Considering how popular it is, a lot of people might be surprised to find out that Earth Day is not an official US national holiday. In 1970, what started as a way to raise awareness of environmental issues became the catalyst of many rallies and the US Environmental Protection Agency. Many schools and companies around the country make it a point during Earth Day to remind us why it’s important to think consciously about respecting and preserving our planet. Some companies publicize Earth Day as a way to show their environmental contribution and mindfulness once a year, but for No-IP, Earth Day happens multiple times a year. In fact, caring for our community and the environment is engrained in our work culture.
No-IP has been organizing around six meet-ups a year for the past three years, where the team and members of the Reno, Nevada, community come together to clean up trash in various parts of the city and surrounding areas. The gulch by the No-IP headquarters is an integral part of the watershed in Truckee Meadows, so they also put their efforts around there. They’ve also teamed up with a group called Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB), which is a local group that focuses on keeping the city clean with volunteer efforts.
There was no grandiose announcement or company initiative to start the trash clean-ups. Instead, Shauna Woodward, one of our Customer Success members and main organizer of the clean-ups, was feeling lost and overwhelmed by the pandemic that she simply wanted to do something to feel better: “Volunteerism is a great place to start when you’re not sure where to go next.” While walking through the city, she noticed the trash accumulated during quarantine and the increased homelessness. She set out with some gloves, a canvas bag, and a good playlist to pick up some trash herself.
Soon, she began inviting friends and coworkers to join her in the effort, originally cleaning up the Truckee River in Sparks, Nevada. Although the area can be freezing during winter, the group always managed to have fun. Before she knew it, those casual trash pickups gained speed and have become a regular community-building event with the support of No-IP. Not only do the trash clean-ups help clean up the city, but they have proven to be a great team bonding experience that everyone looks forward to. In our 2022 Wrap Up blog, we noted that Shauna organized the final trash clean up around the No-IP headquarters neighborhood in Reno, Nevada, which resulted in 61 (50 gallons) bags of trash total for 2022!
It’s not all serious musings about saving the planet and beautifying the community. The group still likes to have fun during the clean-ups, including playing a game called Best Finds. The game is simple – Who can find the best or craziest thing during the trash pickup? They have found a variety of things, from a bicycle kit to an entire wood stove pellet submerged in the Truckee River.
When asked about her vision for the future of trash clean-ups, Shauna served up some words of wisdom and exciting plans:
“I have been inspired by our recent acknowledgments and blog posts to encourage our entire company to host their own trash pick-ups throughout the year, as well as group-sanctioned events. Our team spans states and a continent or two, and I’d like to help encourage everyone to clean up their cities and communities. This year, my professional goal is to have over 100 man-hours of cleanup across our communities. To the victor with the most individual clean-up hours will go the spoils! We haven’t decided what the prize will be, but in true No-IP fashion, it’s going to be great, so stay tuned!” Stated Woodward.
All it takes is one person to start a movement, and Shauna has proven just that! The team at No-IP hopes this inspires you to do something for the environment, no matter how big or small. You’ll never know how much of an impact it will make on you and those around you. Especially while listening to your favorite jams.