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Sustainability with Healthy NewsWorks students

Quest Diagnostics grows interest in sustainability with Healthy NewsWorks students

Quest Diagnostics Director of Sustainability Karen Braun visited East Norriton Middle School for an interview with Healthy NewsWorks student reporters. 

A Quest for Health Equity (Q4HE) grantee, Healthy NewsWorks has been empowering elementary and middle school students since 2003 to become researchers, writers, and confident communicators who advance health understanding and literacy through their factual publications and digital media. Its program teaches student health journalists how to ask questions, identify factual information, write accurately, think critically, and share what they’ve learned. Their work is published in health-focused newspapers, magazines, and digital media that are distributed in their schools and communities, and on a health-focused website for all to access. 

“I loved every minute I spent with these students,” said Karen, who lives in the Philadelphia area. “They were excited for the interview, interested in understanding how they might be able to make a positive impact, and asked good questions because they care about a healthy planet and community.”

Karen explained Quest’s dedicated approach to environmental sustainability and climate action, waste reduction, and water stewardship efforts. For example, Quest is committed to reducing single-use plastic waste and using specimen cups and stool containers containing less plastic, which reduced plastic waste by 105 standard tons in 2022 alone. 

Karen also talked about the continuous improvement needed in all sustainability programs and engagement with employees. Karen encouraged the students to take on their own classroom sustainability project. 

Based on the interview, the students decided to develop a “Look in Your Lunchbox” sustainability project to reduce waste from their school cafeteria. The students also want to analyze environmental impact based on packaging and whether certain foods could be composted.  

“Sustainability is a complicated topic, so each question gave me the opportunity to share more information around different sustainability areas—and in turn ask the students for their ideas,” said Karen. “I hope the students take away that there are many ways to make a positive environmental impact, and small steps add up to big changes.”

Karen’s full interview will be featured in the fall edition of For Kids, By Kids magazine, written by the Healthy NewsWorks student reporters.  

In the meantime, you can check out the spring edition, featuring a foreword by Quest for Health Equity Executive Director Michael Floyd: Spring 2024 Magazine | Healthy NewsWorks.

For more information about Quest’s commitment to environmental sustainability and our climate action, waste reduction, and water stewardship efforts, please read our 2022 Corporate Responsibility Report