Tag Archives: eco-friendly

Architectural Photography by Michael Baxter, Baxter Imaging LLC

New Home Technology Debuts in Scottsdale

The new Estate Villas under construction at Sterling at Silverleaf will be among the first custom homes in the country, and the first in Ariz., to include the latest technology from Crestron, the global leader in home automation systems, including 4K Ultra HD, voice recognition controls, advanced energy-saving automation, motorized shades and wireless door locks.

Each of the 12 Estate Villas feature a Crestron whole-home automation system that controls every element within the home, such as audio, video, lighting, heating, cooling, entertainment, window coverings, security, and wine room temperature from four iPads positioned around the home. Crestron handheld remotes and touch screens provide additional control options.

The villas also include a proprietary Eco-Mode app, developed by Crestron and Sterling at Silverleaf, which monitors and adjusts home systems automatically to reduce energy costs by 20 percent or more.

As Arizona’s first and only gold-level certified residential community by NAHB and LEED, Sterling at Silverleaf offers the “greenest” homes in Ariz. and is the first to combine the utmost in eco-friendly upgrades within a luxury Home Technology residential community.

The latest features from Crestron that are now available in the homes include video distribution, multi-room digital audio distribution and complete centralized lighting control. Additionally, the villas feature Crestron motorized shades and draperies, and touch screen controls integrated with Yale Real Living™ wireless door locks. Details of the new features include:

4K Ultra HD Capabilities: Each villa will be equipped with a powerful Crestron video distribution systems to distribute 4K Ultra HD throughout the home. At a display resolution up to 4096×2160, Ultra HD TVs provide resolutions that are four times higher than the current standard of Full HD, commonly referred to as 1080p.

TSW Touch Screens: Each villa will have new Crestron TSW Touch Screens that combine the high-performance control expected from Crestron, with the elegant design elements found in the latest mobile devices. The new TSW Touch Screens provide the ability to use voice commands to control virtually anything—from playing a song, to raising the shades, to locking the doors.

Motorized Shades: Featuring exclusive Quiet Motor Technology™, Crestron shades provide silent operation and convenient, one-touch control. Automated shades lower utility bills and increase the home’s value and security. Crestron’s new Digital QMT™ Shade Motor (CSM-QMTDC-256-2) is now available. The first solution of its kind, it transforms home shading solutions with a brushless DC motor with solid-state control that is incredibly small, yet powerful enough for any job. The Digital QMT motor delivers energy-efficient and virtually silent performance for window shades of almost any size. Crestron is so confident in the reliability of the CSM-QMTDC-256, it comes backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Control from the iPad: Crestron appsControl from the iPad enable homeowners to take control of all the technology and systems in the home from their favorite mobile device such as the iPad, wherever they are in the world. Homeowners can monitor and control lights, media, climate, security and more from a mobile broadband or Wi-Fi® connection – all with the touch of a button.

Priced from $2.2 million and now selling, the Estate Villas are comprised of 12 luxury estates featuring three different floor plans of two-story homes ranging from 3,980 to 4,800 square feet with an attached cabana or casita with a private entrance. The villas come standard with top-of-the-line custom estate features such as Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, exotic stone countertops, natural stone and marble floors, custom cabinetry, custom hand-forged iron stair railing, a full masonry fireplace, a private two or three-car garage, a game room with a mini bar, professionally designed walk-in closets, his and hers bathroom vanities, a Jacuzzi bathtub in the master bathroom and a climate controlled wine room.

The villas combine exquisite interiors with the utmost in eco-friendly upgrades that are proven to save 74 percent in energy costs per month compared to a traditional home. Green features include spray polyurethane foam insulation, an energy efficient HVAC system, LED lighting, a hybrid water heater and dual pane Low-E windows, to name a few.

The new model at Sterling at Silverleaf is now open to the public, but appointments are required. Seven of the 12 estate villas are now under construction with completion in late 2014. The second model home will open in late August. The Silverleaf Group of DMB Realty Network manages sales for the community and can be reached at (480) 502-6902. For more information on Sterling at Silverleaf, visit www.sterlingatsilverleaf.com.

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Artists Co-working Space to Open in Scottsdale

The historic arts district of Old Town Scottsdale will be the site of new co-working community for artists that is the first of its kind in the United States. The Creative Center of Scottsdale is a community for artists including sculptors, to painters, to photographers, to graphic designers, mixed-media artists as well as businesses and organizations that serve the arts community.

“We have been working to develop this concept for quite some time,” said Michelle Pelberg, creator of The Creative Center of Scottsdale, “It was important to us that this facility not only serves the needs of the next-generation artists in our community, but also preserves the history, architecture and legacy of the building and the district,” she said.

The Creative Center works similarly to an incubator-a collection of creative minds exchanging ideas and insights with one another in a common space. Their goal is to use collaborative co-working as a tool to build the Phoenix area art scene into a thriving hub of opportunity.

The Center is designed to be a flexible workspace for the vast and varying needs of all kinds of creative minds. Artists can work and create in their open workspace, focus at their private desk, create and showcase their work in gallery-like private studios, store their equipment in private lockers or recharge at the Center’s onsite coffee shop, SIP. With monthly rates ranging from $125-1,422 there is a space that works for everyone. All options include free Wi-fi, a full kitchen, and access to 2 conference rooms.

Housed in the iconic Scottsdale landmark, Mandall’s Shooting Supplies store, the Creative Center of Scottsdale will proudly participate in the City of Scottsdale’s Green Building Program. Scottsdale-based Architect Christina Noble of Contour Architecture is spearheading the building design and implementing unique green building resources and protocols.The Program encourages a whole-systems approach through design and building techniques to minimize environmental impact and reduce the energy consumption of buildings while contributing to the health of its occupants.  The Creative Center is focused on adaptive reuse through preserving the original structures as well as sourcing their materials responsibly. All fixtures and materials were selected looking at the proximity of their creation to the space.

“The Creative Center of Scottsdale is one of the first new buildings to be built according to the City of Scottsdale’s Green Building program,” Nobel said. “We are working closely with the city to make The Creative Center a model for all future green building in Scottsdale,” she said.

The Creative Center of Scottsdale is the answer for those looking to escape the home office, the kitchen table, or the unpredictable realm of public spaces. With their artist-friendly environment and beautiful studio spaces designed to showcase work, the Center aims to be a haven for those who create and work in the creative field.

The Creative Center of Scottsdale is expected to open in early 2014. The center is taking reservations for workspace and gallery space now.

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Cassidy Turley Completes 69,471 SF Lease for 1st United Door Technologies

Cassidy Turley announced it completed a lease for 69,471 square feet for 1st United Door Technologies, LLC at Geneva Industrial, 1016 W. Geneva Drive in Tempe. Senior Vice President Bruce Calfee and Vice President Josh Wyss, of Cassidy Turley’s Industrial Group, represented the Tenant while Executive Vice Presidents Steve Sayre and Pat Harlan represented the Landlord, CLPF Geneva Industrial, LP (Phoenix).
1st United Door Technologies is a Tempe, Arizona based garage door manufacturer. The company specializes in steel and wood doors for both commercial and residential use. Ownership is comprised of the former owners and senior management of Anozira Door Systems. Since 1982, 1st United Door Technologies has been serving Homebuilders across the Nation with unique and distinctive garage doors that enhance the beauty and value of the Builders homes. With over 150 years of door installation and manufacturing experience, the management team is known for providing innovative and quality products at very competitive prices. The new Geneva Industrial location is part of a company expansion.
Built in 1981, Geneva Industrial is a ±69,471 square-foot, industrial manufacturing building. The property is part of the South Tempe Industrial Corridor and is in close to the I-10 and US-60 Freeways. The building is currently 100 percent leased.

golf

Camelback Inn Announces New $10 Million Golf Course

The JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa announced that it will unveil its new Ambiente golf course at Camelback Golf Club in the fall of 2013. Spanish for the word “environment,” Ambiente, which is designed with a detailed eco-friendly focus, will become the first new golf course development project in the Phoenix-Scottsdale and Paradise Valley areas in over five years, and one of a select group of new courses to be built nationwide.

The completion of the $10 million Ambiente golf course will culminate a seven-year, $70 million Marriott renewal project at Camelback Inn, designed to blend reverence for the past with relevance for the future. From preserving the resort’s 1930s adobe brick to the stylish renovation of the Inn’s 453 casita-style guestrooms, and from a new 20,000 square-foot, hi-tech grand ballroom to the debut of BLT Steak, Laurent Tourondel’s modern American steakhouse, the renewal project involved virtually every aspect of the historic resort. Today the new-look 125-acre Camelback Inn, set on its Sonoran Desert surroundings in Paradise Valley, strikes the perfect balance between showcasing the best of the resort’s storied past, while setting a visionary course for the future.

Adding to the lore of Camelback, Ambiente is expected to gain golf industry-wide acclaim for its distinct design, the challenging, yet enjoyable experience it presents to golfers of all levels and the overall aesthetic and environmental qualities it brings to the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. In concert with the popular Padre golf course, Ambiente will help to establish a one-of-a-kind 36-hole Southwest golf destination, for both leisure and group golfers, within the enchanting resort atmosphere of the Camelback Inn.

“Ambiente is more than just a new golf course, for it represents the final phase in Marriott’s unmatched commitment to reinvigorate Camelback Inn for the future, while preserving its history and the unique Southwestern style that has made it a favorite for generations of travelers,” said Jim Rose, General Manager, JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa. “While Ambiente is sure to distract golfers with its natural beauty and breathtaking views of Mummy Mountain, Camelback, the McDowells and the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, our golfing guests will find a friendly test of skill and shotmaking that will redefine the golf experience at a resort long known for its exceptional service, palette pleasing food, luxurious accommodations and spirit of adventure.”

The launch of Ambiente, which replaces the old Indian Bend golf course, will create a uniquely different golf experience than the Padre course, which today is regarded as a great parkland style golf course that, while scenic, boasts numerous water hazards, towering Pine and Eucalyptus trees and 18 golf holes that will test every golfer’s ability. In contrast, Ambiente, which was designed by notable golf architect Jason Straka on behalf of Hurdzan/Fry Environmental Golf Design, will present a distinct challenge where accuracy and a good strategy command the day, as every hole will force even the best players to focus on each and every shot. Golfers will find the eye-catching elevation changes, as well as rolling fairways with significant drops throughout the course, are among its most striking features.

Ambiente will also feature five sets of tee boxes, designed to positively impact today’s golf industry “growth of the game” effort. The new forward tees have no forced carries and offer easier approach angles, which create opportunities for aspiring golfers to enjoy regardless of their playing ability. One of the most golfer-friendly features of Ambiente is the creatively shaped greens. The overall green acreage, which stands at about 122,000 square feet, offers great movement, character and feel. Visually intimidating, the putting surfaces are very fair, but will challenge golfers to bring their best putting stroke every time out.

Environment is a significant part of the Ambiente golf course story, which centers on water conservation, wildlife habitat creation and an overall 50 percent decrease in pesticide/fertilizer and fossil fuel use, as compared to the former Indian Bend golf course. The design and layout of the course will be highlighted by 100 acres of new native desert and grass areas that will feature a mix of acacias, jojobas and sagebrush among many other desert shrubs and grasses, as well as an eye-catching collection of both summer and winter desert wildflower mixes.

These native areas, which will require one-third less water than Indian Bend, will be complemented by 85 acres of hybrid turf grass that also requires significantly less water, while reducing the daily labor and machinery intensive maintenance of traditional Bermuda grass. Overall, the combined native areas will give the course a more Northern desert look compared to the area’s traditional Sonoran Desert layouts, making it a must-play Southwestern layout in Paradise Valley.

From an Audubon standpoint, Ambiente is designed to cater to wildlife, which is part of Marriott’s overall role as a steward of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary program. By removing over 100 acres of turf grass and replacing it with native desert and grass areas, bird inventory, as well as the local mammal population, will increase substantially.

