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CUs Mark Earth Day With Variety Of Events
MADISON, Wis. (4/22/13)--Credit unions today are marking Earth Day's 43rd anniversary with activities such as planting trees, cleaning up highways, offering document-shredding events, promoting tree-saving electronic statements and educating youth about the environment.

Earth Day is devoted to events worldwide to demonstrate support for environmental protection and to learn about the natural environment.

Living up to its name, Grow Financial FCU, based in Tampa, Fla.,  will celebrate today in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Times theme, "Let's Grow Together" by giving away Florida Slash Pine saplings to anyone visiting its 20 branches. The trees are limited to five per household. Recipients are told to either plant them in the back yard or contact Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful for locations on where to plant them.

"It helps to lower greenhouse gas emissions and they provide a habitat for a variety of other plans and animals," Grow Financial said. 

"Grow Financial is committed to participating in activities that show our appreciation for the natural beauty of our planet and our commitment to combatting environmental pollution," said Bob Fisher, president/CEO.

Meritrust CU, with $893 million assets  in Wichita, Kan., will sponsor an event Thursday at the Sedgwick County Zoo forlocal students. "The event features a planet-friendly fair that promotes environmental education and citizenship in our community,"said the credit union's website. Roughly 6,000 students from grades three through five will visit the zoo and walk through exhibits hosted by local businesses and centering on an Earth Day theme.  The exhibits will feature interactive, on-the-spot educational displays on topics such as recycling, pollution, endangered species, emergency preparedness, and weather.

Many credit unions are offering free Shred Days so the community can go green by shredding documents for recycling. Two examples: CommonWealth One FCU, a $307 million asset credit union in Alexandria, Va., will offer a Shred Day Sunday, and $7.96 billion asset, Sacramento, Calif.-based Golden 1 CU conducted its biannual shredding event Saturday.

The Golden 1 CU's event permitted up to five bankers' boxes of documents per household. Last year's event shredded more than 139,000 pounds of documents for 2,700 individuals. Since it began hosting the shred days, Golden 1has helped recycle more than one million documents.

Bucks First FCU, Bristol, Pa., with $83 million assets,  sponsored two events: free shredding Saturday at Bucks County Technical School and a cleanup event at Silver Lake Nature Center School.

Spokane (Wash.) Teachers CU is encouraging members to switch to paper-saving electronic account statements. For each new e-account opened between today and June 30, the $1.7 billion asset credit union will donate money to plant a tree along Deep Creek, Coulee Creek and Hangman Creek, and in northern Idaho. The Lands Council hopes to plant 5,000 trees through Project SUSTAIN, and the credit union aims to plant 1,000 of those trees.  About 400 Inland Northwest High School students will help plant the trees and will learn about conservation and sustainability.

Some credit unions provide tips to youth about conservation. Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Redwood CU, for example, discusses Earth Day and ways to be a "Super Earth Saver" in its Jr. Ranger Review, its quarterly kids' newsletter. Its advice: Reduce the amount of garbage you create, reuse what you can, and recycle cans, bottles, paper and plastic. Turn off lights if you're the last to leave a room. And know what you want before you open the refrigerator.


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