Under a drizzling sky that provided some much-needed moisture, Plantronics Santa Cruz associates celebrated Earth Day by learning about green farming efforts, picking up some free herbs and tomato plants and enjoying some locally made ice cream.

Now in its seventh year, the Earth Day event at Plantronics is a natural fit for a company dedicated to supporting the environment, according to Kate Young, manager of environmental health, safety and security. “This is a day to celebrate our culture, in a fun fashion,” she said.


Steven Carroll, brand marketing specialist, reached out to local vendors to invite them to participate in the event as “a lot of them are working on how to reduce the impact on the environment. The objective is to raise some awareness and have some fun.”

More than 70 bundles of flowers were sold through the Flowers for Food program created by Jen Jacobs in associate events and Kelli Greene, who heads up global philanthropy and community relations. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. “I love to see all the different organizations come, and there’s been a lot of engagement,” Jen said.

Earth Day

Associates received information and advice on growing gardens, installing solar power and reducing wasted energy in the home, as well as test drives of Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen eGolf electric cars, free grab bags of Plantronics old products and a tour of the Cityblooms garden on campus, which provides herbs and vegetables twice a week to the cafe.

“This is a great opportunity for associates in the company to interact with sustainable companies in the area,” said Nick Halmos, CEO of Cityblooms, who wore a “hat” made of herbs taken directly from the garden.

Organizations involved with the Earth Day event included: Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, Central Coast Wilds, Master Gardeners, Swank Farms, Cityblooms, Ecology Action, Take Back Santa Cruz, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Sandbar Solar & Electric, Team Rutabaga, Surf Rider Foundation, Life Lab, Polar Bear Ice Cream, Anderson Windows and Ivory Petitions.

Waiting in line for a sample of Polar Bear Ice Cream, Alvin Ilarina, senior compliance engineer, said he enjoyed the Earth Day event and that “From a corporate standpoint we want to be good stewards for the environment. And the best part of Earth Day is the ice cream.”