Adds Rose, “Environmental consciousness has long been a hallmark at Marriott, and we believe that Ambiente is a perfect example of the Company’s commitment to protecting wildlife and natural resources, while continually serving as a leader in eco-friendly business practices. Upon completion, we expect golfers in the community will find that Ambiente stands alongside the premier golf landscapes in the Phoenix-Scottsdale market, while we expect the course to redefine the destination golf experience for group and leisure customers visiting the Camelback Inn.”

Chipotle Free Burrito

Chipotle Helps Celebrate Earth Day With Free Burritos

This Earth Day, April 22, Chipotle Mexican Grill will reward eco-friendly customers with a free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos if they purchase a Chipotle-branded repurposed billboard bag from Chipotle’s online store, store.chipotle.com, between now and April 14. Chipotle will donate all of its proceeds from the sale of the bags to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

In keeping with Chipotle’s commitment to finding more sustainable solutions, the lunch bags are made through a unique process called “upcyling,” in which billboards sourced directly from Chipotle’s outdoor advertisements are given a second life by transforming would be waste into ultra-durable, one-of-a-kind, products using less energy than traditional recycling methods. Each lunch bag purchased through April 14 will include an eco-friendly card with a unique barcode that a customer can redeem for a free menu item on Earth Day. The cards are printed on tree-free stone paper that is made from limestone salvaged from construction sites and quarry waste.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “For us, that starts with serving food made with better ingredients from more sustainable sources, but that same idea impacts all facets of our business. We are always pushing ourselves to find better, more sustainable practices for everything we do, and looking to educate our customers about these issues and why we think they are so important.”

Designed exclusively for Chipotle by Loomstate, a pioneer of sustainable apparel, and made in Denver by Billboard Ecology Partners, the lunch bags are available exclusively through Chipotle’s online store. The bag design features a classic top-roll adjustable strap closure, reinforced side seams and handle, and a convenient extra-large back pocket. The black back and front panels of the bags are the reverse side of the billboards while the side panels showcase unique front-facing billboard designs that differ by bag, meaning that each is truly one of a kind.

For every 20,000 lunch bags made from retired Chipotle signage, landfills are spared some 78,000 square feet of billboard vinyl — enough material to cover 2.7 Olympic swimming pools.

Lunch bag supplies are limited and customers must purchase their bag between Monday, March 26 and Saturday, April 14, 2012, in order to receive it in time for Earth Day. Each lunch bag purchased through April 14, 2012 will include a card containing a barcode, which customers must present to redeem their free Chipotle menu item. Each customer is limited to one free burrito, bowl, salad or tacos per barcode presented.

All proceeds from the lunch bag sales will go towards the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which launched in August 2011 with the debut of “Back to the Start,” an animated short film available at YouTube.com/Chipotle. The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation provides funding to support sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.

Photo: Buggy Shady

Buggy Shady Launches Eco-Friendly Line

Buggy Shady, a Scottsdale-born, mommy company, has recently launched a new line of organic products.

Buggy Shady is aware that moms are presented with the difficult dilemma of using natural and healthy products for their baby while staying within budget. Their eco-friendly product, the Buggy Shady, keeps babies shaded and protected from outside elements such as strangers’ hands, bugs and rain.

Buggy Shady has 11 trendy designs to choose from, four of which are made from 100 percent organic fabric. This organic fabric is cultivated from cotton that has not been treated with pesticides or chemicals. The breakthrough of this organic product lies in its trendy and colorful patterns.

Buggy Shady co-founder, Tiffany Christianson, says, “Going green doesn’t have to mean neutral shades and rough fabrics.”

As a mother of two she understands how important it is to make healthy choices for both her family and the environment.

“Our fabrics pop and prove that being eco-friendly is cute,” she adds. “This new green line of products is an exciting development for Buggy Shady.”

The Buggy Shady is made of transparent mesh that blocks 75 percent of UVA and UVB rays along with a lightweight, designer-print fabric layer. This shade’s unique feature is its ability to fit both strollers and infant car seats; other shades lack this functionality. The shade is also easy to store on the stroller canopy so moms don’t have to reattach it every time.

The Buggy Shady is not only eco-friendly, but affordable as well at $40 for the standard line and $50 for the organic line.

The Buggy Shady recently ranked No. 2 as a must-have product in the top 100 baby product essentials on parenting.com. It has also been awarded the Parent Tested, Parent Approved seal.

For more information about the Buggy Shady, visit buggyshady.com

Southwest Build-it-Green Expo & Conference

Speaking Opportunities At The Annual Southwest Build-It-Green Conference

Don’t miss out! The annual Southwest Build-It-Green Expo & Conference is scheduled for April 15-16, 2011 and speaking opportunities are still available! Fill out your speaker form (PDF) today.

As the largest sustainability expo in Arizona, this is one event you won’t want to miss. Last year’s expo attracted more than 200 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees, with topics ranging from green awareness, to solar power, LEED certification, water filtration, and many more.

BIG also features guest speakers of local, national and international prominence. Among some of the speakers last year were Anthony Floyd, AIA, LEED-AP Green Building Manager for the City of Scottsdale; Dr. Tom Rogers, professor and Chair of Construction Management at Northern Arizona University; Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward; James Brew from the Rocky Mountain Institute; Lori Singleton, manager of Sustainability Initiatives and Technologies at Salt River Project and many more.

In addition to the conference, the exhibits showcase products such as eco-friendly appliances and environmentally conscious landscaping techniques that aim to reduce Arizona’s carbon footprint. There are a wide variety of topics and something for everyone – homeowners and businesses alike.

For more information visit www.builditgreenexpo.com.

Insic Wall Socket

Green News Roundup- Green And Sustainable Retail Products

Welcome back to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve decided to focus on highlighting green products, some are available now and some are still in prototype stage. Either way, they point to an exciting new direction for the retail industry and their involvement with sustainability.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing kasia@azbigmedia.com

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

Insic Wall Socket is an outlet product created by Designer Muhyeon Kim that lights up and displays how many watts are being used by whatever device is being plugged into it. The idea behind it is that users will see just how much energy their devices are using and will become more aware of unplugging things when not in use to save energy.

