July 09, 2008

Agency honors green workers

The Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund today will host "One Year Green," a celebration of MAIF's environmental achievements.

MAIF employees who have demonstrated a commitment to making eco-friendly solutions routine in their daily operations will be honored with a "Green Thumb" award, and MAIF's Earth Day pledge tree will be dedicated on the grounds of MAIF's headquarters in Annapolis.

"MAIF is committed to working toward a more environmentally friendly business model," said M. Kent Krabbe, executive director for MAIF. "Our employees have embraced this initiative wholeheartedly, and our celebration is really about them. Going 'green' has instilled a renewed sense of pride in our company, accountability to each other and to our earth."

Since 2007, MAIF's "Green Team," a group of employee volunteers, has expanded the company recycling program; bought hybrid vehicles for MAIF's fleet; worked with vendors who support "green" goals; powered down PCs, lights, and other electronics when they're not in use; and reduced paper consumption by printing less and scanning items whenever possible.

MAIF is a quasi-state agency that provides automobile insurance to eligible Maryland residents who have been turned down by two private carriers or canceled by one.

Water quality data available online

The Anne Arundel County Department of Health provides water sampling results for the beaches at Sandy Point State Park and about 100 county community beaches on its Web site and Water Quality Phone Line.

For water quality results, visit www.aahealth.org or call 410-222-7999, a 24- hour information-only line.

The Department of Health routinely collects beach water samples during the summer and tests them for enterococci, bacteria found in the intestine of all warm-blooded animals. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends using enterococci as indicators of waste in water where recreational activities involving direct water contact occur.

Unity Gardens holds call for grants

Unity Gardens, a locally based nonprofit that supports the building of community partnerships through the creation of greening projects, environmental enhancement, and education is seeking applicants for grants of up to $1,000.

Applications are due Aug. 15. All grant recipients must attend a grant resource workshop in mid September.

For more information, visit www.unitygardens.org, e-mail unitygardensaa@aol.com or call 410-703-7530.

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