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Monarch Landing Senior Living Community in Naperville Enhances Sustainability Program

They’re learning, researching, collaborating, teaching, and helping to implement change.

The Sustainability Committee at Monarch Landing in Naperville comprises residents and staff of the senior living community and is supported by leadership and owners. They explore issues and recommend potential initiatives relating to sustainability at Monarch Landing. Cambridge Dictionary defines sustainability as “the quality of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time.”

The idea to put together the Sustainability Committee came about at one of Monarch Landing’s Political and Community Awareness Committee’s (PACA) programs. Last year, PACA hosted an informational series on sustainability. Residents and area professionals, all with expertise in the subject matter, presented discussions about zero fossil fuels, carbon usage, nuclear power, and more. “As we investigated this five-week session, it became obvious we needed to learn more and see what we could do at Monarch Landing,” said Bob Rickert. A resident of Monarch Landing, Bob coordinates PACA and is now helping to lead the Sustainability Committee.

“Sustainability focuses on three components: environmental, economic and cultural or social sustainability. This last piece is important. If you can implement measures without changing everyone’s lifestyle, it’s most successful. What we’re doing is to help sustain Monarch Landing in the short run and the future,” said Jack Ditmars, a member of the Sustainability Committee.

The Sustainability Committee has helped to enhance Monarch Landing’s recycling participation by educating residents and receiving assistance from staff. They’ve also supported the implementation of replacing single-use to-go boxes from the dining room with containers that can be reused. “These are the types of things we are trying to do. They don’t change the responsibilities of the residents much, but result in positive change,” said Mitch Belter, Plant Operations Coordinator of Monarch Landing, who is actively involved with the Sustainability Committee.

“The biggest project we’ve embarked on to date is converting 130 outdoor streetlights to LED. It will be completed by the end of this quarter. It’s providing energy efficiency for Monarch Landing and will save a lot of money,” said Mitch. Shared spaces throughout the community will also be converted, so by the end of the year, 90%  of lighting in these areas will be LED. While saving energy, this will significantly save money.

The dining team at Monarch Landing has started saving extra food that they have prepared. Rather than letting it go to waste, they freeze it and make it available for purchase in the Marketplace shop, explained Bob.

The efforts of the Sustainability Committee are supported and encouraged by Life Care Services (LCS), which manages Monarch Landing. One of the largest operators of senior living communities, LCS has experienced and assisted many senior living communities with sustainability initiatives. “If we’re considering something, I can call LCS and they can tell me whether another community has tried something and how it’s gone. They step in to help and support us on every level,” said Mitch.

Bob said that the existence of the Sustainability Committee has proven to be attractive to prospective residents of Monarch Landing. “People ask what our efforts are. It is an important issue for many.”

“There are a lot of possibilities for sustainability measures at Monarch Landing,” said Jack. “The catalyst has been the management here, which has seen the benefits and are extremely supportive.”


Monarch Landing

Monarch Landing is a Life Plan Community located on a scenic campus in Naperville, Illinois-named “one of America’s best places to live and retire” by Modern Maturity, and “the best city for early retirement” by Kiplinger. Monarch Landing offers independent living, promoting a vibrant lifestyle for active seniors.  The Springs at Monarch Landing offers memory supported assisted living, respite care, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing services, thus providing complete continuing care for seniors. Monarch Landing is owned by Senior Care Development and managed by Life Care Services®. For additional information visit www.WelcomeToMonarchLanding.com or www.TheSpringsatMonarchLanding.com.


Photo-left-right: Sustainability Committee members Bob Rickert, Bill Fry, Jack Ditmars and Richard Scott