Simple Shoes based out of Flagstaff, Ariz. is committed to making sustainable footwear that is vegan and eco-friendly. Products include bamboo, organic cotton, crepe, jute, hemp, cork, water based glues, recycled car tires, and PET recycled plastic. Not only are the shoes sustainable but the entire manufacturing process is as well.

Healthy Baby Happy Earth is a store in Glendale, Ariz. that sells environmentally friendly items for babies including cloth diapers, organic cotton clothing and a food processor that allows parents to make their own baby food. A lot of their products also provide long-term purposes like the cloth diaper which can serve from newborn to potty-training age.

Yumberi Yogurt is serving up frozen treats in Glendale, Ariz. while also supporting a sustainable environment. All of the yogurts at Yumberi are served in biodegradable bowls made from corn oil and plant fibers and the spoons are made from potato skins. The company also supports eco-friendly events such as their monthly contest that asks kids to write a letter explaining what they are doing to help change the world.

Image via Yanko Design

Untapped Niche 2010

The Untapped Niche Of Green Aftermarket Auto Care

By Rissy Sutherland


Going green is a major step to take, but it’s the right step for businesses, their customers and the planet.

In late 2007, Honest-1 Auto Care hired a market research/strategic marketing agency to help discover an untapped niche in the aftermarket auto care and maintenance industry. Results of the research project revealed that consumers wanted an environmentally responsible company to provide their car repair and maintenance needs.

There was a void in the auto-care market for such a company, and Honest-1 made the strategic decision to fill it by going green and providing what consumers wanted.

By August 2008, every Honest-1 Auto Care shop was Environmentally Sustainable Actions Certified (ESA). The ESA Certification is implemented by the company through its own standards for pollution prevention, recycling and resource conservation. To demonstrate the brand’s commitment to going green, Honest-1 Auto Care launched an exclusive line of auto care products that combine leading edge technology with innovative additives.

Initially, there was some concern among franchisees about moving to an eco-friendly positioning because they felt comfortable with the existing position of Honest-1 as an honest and female-friendly business. Another concern was the cost to operate as an eco-friendly business. As it turned out, the incremental expense was nothing substantial because it was mostly substitutions and  changes in business practices. The new positioning helped to engage customers more closely to the brand and increase their loyalty. Same-store sales are up 10 percent this year over last year.

 

honest autocare 2 2010Girls planting trees.
Photo Courtesy of: American Forests

The biggest impact on franchisees was the ESA program, which spelled out what would be expected of them as they operated under the new business model. The franchisees had time to review and assess the program, and Honest-1 Auto Care executives visited each store to ensure they were ESA certified. Every franchisee is required to update their certification when significant updates to the program or system are needed.

Communication was the key during the transition process. Communication among franchisees, between franchisees and the franchisor were equally important. Honest-1 also convened a board of advisers, which sorted out all of the benefits and potential pitfalls. The board gave the franchisees a voice in the matter. Franchisees communicated their ideas and concerns, and Honest-1 executives responded to them.

So far the response from the franchise community has been very positive, and customers have also provided strong, positive feedback. Both groups are attracted to the cause Honest-1 is supporting, as many share the same values in their personal lives that Honest-1 believes in as a business.

Because any company that “goes green” has to demonstrate to consumers that its efforts are sincere, Honest-1 formed a partnership with American Forests, a leading nonprofit organization that plants trees for environmental restoration. As a franchise system, Honest-1 has jointly committed to planting 40,000 new trees to reinforce the company’s promise to be the most eco-friendly auto repair and maintenance chain in the nation. Honest-1 Auto Care is currently the only auto repair franchise chain to enter into a year-long agreement of this magnitude with American Forests.

It’s important to remember that companies that don’t practice what they preach will be called out by consumers, especially those who identify themselves as eco-friendly.

Rissy Sutherland is senior vice president/operations for Honest-1 Auto Care, based in Scottsdale. More information is available at www.honest-1.com

 

Grand Canyon

Solar-Power, Eco-Friendly Grand Canyon & More

With so much happening locally, this week we’ve gathered stories about Arizona’s green endeavors, including a solar-powered plane and the Grand Canyon’s eco-friendly practices, and why a massive lawn is part of the Postal Service’s goal to reduce its energy needs.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing Shelby Hill.

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.


Green Roof Gives Postal Service Energy Savings
In Midtown Manhattan one building is lucky enough to have a lawn, on its roof.  This 2.5-acre lawn isn’t for sunbathing; it is part of the United States Postal Service’s goal of reducing its energy 30 percent by 2015.  With the help of this immense lawn, the USPS is more than two-thirds of the way to meeting its goal.

Unmanned Solar Plane Flies for more than a Week
A solar-powered unmanned plane flew a total of 336 in Arizona and landed last Friday.  The previous record for longest flight of an unmanned solar-powered plane was 30 hours, which the 110-pound plane beat by more than 10 times.

The Grand Canyon Goes Green
As previously mentioned ecotourism is a new way to be green while on vacation.  Well, now one of the most famous and most visited vacation spots in Arizona, the Grand Canyon, is a little bit greener.  With solar panels powering a building and recycling bins scattered along trails, your family’s visit to the Grand Canyon just got more eco-friendly.

The Greenest Wedding So Far
We’ve written about green weddings before ,but all of the others pale in comparison to this greenest of the green weddings.  A couple from Maine is growing and raising (yes they’re raising their own chickens) all of the food to be served at their wedding.  Aren’t weddings stressful enough?

Feds Capture and Recycle CO2
The federal government, via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is putting $106 million into six projects that turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into beneficial products.  The products range from biofuel to cement

Eco Tourism - travel green

Ecotourism – The Green Way To Vacation

The United Nations designated 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism. Well it’s 2010 and I bet that the majority of people haven’t taken an eco-vacation.  I know I haven’t.

We try to be eco-friendly.  We buy reusable water bottles and lunch pails.  We turn off the lights more often and take shorter showers.  But what if we could reduce, reuse and recycle while having an amazing vacation?

I’d say, “Sign me up.”

I did some Internet research and I found out some major and minor ways you can be an eco-tourist.

Minor Ways to Help Mother Earth

The International Ecotourism Society has 10 energy saving tips for travelers.

