TORRANCE, Calif. (May 3, 2013) – Five U.S. cities were honored today for residents’ commitment to water-saving choices as part of the second annual National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation
. Separated into five population categories, the winning cities are Denver; Tucson, Ariz.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Bremerton, Wash. and Laguna Beach, Calif. Residents in all 50 states made more than 44,000 online pledges to save water, use less energy and reduce pollution in four categories – home, yard, community and life – with potential cost savings of more than $30.6 million.
Presented nationally by Wyland Foundation
, the National Mayor’s Challenge had participation from 70 mayors across the U.S., including Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock; D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray; Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael B. Coleman; Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn; Tucson, Ariz. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Santa Fe, N.M. Mayor David Coss. City leaders encouraged their residents to participate in the online challenge, which also provided access to regional water and energy resources along with cost-saving tips.
“This year’s challenge gathered the support of an impressive list of cities, mayors, corporations and nonprofits, all of whom shared our enthusiasm for working toward a more sustainable future,” said environmental artist Wyland, founder of the Wyland Foundation. “Congratulations to the winning cities. The environmental education and pledges will have an impact in bringing the conversation about conserving resources closer to home.”
At a May 10 event in Denver, Hancock will draw the grand prize winner of a new Prius c
from the pool of winning cities’ participants, who are also eligible to win hundreds of water-saving fixtures and gift certificates to Lowe’s stores. A $1,000 Lowe's Shopping Spree will also be chosen from among the entire pool of U.S. participants. The National League of Cities, CH2M Hill WaterMatch, Rain Bird Corporation, Lowe's home improvement stores, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense, and the U.S. Forest Service supported the challenge too. The additional support from well-known comedians through Comics for Conservation, a series of public service announcements, expanded this year’s environmental message. Pete Dominick, longtime SiriusXM host, stand-up comic and CNN contributor, was the official spokesperson.
Toyota’s partnership with the Wyland Foundation and the Mayor’s Challenge included a new element this year – an eight-state U.S. environmental educational tour to schools and communities, reaching 4,000 students. The mobile, 1,000-square foot Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Experience featured interactive exhibits to demonstrate the relationships between humans and water.
“Toyota has a deep commitment to environmental sustainability across our operations, making our work with the Wyland Foundation a natural and rewarding fit,” said Michael Rouse, vice president of diversity, philanthropy, and community affairs for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “By helping expand the reach of the National Mayor’s Challenge this year, we hoped to encourage more people to learn and participate in conserving natural resources.”
In addition to making water-saving pledges, challenge participants pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles by more than 5.4 million bottles and eliminate 69.9 million pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges also resulted in potentially 18.3 million fewer pounds in landfills and 2.2 million fewer pounds of fertilizer in the waste stream. Potential savings of 67.8 million gallons of oil and 2.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide rounded out the final pledge results.
To learn more about the National Mayor’s Challenge, visit www.mywaterpledge.com
. For tips on how to save water every day and to learn about water-efficient products for the home, visit www.epa.gov/watersense
About the Wyland Foundation
Founded in 1993 by environmental artist Wyland (best known for his series of 100 monumental marine life murals), the Wyland Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is actively engaged in teaching millions of students around the county about our ocean, rivers, lakes streams, and wetlands. The foundation's latest project, FOCUS (Forests, Oceans, Climate – and us) brings together the U.S. Forest Service, NOAA, and numerous non-profits to teach young people about the future of our water supplies, climate, and global health. www.wylandfoundation.org
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed nearly 700 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy