Portland, Ore.—August 18, 2020—American College of Healthcare Sciences’ (ACHS) is pleased to announce that the college will be donating $1,000 to Mudbone Grown, a local Black-owned farm that promotes inter-generational community-based farming with a focus on sustainable environmental, social, cultural, and economic impacts in communities. The college will also be donating $500 to Ocean Matters, an organization known for marine science through service.

The donations come as a result of ACHS staff, faculty, family, and friends working together as a team to reduce plastic use as a part of the Plastic Free Ecochallenge. At the beginning of the month, Chief Marketing Officer Kate Harmon challenged the ACHS Ecochallenge Team to earn 10,000 points in the Plastic Free Ecochallenge for the college to make the donations. At the end of the month, the college had earned 19,676 points and finished 9th place nationally, 2nd place among schools, and 1st place in Oregon. The $500 donation to Ocean Matters was chosen by our highest scoring student in the challenge, Lauren Steele.

Harmon says, “Woot woot diggy diggy! I am honored to be donating this on behalf of our amazing faculty, students, and staff! Not only do we get to give a big chunk of change to two like-minded organizations that value sustainability, but I also got to make my kids eat peanut butter and jelly lettuce wraps as all the bread I could find came in plastic bags and that was a no-no. I can tell you that is not a new favorite in our house but it was sure as heck funny.

I want to point out that as much as sustainability and recycling are great and wonderful it is a privilege and primarily only something that was accessible for white people.  People in poorer countries are deluged with our plastic waste. It washes up on their beaches, pollutes their waters, chokes their fish, destroys their air from burning it. We have the luxury and privilege of lobbyists that look out for us Stateside. In Africa or Asia, there are no lobbyists. So when you think about buying shampoo, dish detergent, disposable cutlery, food packaging, bread, some of that ends up in the water and floats over to Africa.    

We feel that it’s important to support organizations in the community and we encourage others to do so as well if you are able. What is amazing about Mudbone is they are “working together to re-imagine a new, inclusive food system where Black farmers and BIPOC farmers are the next generation of leaders and mentors in the agriculture industry.” I believe my grandfather teaching me how to garden and do mechanics set me up for so many things in life.  Programs like the ones Mudbone has spearheaded reduce community dependency on a system that I personally believe can hold so many people down. It also reduces plastic packaging waste, encourages healthy eating habits, improves community access to sustainable organic food sources, and teaches employable trade skills vital to healthy strong communities.”  

ABOUT THE PLASTIC FREE ECOCHALLENGE

As a Certified B Corporation, ACHS values sustainability and participates in the annual Plastic Free Ecochallenge hosted by the Coalition of North American Zoos and Aquariums. The Plastic Free Ecochallenge encourages people to live more sustainably and gain “points” for reducing plastic usage in their lives throughout the month of July. Learn more and view the ACHS Ecochallenge Team page here: https://plasticfree.ecochallenge.org/dashboards/teams/american-college-of-healthcare-sciences

Plastic Free Ecochallenge 2020