Here are three of them:

Stay longer at your destination to avoid frequent air travel. I think we could all stand to stay a little longer at our chosen destination. This way you can discover, learn and play more while reducing your carbon footprint.

Travel light. Every extra, unneeded item in your bag adds to the weight of the plane, which increases the carbon emissions of your flight.  Travel light and leave a light carbon footprint behind.

Just like at home, turn off water and unplug electronics when you leave. When you’re on vacation, you’re most likely not spending too much time in your hotel room.  It’s easy to forget that just because you’re not paying for the electricity that doesn’t mean that Mother Nature should have to pay too.

Major Ways to See and Save the Earth

Travel somewhere that involves more hiking and less traffic. Hiking, kayaking, biking and other similar activities involve little to no adverse impacts on the Earth.  Plus, it’s a great way to explore the beauty and diversity of nature.

Stay at eco-friendly hotels. Although it may be a bit more expensive it is doable.  Some hotels claim to be green simply because they ask you if you want to reuse your towels and sheets.  Hopefully these websites will help sort out the imposters from the true blue “green” hotels.

Be a voluntourist. A voluntourist is a combination between a tourist and a volunteer.  He or she travels a location and gives back to the community, whether it be through developing wildlife and plant life or helping at a local school.  Being a voluntourist might sound like something college students do, but anyone, at any age can do it.

Ecotourism covers a broad range of vacation destinations and activities to help preserve the Earth, which is one of the reasons why eight years ago the U.N. made an effort to promote it.  Along with the range of ecotourism choices comes a range of things tourists can do – from giving their time to leaving that tenth pair of shoes that probably won’t get worn anyway at home.

Walking to Work

Greenway Health Goes Green In July

Most people would think you were crazy if you walked to work in Arizona’s July heat.  But at Greenway Health, that shows a commitment to the company’s green efforts.

Some employees at Greenway Health are so committed to the July “Greenway Goes Green” month that they’re braving the scorching summer temperatures to bike and walk to work.

About five employees are using transportation other than a car, including bicycles and the bus, while other employees are carpooling to work.

These aren’t the only green choices Greenway Health employees are making. They are also bringing reusable water bottles to work, using desk lamps instead of overhead lighting, recycling and using “treeless” paper.  The company is offering incentives to employees who make eco-friendly lifestyle changes.

The company decided to go green to show “employees the benefits and ease of going green,” says Mike McKenzy, of Greenway Health, a direct marketing health and nutrition company.

McKenzy says the young staff, most of the employees are in their mid-20s to early 30s, wasn’t well versed in green solutions.  Company officials wanted to show the employees easy, cost-effective ways to help conserve and preserve.

But, they are “amazed by what little things, if adopted by large numbers of people, can do,” McKenzy says.

The feedback has been great and McKenzy hopes the employees won’t ditch their new habits once July is over.  He says the chances of the green efforts continuing year round are pretty good.  When the company initiates programs like this one, “it sticks,” he says.

Greenway Health’s employees set an example for everyone. Just a little change can make a difference.

Google Buys Wind Power

Oil Spill, Google Wind Power & More

From global new to local business this week we’ve gathered stories about how hair can help the oil spill, what Belgium wants to do with the deceased, Google buying wind power and more. Plus, we’ve got an additional story on what one Valley business is doing to help the environment.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing Shelby Hill.

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

Local
Cut Your Hair and Help the Oil Spill
Matter of Trust wants you to mail your hair, your dog’s hair and your kids’ hair to them to help soak up the oil in the Gulf.  Send hair to 99 Saint Germain Ave., San Francisco, CA 94114, and visit http://www.matteroftrust.org/ to see images of the hair in action.

Learn about the “Energize Phoenix Project”
The “Energize Phoenix Project” will provide energy-efficient improvements to neighborhoods along the 10-mile stretch of Phoenix’s light rail corridor.  It’s expected that this project will create up to 8,000 new jobs over the next six years.  To learn more about this project, attend the Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce’s education forum on Monday, July 26.

National
Google Buys 20 Years of Wind Power from Iowa Farm
Google Energy, a subsidiary of Google, signed a 20-year deal with Story II Wind Energy Center in Iowa to buy wind power.  This is another step in achieving Google’s goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company.

In California, Kaiser Gives $1 Million to Build Green Health Clinic
La Maestra Community Health Center in San Diego would not only be green, but also help promote green building and living to the surrounding community.  La Maestra could be the first of its kind to earn LEED certification.  This clinic’s impact wouldn’t be small either, the clinic, expected to be 36,400 square feet, is projected to see 180,000 patient and client visits annually.

International
An Eco-Friendly Burial Isn’t a Burial at All
Belgium authorities hatched a plan to dissolve the dead in caustic solutions and flush them into the sewer system as a way to replace cremating and burial in a cemetery, which are both not environmentally friendly. Six states, including Colorado and Oregon, recently passed legislation to allow this process to occur in the United States.

Iceland Volcano Causes Decrease in CO2 Emissions
Think back to April when the hard-to-pronounce volcano Eyjafjallajökull had European planes grounded for six days.  Those six days without most of the European air traffic decreased our carbon emissions dramatically.  The volcano did release CO2, but at a much lower rate than humans produce.  Is nature sending us a message?

Recycling CLothes and more

Green News Roundup – LED Lights, Cothing Recycling Progams And More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about LED lights, clothing recycling programs, a solar-powered plane and more.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

LED Lights to Brighten Mesa Streets
The city of Mesa is going green by replacing traditional light bulbs with LED lights. The city also hopes to save thousands of dollars with this eco-friendly replacement. Click the link to see a video on Mesa’s efforts.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – All Three Are Important
Many companies and consumers are focused on how much they recycle or how much recycled materials are in their products. However, this article points out that all three actions – reduce, reuse and recycle – must be done for a healthier environment. This article details how the paper products industry can be cleaner from factory to customer.

Recycle Your Clothes and Create Jobs
When you move or decide to change your style, it’s easier to throw clothes away than to find a place to donate them. However, used clothing is wasting away in landfills when it could be recycled and creating jobs. New York City is launching an initiative to combat the wasting of textiles, like old clothing, by placing donation centers in high-traffic areas. The city and its partners hope to make recycling clothing as easy as throwing it away.

