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Jan Myers

Jan Myers, Office Manager for the Child Development Center on Florissant Valley campus

Jan Myers was green before there was a green committee. Since 1995, Jan has worked as an administrative assistant at Florissant Valley’s Child Development Center, where she initiated her own efforts towards sustainability. Seeing great piles of paper marked for the landfill, Jan hauled excess catalogues to Florissant’s Recycling Center or the local Abitibi bin. Jan emphasizes that her early efforts stemmed from an emotional response. “I was appalled by the amount of paper and telephone books the Center was discarding into landfills.”

Fortunately for Jan, help was on the way. In 2005, Florissant Valley’s President Marcia Pfeiffer formed the Green Committee (now the Campus Sustainability Committee) to create a recycling program. Jan was pleased to have company, as she notes: “I was excited that there was a movement on campus to bring recycling to Flo.”

But having company didn’t push Jan to the back of a crowd. She has been at the forefront of most green efforts at Florissant Valley. “Jan has been a true champ bringing to our projects her delightful humor and creative ideas. She never fails to pull more than her share of time always giving her passion for the environment from her heart,” comments Peggy Moody, District Sustainability Coordinator, and early chair of the Committee.

Jan notes that the committee’s vision of “sustainability” has evolved, a key reason she stays. That growth includes sustainability curriculum such as Conservation and Ecology, and an Interdisciplinary cornerstone (Sustainability 101). In addition, Florissant Valley’s green team does active community outreach via events such as the spring’s Green Fair, now on their 5th year; hosting St Louis County Health Household Chemical Waste spring and fall events; and partnering with the city of Florissant to do an annual electronic recycling event, on its 4th year.

Always looking to do more is Jan’s theme. Just look at the Child Development Center where sustainability efforts have sprouted all over. “I am proud,” Jan says, “that each classroom has a recycle box and the teachers and kids in each room are recycling. We are recycling more, including the large cans from the kitchen. Last year we added rain barrels so the kids can water their plants and we can reduce the water consumption.”

Jan does still more at home. “I am able to do curbside recycling. I have slowly been switching to more earth friendly cleaning products. I continue to compost. Last year, I planted a vegetable garden. I plant flowers for the benefit of the birds and bees, and I am trying to plant more native plants. My latest ‘thing’ has been learning how to can. This summer I canned peaches and pizza sauce.”

Still, Jan can see room for the college’s sustainability efforts to grow. “I would love to see more ‘green’ features on all the campuses; composting by all the kitchens, light sensors in all the classrooms, less mowing — more natural areas, reducing our carbon footprint. I am excited to hear conversations about new ‘green’ classes and new ‘green’ careers.”

We can be sure that Jan’s right: There is more to do. We can also be sure that Jan will be in the lead, helping on all fronts.