Tumeric root, freshly grated ginger, full-fat coconut milk, and a dollop of Manuka honey heated on the stovetop make for a glorious and healthy breakfast beverage. Golden milk is admired in many eastern cultures for its health promoting attributes, one I enjoy in my quiet time before the day begins in earnest. There is one, almost incongruent, ingredient I blend into the beverage: a grind or two of black pepper. Black pepper possesses its own antioxidant phytochemical piperine, which increases bioavailability of other nutrients. Piperine is also known for its ability to stimulate cells to absorb and retain nutrients from food. Clearly, black pepper can play an important role in an effective digestive system.
Black pepper is more commonly known as a mucous membrane irritant. Edge your nose close to freshly ground peppercorns and you'll immediately appreciate these qualities. As a metaphor for quality improvement, we are nudging NEHA into the black pepper phase of our evolution. Tonight, as I scan the news, there is massive flooding in Lynchburg, Virginia. The California Carr Fire has devoured 130,000 acres and taken several lives. Marshalltown, Iowa, is recovering from a massive tornado. A red tide in southwest Florida is in its ninth month and is harming fisheries and wildlife, as well as ruining family holidays. An alarming drought is lingering throughout the southwestern U.S. The earth is speaking to us, it's time for action.
NEHA is doing what it can within its means to minimize its impact on the environment. Our current office building is Energy Star compliant, and when our lease ends, we are looking to relocate into new digs. We have already explored at least one potential new site. The promising prospect is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system providing third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance: less energy, greater water efficiency, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
We have taken other steps to reduce our carbon footprint. NEHA staff are encouraged to walk, bike, or take public transportation whenever possible. I walk. NEHA has also implemented a telework policy that further reduces our carbon footprint. We have taken steps to reduce unnecessary...