Solar-Powered Plane Makes 24-Hour Flight
Solar-powered batteries, yes. Solar-powered cell phone chargers, sure. Solar-powered plane, what? A single seat plane that uses the sun’s rays to power itself during the day and also saves up energy to use during the night landed in Switzerland on Thursday, July 8, after a 24-hour flight. The company who produced the plane is hoping to fly around the world in this solar-powered aircraft in the future.

Turn Down the Air Conditioning!
Italian Energy company, Eni, started a program in 2008 to turn the air conditioning in its offices one degree Celsius, almost two degrees Fahrenheit higher than before the program. The company doesn’t allow employees to swelter in the heat, most employees don’t even feel the one degree increase. Employees are also allowed to wear lighter, summery clothing to work. This small, almost unnoticeable change decreased Eni’s summer energy consumption 9.5 percent. Maybe Arizonans should take a lesson from Italians?

Green News Roundup- Green Wedding, Alternative Fuels

Green News Roundup – Green Weddings, Alternative Fuels & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about green weddings, alternative fuels, green burials and local sustainability-related events taking place throughout the Valley. Happy 4th of July!

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.


Green Wedding
This couple took eco-conscious to the next level by making their wedding a low-impact environmentally friendly affair.

Couple Recycles 400,000 Cans to Pay for Wedding
Green weddings certainly are in style! This couple took their dedication to the environment a step further when they used only proceeds from their recycled cans to pay for their wedding! The couple managed to recycle more than 400,000 cans and raise approximately $4,000 to pay for their specialy day. Local food, home-brewed alcohol and flowers grown specifically for the wedding make this wedding a truly low-impact, eco-friendly affair.

Green Homes that Float
From New Orleans to Dubai, from houseboats to Boeing planes turned into homes, these eight cool, and green homes float above the rest. All of these homes are eco-friendly and sustainable. Each has its own reason for floating, some are houseboats, some are meant to survive another massive hurricane in the Louisiana. These homes show that design and be functional, green and interesting.

Hurricane Alex Spreads Oil, Has Officials Pondering New Oil-Skimmer
As Hurricane Alex pushes oil to new places, disturbs more wildlife and discolors more beaches, officials may be considering a new option to remove the oil that is marring the gulf. Using an oil tanker that has now been converted into a skimmer, could be turning problem-causer into problem-solution.

Into the Green and Beyond
Some people are very dedicated to leading a sustainable lifestyle. They recycle, are conscientious of the environment and are dedicated to making our world a better place. Can this same dedication extend to the end of a person’s life? The New York Times Green Blog explores this issue and discovers an eco-friendly way to limit impact on the planet even at the end of a life: a green funeral. Traditional caskets wreak havoc on the environment, every year, 30 million board feet of hardwood, 104,000 tons of steel, 2,700 tons of copper and bronze and 1.6 million tons of reinforced concrete is buried in cemeteries across the nation.  A greener option is cremation and burial in a biodegradable urn, caskets made from renewable materials and burials in fields and forests. Though these types of burials are rare in the U.S. right now, there are options for those interested.

Casa Grande Hosts Alternative Fuels Workshop
The Renewable Fuels Association’s Alternative Fuels Workshop is coming to Casa Grande, Ariz.  If you are interested in learning more about fuels from Biodiesel to ethanol to Propane to vegetable oil, this workshop is right for you.  The Alternative Fuels Workshop will answer your questions about how to use renewable and alternative fuels to power your business and your life.  Visit www.altfuelsalliance.org if you would like to attend the July 23 conference.

Green Companies Flock to West Valley
With its proximity to California, freeways, available industrial space and nearness to other manufacturers, the West Valley has become a haven for green businesses.  Recently, Linamar Corp., announced plans to open a facility, which will initially employ 52 people, in Glendale.  Linamar Corp., is only one of several solar companies and suppliers to open and operate a facility in Glendale.  This Phoenix Business Journal article details the West Valley’s solar expansion.

Green News Roundup- Alternative Energy Sources, Bioplastics and more

Green News Roundup – Alternative Energy Sources, Bioplastics & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about green entrepreneurs, alternative energy sources, bioplastics and more.

Feel free to send along any stories you’d like to see in the roundup by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state.

Body Heat: Sweden’s New Green Energy Source
This article will make you think twice the next time you’re sweating it out at the gym or simply walking to work. Swedish engineers have figured out a way to harness body heat and transfer it to energy for an office building. Though using excess body heat to warm a building isn’t a new concept, transferring it from one building to another is. The future for this new energy source is exciting!

Entrepreneurs Ditch Day Jobs to Create Green mobile apps
Two University of Arizona graduates developed a green application for the iPhone geared toward the environmentally conscious consumer. iGoGreen offers green tips for hundreds of situations.

Solar Inspired, Eco-Friendly Gallery Opens at Arizona Science Center
Arizona Science Center announced the grand opening of its newly renovated gallery, Solarville. This hands-on gallery is focused on sustainability including exhibits on how to harness and distribute sustainable green energy, exploring ways to utilize solar and renewable energy in your everyday life and more. The exhibit opens May 23 and will offer daily demonstrations.

The Promise and Pitfalls of Bioplastic
In a previous post I wrote about petroleum and its strong presence in our everyday products. Since petroleum-based plastics do not biodegrade, bioplastics are hoping to fill the gap. This article discusses the future of the environmentally friendly plastic and its role in a petroleum-based world.

Eco-Friendly Surfboards

Green News Roundup – Eco-Friendly Surfboards, Electric FedEx Delivery Trucks & More

This week’s Green News Roundup has a variety of news articles focusing on sustainability-related issues from eco-friendly surfboards to electric FedEx delivery trucks and more.

As always, please feel free to send me any interesting stories that catch your eye to kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on green topics throughout the Valley and state. Learning more about the issues that affect us all will help lead us to a sustainable future.

Start-Ups Win With Plans to Displace Disposables
NURU Energy, a company that makes rechargeable lights and portable power generators designed to displace kerosene fuel used in off-grid villages in developing nations, took the grand prize at last weekend’s business-plan competition hosted by the William James Foundation. The Richard Heinberg Award for Sustainability went to EGG-Energy and Kwai won the Regional Prize.

