The 2012 champions of AT&T's “Do One Thing” initiative are driving forces for environmental and social sustainability.

One simple thing can change an entire community. With the Do One Thing (DOT) initiative, AT&T employees have a positive impact on the environment and the people around them with small changes like recycling, volunteering or riding a bike to work. This year, four champions of the DOT initiative stand out for innovative and effective ideas including group discounts for public transit, technology assistance for seniors, creative ways of reducing waste and helping the homeless

Kelah Krause initiated a campaign at her AT&T distribution center to encourage her co-workers to collect cardboard boxes that could be sold to a local contractor, keeping about 160,000 pounds of loose cardboard out of the landfill to date.

Tomas Kyling set up a group discount for AT&T employees on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system (DART). Employees get a 40% discount on annual passes, encouraging them to take public transportation rather than driving to work.

Angelica Lambarri organized a program that keeps senior citizens up to date on the latest technology, answering questions that they have about their devices. Local seniors come to a local community center on scheduled dates to learn how to use various features on their cell phones, including text messaging.

Kelah Krause initiated a campaign at her AT&T distribution center to encourage her co-workers to collect cardboard boxes that could be sold to a local contractor. Not only did this effort reduce waste, keeping about 160,000 pounds of loose cardboard out of the landfill to date, it also saved about $17,500 annually in fewer trash pick-ups and netted over $4,600 in recycling rebates.

Evie McGerr wanted to help AT&T employees get more involved in their communities through volunteering. Working with a non-profit organization called Back on My Feet, employees use running as a platform to help homeless people build self esteem, self-discipline and accountability.

"Champions of DOT are our heroes," says Nicole Anderson, Sustainability Activation Director at AT&T. "They are employees who had an idea, they didn't wait for someone to tell them what to go do. They heard about DOT, they liked what they heard, and they looked around them and thought, 'What can I do to make a difference?' The one simple act that they did created this huge collective impact, and that's really the essence of DOT. It starts with the individual."

The content above was provided by AT&T and is not subject to MNN Editorial Review. MNN is not responsible for the accuracy, objectivity or balance of this content.

This post originally appeared on Mother Nature Network.

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