our habits.

Why This Matters to Lantana

Lantana is a health information technology company, so we pay attention to the consequences of climate change on public health and safety. Our work with public health, payer, provider, and vendor organizations provides insight into the effects of climate change on our healthcare systems. Climate change can seriously impact a community due to a variety of public health crises including disasters, increases in chronic illnesses resulting from poor air quality, or disease outbreaks caused by contaminated food or water supply. It is our responsibility to protect our environment, society, and economy.

Technology and the Environment

Lantana’s efforts towards a less wasteful lifestyle starts at home due to our remote working environment. We are in the final stages of instituting an eco-friendly technology use policy. This policy will eliminate physical media for software, promoting recycling of outdated peripheral technology (printers, keyboards, etc.), and a reuse/recycle program for laptops. Employees will store their laptops as backups at the end of their four-year lifecycle, and send them when possible to the nearest electronic recycling facility after another four years. We hope to implement this policy in 2024.

Reusable Favorites

Lantana provides employees with reusable versions of everyday items like water bottles and lanyards used for IDs during face-to-face meetings. We are excited about these other reusable items as well:

  • Reusable notebooks – This reusable notebook is a favorite among Lantana folks. It comes with a special erasable pen and works with an app to upload your notes and ideas.
  • Fountain pens – It turns out we have some writing nerds among us who are excited about the idea of using refillable fountain pens to reduce the number of plastic pens we throw away once empty.
  • Beeswax wrap – This is a great alternative to single-use plastic wrap. It’s easy to use, wash, reuse, comes in fun prints, and lasts a long time. My favorite use for it is covering rising dough or storing fresh cut fruit.
  • Reusable produce bags Many stores lack recycling programs for plastic produce and grocery bags (though some do! See below for more details!) Reusable mesh produce bags are small, easy to carry, and dramatically reduce plastic use during weekly shopping trips.
  • Reusable zip-top bags – Styrofoam containers are bad for the environment and don’t store food well. Employees are bringing their own storage containers to restaurants, like these reusable zip-top bags that are dishwasher and microwave safe.

Waste Reducing Grocery Services

At Lantana, our sustainability efforts focus on household and eco-friendly choices like shopping locally, using reusable containers, and recycling programs where possible. Our greenLantana discussion included the following grocery services:

  • Grocery bag recycling – Many grocery stores offer grocery bag recycling, and other types of plastic at the store entrance. This is great for those trips when you forget your canvas bags.
  • The Rounds – This service delivers locally sourced food and sundry items in reusable and returnable containers on a weekly basis to reduce single use containers and encourage sustainable shopping habits.
  • Imperfect Foods – This service partners with national and local companies to provide reduced carbon emission deliveries with an emphasis on reduced food waste.

Trying Your Best to Try Your Best

Climate change has had—and will continue to have—a major impact on human health and safety. While no one can do everything to save the planet, organizations and individuals can work together and take accountability to make big changes.