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Working Towards a Better Tomorrow

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha on the Flint, Michigan water crisis, and PRH employees on green initiatives and climate change

Earth Day 2020

In late August 2015, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha started investigating claims of the neurotoxin lead in the water of Flint. As a pediatrician familiar with the impacts of lead exposure on humans, she and her team raced to analyze the blood-lead-levels of children at her clinic, and eventually across the entire city. They soon found evidence of a doubling in exposure across the city, following an early 2014 decision to switch the water source to the Flint River.

In her book What The Eyes Don’t See, Dr. Hanna-Attisha and a team of scientists, citizens, journalists, and state representatives worked to expose the crisis, and to build a recovery for the children and families of Flint. She continues to be on the front lines of healthcare crises, and recently recovered from a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Earth Day Spotlight with our Sustainability Committee

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate our colleagues who strive to make our world a greener, more sustainable place.

The Penguin Random House Sustainability Subcommittee is an employee-led group of engaged colleagues who are dedicated to positively affecting the environment. In tandem with our corporate efforts, through awareness campaigns and events, the subcommittee aims to have a positive impact in our communities and the environment where we work and live.

Below are just a few of the many Penguin Random House employees working together to help our Earth.

Allie McKinney, Manager, Client Engagement and Programming, Penguin Random House Publisher Services 1
Allie McKinney, Manager, Client Engagement and Programming, Penguin Random House Publisher Services

“The more I learn about Climate Change, the more aware I become about personal impact and about how confusing making the right choices can be. The Sustainability Subcommittee is a great avenue for sharing ideas, answering people’s questions, and clearing up common misconceptions for our colleagues. There are so many ways people can truly make a difference, from composting to making mindful food choices to being thoughtful about our habits as consumers, and I want to keep environmental impact front-of-mind when we are making both personal and corporate decisions.”

Favorite green/sustainable book: National Geographic’s Vanishing

Why this book? “Joel Sartore’s stunning photographs capture hundreds of Earth’s most critically-endangered species. Knowing that these animals are extinct or likely to become extinct in the next few decades makes each image all the more moving and precious.”

Janice Yong, Associate Director, Product Management, PRH Labs 1
Janice Yong, Associate Director, Product Management, PRH Labs

“If you could make the world a better place, why wouldn’t you do it?  Being green is an everyday action, and it’s the everyday actions by everyday people like you and me that add up and make a difference.”

Favorite green/sustainable book: Nature and Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Nature and Selected Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nature and Selected Essays
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Paperback $17.00
Also available from:

Why this book?“These poignant essays were written with the sort of appreciation and empathy for the world that is foundational to the concept of sustainability. It’s hard not to be inspired by the splendid way Emerson sees nature and the role we play within it (just ask all the other Transcendentalists that followed).”

Caroline Sydney, Assistant Editor, Penguin Press  1
Caroline Sydney, Assistant Editor, Penguin Press 

“PRH strives to be a company that sets industry standards on environmental issues. As a member of the subcommittee, I’ve come to better understand our corporate efforts while advocating for specific policies and initiatives, from eliminating waste in our cafeteria to advancing sustainable paper sourcing.”

Favorite green/sustainable book: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson 

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Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment (LOA #307) by Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment (LOA #307)
By Rachel Carson
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Hardcover $37.50
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Why this book? “The book’s legacy is this movement, but on the page my strongest emotional response is to the beautiful and striking illustrations by Lois and Louis Darling.”

Natalia Becerra, Sales Assistant, Penguin Random House Publisher Services 1
Natalia Becerra, Sales Assistant, Penguin Random House Publisher Services

“We only have one planet and every decision we make, from the food we eat to the products we buy, has a direct impact on it. For me, being green is how I can help take care of Earth and make sure that future generations get to enjoy all it has to offer.”

Favorite green/sustainable book: The Story of More by Hope Jahren

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The Story of More by Hope Jahren
The Story of More
By Hope Jahren
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Paperback $15.00
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Why this book?“When considering climate change, most people have probably asked themselves, ‘What can just one person do to enact change?’ Jahren does a great job of explaining the connection between our consumption habits and our endangered earth, and offering practical advice on how to make those changes.”

To celebrate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary and to share everyday actions that can help ensure that nature is able to fulfill its critical role, our partners at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have created tips on what individuals can due to limit their individual environmental footprint.