Office Depot, Earth Day Network to Bring Water Testing to Schools Nationwide

April 21, 2003

In observance of the 33rd anniversary of Earth Day, celebrated around the world in more than 180 countries on April 22, Office Depot, Inc. announced the launch of its "Earth Day Every Day" campaign, which includes a partnership with Earth Day Network.


Recognizing the importance of educating communities on water quality, Office Depot is supporting Earth Day Network's "Water for Life" program by distributing water testing kits to more than 2,300 schools across North America. In addition, Earth Day Network's "What's in Your Water" educational curriculum materials are being distributed to more than 250,000 teachers.


"Our participation in Earth Day Network's 'Water for Life' program underscores our charitable mission of directly impacting the health, welfare and education of children," said Mary Wong, director of community relations for Office Depot. "We hope that students will increase awareness of water quality issues by sharing what they learn in class with their parents and friends."


Earth Day Network's "Water for Life" was designed in partnership with the United Nations International Year of Freshwater. It is a two-year initiative designed to raise awareness of water-related issues and provide practical ways for individuals, schools, communities and corporations to address the world's water crisis. The "World's Thirstiest Children" element of the program will raise the profile of water health issues worldwide and equip individuals with the tools to address water issues locally and globally.


The water testing kits provide educational coordinators with a valuable hands-on activity that enables students to learn about key chemical indicators and about the health of their own watershed through field experience.


In addition to its partnership with Earth Day Network, Office Depot has also launched a company-wide awareness campaign, "Earth Day Every Day," featuring posters, brochures and other educational materials. Messaging at the company's more than 860 retail stores in North America as well as all other company locations highlights the importance of celebrating Earth Day not just today, but every day.


Wong noted that these materials will provide meaningful tips on recycling, conservation and energy-saving measures that people can carry out at home, at work and in their communities to make "Earth Day Every Day."


According to the World Health Organization, millions of people do not have adequate access to clean, fresh water on a consistent basis. Improving access to adequate sanitation and expanding water distribution systems are critically important goals in numerous countries around the world.


"While we can't prevent water illnesses from occurring, we can certainly encourage educators, our customers and, most importantly, our children to learn about the important role they play in maintaining a sustainable future for our water supply," Wong concluded.


"Earth Day Network has a long term commitment to raising environmental awareness around water issues," said Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network. "Earth Day Network thanks Office Depot for its commitment to children and the environment."


Founded by the organizers of Earth Day 1970, Earth Day Network's mission is to build broad-based citizen support for sound workable, and effective environmental policies.

Source:

Business Wire

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