Turning Scraps into Substance: HARMAN Reimagines Sustainability for Earth Day

Across our manufacturing units, we are always considering the responsible use of energy, rethinking our use of materials, and minimizing waste. In honor of Earth Day, our Novi facility partnered with Arts & Scraps, a nonprofit organization in the Detroit area with a similarly creative outlook on sustainability, for a month-long campaign to collect spare “everyday scraps” that can be recycled and reused to create new products. 

 

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Arts & Scraps reimagines the typical uses for recycled industrial materials and inspires people of all ages to think, create, and learn. The organization enlivens the core curriculum by encouraging open-ended thinking and creativity using unusual materials, all while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. Each year, Arts & Scraps recycles 28 tons of materials while serving over 3,300 organizations and classrooms.

This work begs the question - how can we all use spare everyday items – from bottle caps and plastic containers to stray puzzle pieces and old CDs – to build a guitar, a robot, or car? That was the challenge our Novi employees faced as they were asked to think outside the box and submit their ideas for a custom project kit. Each submission outlined how children would use specific recycled materials to build a prototype and how the process would encourage them to learn more about technology.

After two weeks and several project entries, the HARMAN Young Professionals Philanthropy Team selected the top three custom kit ideas:

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    JBL Authentics L16 Kid Edition which will allow kids to create their own “speaker” that they can setup with a mobile device and discover how to amplify sound with household items
  • A drum set made of recycled plastic cups and straws that illustrates how musical instruments can be easily built from materials found at home
  • A SMT Robot, which will give kids some insights on the types of components that are used in robotic technology

Prototypes of the speaker, drum kit, and robot are on display in the building lobby, and the voting process is currently underway to decide which custom kit HARMAN will donate to a local elementary school in the Metro Detroit area.

Once the final kit is selected, employees will collect and donate the specific scraps that will go towards building the kit over the next few weeks, in addition to a number of other items that is needed by Arts & Scraps. When all the materials are gathered, employees will convene at our Novi facility to build 1,000 individual project kits and deliver them to a local elementary school in need.

HARMAN is proud to support our local communities and facilitate fun, exciting ways to educate our students about technology and environmental responsibility. Check out our blog during the week to learn more about HARMAN’s Earth Day activities and global sustainability initiatives.