Obama Bicycle Policy Wins Love From Cyclists, Scorn From Trucking Industry
Last month, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the government is going to start giving bicycling and walking the same priority as cars in transportation planning and when choosing projects for federal money. It’s a controversial policy of course, but potentially a huge step in the world of environmentalism.

Green solutions as Earth Day turns 40
Next Thursday is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and CNN’s Green Solutions in Focus series is looking at solutions at issues affecting the planet. For instance, Vermont dairy farmers are experimenting with methods to reduce bovine greenhouse gas emissions…by increasing Omega-3 fatty acid in cows’ diets so that they burp less and produce more milk.

FedEx is geared up  for electric delivery trucks
Next month, FedEx Corp. will be introducing four new trucks to its fleet. These trucks aren’t like their conventional delivery vehicles, though – they are all-electric. An interest in reducing reliance on fossil fuels isn’t new to the company, which began using a hybrid truck in 2004. The new electric trucks will roll out in Los Angeles.

For eco-friendly surfboard shapers, more kelp in the lineup
Though surfing is often seen as an almost spiritual-like release for its aficianados, surfboards are actually wreaking havoc on the environment. The materials used to make surfboards will take generations to biodegrade, so you’d think a new movement of entrepreneurs hoping to find a more eco-friendly solution would be a breath of fresh air for the industry, but you’d be wrong. Instead, those trying to find a formula for surfboards that will be better for the environment are feeling some opposition.

Green Cosmetics

Green News Roundup – Climate Change, Eco-Friendly Cosmetic Packaging & More

Welcome to our weekly green news roundup. This week we’ve gathered stories about planning for climate change, eco-friendly cosmetic packaging, and homemade nontoxic spring cleaning materials.

Feel free to send along any stories you’d like to share by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles focusing on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state.


When ‘Green’ Consumers Decide, ‘I’ve Done Enough’
Although it seems odd, a new study seems to indicate that those who purchase ‘green’ products may have a tendency to be less generous and possibly even be more inclined to thievery. The article speculates that perhaps those consumers are compensating for the fact that, in their minds, they have already done their part to help the world.

    Planning for Climate Change in the West (Policy Focus Report)
    The product of the joint venture partnership of the Lincoln Institute and the Sonoran Institute, this report focuses on the political and cultural aspects of preparing for climate change. It includes a survey of government officials indicating skepticism, and explains why these officials are focusing on sustainability and economic efficiency instead of climate change.

      Now, the Cosmetic Jar Matters, Too
      You’d think the most important part of make-up would be, well, the make-up. But last year, one in five women reported that eco-friendly cosmetic packaging matters just as much to them as how well the product inside works. This article explores why, and delves into how the cosmetics industry is responding to this new sudden demand.

        Coral Reef Extinction Could Cripple Nations’ Economies
        Coral Reefs are dying quickly, and most people assume that doesn’t affect them. But as the foundation of the ocean food chain, coral reefs are necessary to keep the planet functioning. Without them, poverty and hunger will prevail, and it could influence politics and economies in a very negative way.

        How to Spring Clean With Nontoxic Homemade Products
        Spring is finally here, which means it’s time to get cleaning. This year, try these homemade, environment-friendly products. They’re easy to make and easier to use!

          Green News Roundup

          Green News Roundup

          With so much going on in sustainability these days, I always find it difficult to narrow it down to just one thing to write about. Instead, I’ve decided to post a weekly green news roundup with some interesting green stories from around the Web. Enjoy! Feel free to send along any stories you’d like to share by e-mailing me at kasia@azbigmedia.com

          Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles focusing on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state.

          Vancouver Olympics Going for the Green
          The 2010 Winter Olympics have been at the center of the news for 2 weeks now, but I didn’t know until I read this LA Times article that they’re the greenest Olympics in history! The mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson, rides his bike to events even though he was provided with a car and driver. Using renewable hydro power for electricity and high green building standards, Vancouver generated fewer greenhouse gases in seven years of preparation than Salt Lake City and Turin did just during their Games!

          An Inn Is an Oasis From Environmental Affronts
          Topia Inn in the Berkshires is committed to providing guests with a completely green, organic experience. Guests are asked to remove their shoes before entering the no-smoking facility where they are provided with complimentary organic bath and body products and an organic breakfast. It’s a vacation that helps the environment too!

          The Waste of Eating Out
          No time to read through an entire article? Check out the Huffington Post’s visual representation of just how much waste we create by eating out. The captions really put things in perspective; for example, Americans use 15 billion disposable coffee cups a year. It also includes tips on how to reduce your waste next time you eat out!

          Green Style: Earth Day Refashioned
          Dressing fashionably and helping the environment? Sounds great to me! Marie Claire magazine offered up some ‘green’ clothing tips. Not only does it feature green items such as organic tee-shirts (imagine how soft!), but it brings to our attention entire fashion lines consisting entirely of green clothing. For example, Raw Bags by Beth Kelly Warner features sustainable  bags made entirely out of bamboo. Fashionable and good for the environment!

          Students Prompt City of Mesa to Get Rid of Plastic Bags and Go Green
          Here’s a great local story as well. A group of 8th graders at Rhodes Junior High School came up with the idea to ban plastic bags in Mesa during their Project Citizen Class in their quest to make the city more “green.”

          MP900202205(2)

          Solar Trees: Growing Green

          We’ve all heard that money doesn’t grow on trees. Does it grow on solar trees?

          One of the latest solar inventions, the Solar Tree, is digging its roots into the business world and residential communities. The idea of the solar tree first sprouted on the streets of Vienna. The concept was a little different, but the overall theme and name are the same.  In Europe, solar trees are used in place of streetlights. The artificial trees provide enough light throughout the night, even if the sun doesn’t shine for four days in a row.   These solar lights even look like trees with branches that hold 10 solar lamps. Designed by Ross Lovegrove, the solar trees saved the city 524,000 KWh of electricity and $96,800 in 2005.

