Author Archives: Kimberli Horyza

Kimberli Horyza

About Kimberli Horyza

Kimberli Horyza is currently a sophomore studying journalism at the University of Arizona. Throughout high school, she was editor-in-chief for Pinnacle High School’s yearbook, which is one of the largest yearbooks in Arizona. She loves the path she is going down and can’t wait for her future in journalism.

Green living tips - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Green Living Tips From Desert Star Construction

Save Money by Saving the Planet: Tips for incorporating sustainable and green living elements into our homes

Living green has been a priority for Americans for more than a decade as we strive to improve the environment and preserve our natural resources.

During these tough economic times, living green is also important when it comes to saving money. So what better way to go green than to incorporate it into the homes in which we live?

Experts from Desert Star Construction, which commits itself to green building as a standard, explains some of today’s most popular ways to make your house green:

Green LivingSolar

Living in Arizona, we have one of the best natural resources available — sunlight. The Arizona sun fuels solar electric and solar water heating systems at little or no cost. It also makes our new — and retrofit — green homes 40 percent to 70 percent more efficient, resulting in similar reductions in monthly bills.

Breathing easy

Blowing dust is common in Arizona, especially during the monsoon season. Homeowners are installing air purification systems that work wonders on indoor air quality. Most choose an advanced electronic system or a premium particle filter. Others opt to install geothermal heating and cooling systems that offer significant energy savings.

Lighting the way

When it comes to lighting, green living embraces everything from LEDs to advanced home automation systems. Some of these systems even feature room motion detectors and provide the ability to program lighting to double the life of your bulbs.


Back in the day, we called this “recycling.” By salvaging and reusing, we’ve brought building waste on our green construction sites down significantly. Homeowners are following that lead as they decorate with old stones, salvaged bricks and antiques. It’s a great, sustainable way to create that coveted and comfortable look. And it keeps a substantial amount of material out of landfills.

Sustainable standards

Products that embrace green standards are very popular these days. They include low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, sustainable fabrics, Energy Star appliances and hard-surface floors that avoid chemical emission that some carpets produce. They also reduce  allergens in the air.

Going with the (low) flow

What’s the one thing we really need to conserve? That’s right, water. Low-flow faucets and toilets continue to top the most-popular lists, and are an increasingly affordable way to add to a cumulative positive impact.

Intelligent irrigation

Here in the desert we love our gardens — whether they include native plants or not. Efficient watering systems keep yards green and drastically reduce outdoor water use, which the EPA says accounts for 30 percent of domestic U.S. water consumption.

Interested in sustainable and green living when it comes to your home? Visit Desert Star Construction at or call (480) 951-4425 to schedule a SMART audit that will evaluate your home’s energy and water use.

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Youfit Health Club, Phoenix, Arizona

Youfit Health Clubs: Break A Sweat, Not the Bank

Youfit Health Clubs: Ten dollars doesn’t go very far these days. A couple cups of coffee; a few gallons of gas; maybe two meals at a fast food joint.

People looking to work out, however, can get a one-month membership to a new fitness club in the Valley for that amount.

Rick Berks, president of Youfit Corporation, started his keep-it-simple company in April 2008 with the idea to “get people off the couch and produce a non-intimidating atmosphere” for them to become active and healthy.

Youfit health clubs, which really does charge just $10 month, has more than 23 locations throughout Florida, as well as two in the Valley. The first opened in Glendale in April. The second opened in Phoenix this past July.Youfit Health Clubs, Phoenix, Arizona

Mike Zarrillo, Youfit franchisee and minority partner, runs both Valley locations. He has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years and has been a part of other gyms, but none quite like Youfit.

“Youfit is really a low-price, high-value gym unlike any other health clubs around,” Zarrillo says. “Youfit is such an affordable club. It appeals to people of all ages. The Glendale club even has a member who is in his 90s.”

Just what can you get for $10 a month at a health club?

“We don’t waste resources,” Zarrillo says, “We just give people what they want.”

At Youfit gyms, customers won’t find typical health club amenities such as hot tubs, steam rooms, basketball courts, rock wall, etc.

Unlike expensive health clubs, Youfit was created for the average person to strictly get the exercise they need. Each membership is month-to-month, so people are not tied down to a contract.

“A majority (60 percent to 80 percent) of people that join Youfit have never been members at any other gym before,” Zarrillo says.

Youfit makes its members feel comfortable from the second they walk in the door. It is marketed as a very “intuitive club” that is easy for anyone to navigate and use.

Upon entering Youfit, the unique purple and green color scheme takes over the custom-designed machines, inviting people to work out.

“A key aspect that makes the club easy to use is the fact that all of the green machines with purple accents are targeted toward working the legs, while the purple machines with green accents work other parts of the body,” Zarrillo says.

Inspirational sayings and quotes on the walls add a warm feeling to the club and give people the extra encouragement they need.Youfit Health Club, Phoenix, Arizona

Once inside, virtually every type of workout machine you could think of exists, except for the larger free weights one might see at other health clubs geared more toward bodybuilding.

“It has state-of-the-art fitness equipment with the newest technological advances in order to make the workout even more enjoyable,” Zarrillo says. “All of the cardio machines have a personal television attached and even an iPod hookup.”

Youfit is also environmentally friendly with its “green footprint,” including high-efficiency air conditioning, lighting, and rubber flooring made from recycled tires and sneakers.

“Youfit has been getting amazing responses and will continue to expand,” Berks says. “When the economy was better, of course the company was better, but the recession actually helped due to the commercial real estate opportunities it opened up.”


Youfit Health Clubs will open a fourth location in Chandler at 4991 S. Alma School Rd. next week — with another 5-6 clubs to come this year (2012).

The third location opened at 1515 E. Bethany Home Road a few months ago.


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If You Go to Youfit health clubs:

Youfit Health Club, Phoenix, Ariz.4414 W. Cactus Road
Glendale AZ, 85304

1515 E. Bethany Home Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85016