           

          Solar Trees: Growing GreenIn the United States, San Diego-based Envision Solar is spearheading this energy-efficient invention with its own Solar Tree. Envision CEO and architect Robert Noble, who wanted to give parking lots more purpose than just a place to keep your car, created its aesthetically pleasing design. With its Solar Tree system, Envision Solar is on a mission to turn parking lots across the country into gardens of alternative energy by “planting” scores of the devices. Each “tree” is topped with a 1,000-square-foot canopy that is covered in solar cells built by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Kyocera.

          This system of “planting” several Solar Trees is called a Solar Grove. The Solar Groves work best on large parking lots, and they not only use the sun as a way to produce energy, they also shade cars, displace unwanted run-off, and even have a place to plug in electric vehicles. According to Envision Solar’s Web site “a Solar Grove can pay for itself in as little as five years, and create positive cash flows from the first day of operation by avoiding the cost of existing electricity bills.”

          The prices of these “power plants” vary by size, installation, site conditions and a company’s energy usage. Envision Solar will work with a company to create a financial analysis and see what’s right for the business. Also, many states offer incentives for using solar energy. These can be found at www.dsireusa.org.

          Solar Trees: Growing GreenOne of Envision Solar’s better-known Solar Grove projects can be found at one of the nations “greenest” college campuses, the University of California at San Diego. Each tree generates more than 17,000 hours of clean energy per year and eliminates 13.2 metric tons of carbon emissions.

          Various other kinds of solar trees can be seen all across the U.S. and are not solely produced by Envision Solar. One of the more ambitious projects is at Google’s California headquarters.  Energy Innovations, a company that also produces solar panels for parking lots, installed the 1.6-megawatt design.

          Solar Trees were initially created by Envision Solar for large businesses, but have now been transformed to work on a smaller scale. Envision Solar recently started a new line of residential solar applications. An example of this is the LifeTree, a single post steel structure with a cantilevered canopy. It costs around $18,500 and provides about 1.4 kilowatts of clean energy.

          Living in Arizona provides businesses and consumers with more than enough sunlight to take advantage of this cost-effective energy system.  Solar Trees are a way to conserve space and energy. They can save a company and consumers money, and make an “eco-friendly” statement. Solar energy is the future and planting these solar “trees” has never had a bigger payoff.

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          Avatar Sends an Eco-Friendly Message

          Avatar Sends An Eco-Friendly Message

          You don’t need to be a sci-fi buff to love Avatar. James Cameron makes his much anticipated return to movie making with this alien biopic of epic proportions. Outfitted with a stunning visual landscape, strong cast and concept as well as a multimillion-dollar budget, the movie is sure to provide an out-of-this world cinematic experience.  (Especially if you see in 3D, like I did).

          What you probably don’t know is that beneath the action-packed drama, Avatar sends an eco-friendly message. It makes a pretty strong statement against the wastefulness of our industrialized society. In the film a corporation will stop at nothing in order to obtain a rare, expensive mineral — including eliminating an entire indigenous species of people. The film promotes sustainability and preserving the gifts that our natural environment has bestowed upon us, instead of plundering our natural resources and placing a dollar value on something that is irreplaceable. We as a society need to respect and value the natural resources we do have. If we continue to exploit them, the plotline in the film doesn’t feel that farfetched — rather a very scary glimpse into what our future may one day look like if we don’t implement changes.

          This message really resonated with me and it’s great to see such current themes in movies. Though Avatar isn’t the first film to include an eco-friendly storyline, his stunning visual effects highlighted this concept and helped drive such large crowds to see it. Marketing this film to young adults (it’s rated PG-13) was a great way to spread the message about sustainability and encourage individuals to become ecologically responsible. The entertainment industry is a perfect medium to send such a message and can really make an impact. Oh and if you couldn’t tell from this post, I loved the movie and would definitely highly recommend it.

          Photo Source: www.avatarmovie.com

          LEED Certification - AZRE Magazine November/December 2009

          LEED Certification – Making Existing Buildings More Eco-Friendly

          Eco Buddies

          This summer, two Phoenix office buildings entered new territory for existing private-sector buildings in Arizona. Collier Center and Phoenix Plaza became Arizona’s first privately owned multi-tenant existing buildings to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s consideration for LEED certification, thanks to the efforts of their owners and their two building managers. Both buildings are seeking LEED-Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EB O&M) Silver-level certification.

          Of course, LEED certification isn’t just about saving the world. It’s also about being best-in-class, separating a company’s building from its competition and improving operating efficiency. LEED-certified buildings promote an eco-friendly workplace and, in most cases, offer lower overall operating expenses — two factors tenants are specifically looking for these days.

          LEED in the Private Sector

          Yet, to date, the USGBC lists only three LEED-certified existing buildings in Arizona, two single-tenant quasi-government buildings and a single-tenant manufacturing facility. Arizona’s other LEED-certified buildings are new construction, and almost all are owned by the government.

          So why aren’t more private-sector owners of existing buildings interested in LEED certification? Most either don’t know enough about the program or assume it’s too expensive. However, research entities like CB Richard Ellis are proving that LEED certification costs far less than believed, and can result in significant savings that will continue for the life of the asset.

          For example, Collier Center reduced its electricity consumption by 30%, or 2.7 million kWh, between January 2009 and July 2009. Compared to the same time period in 2008, that’s a savings of $216,000, or 67 cents, PSF annualized — Phoenix Plaza’s results are equally as dramatic.

          Also, Collier Center and Camelback Esplanade III are transitioning janitorial services to daytime cleaning, and anticipate reductions in annual lighting costs of 10 cents to 15 cents PSF.

          The Cost of Green

          Minimum costs to pursue LEED certification include a small registration fee of about $500 and a certification fee, which depends on a building’s size. As property manager for both Collier Center and Phoenix Plaza, CBRE reports these costs at $12,500 for each building. Additional costs to satisfy prerequisites and credits vary from building to building. Of the 30 applications CBRE’s Sustainability Programs group has completed so far, the costs to certify averaged 24 cents PSF, and ranged from 10 cents to 67 cents PSF.

          For CBRE, the certification projects took approximately 6 months to complete, including determining each building’s existing status and satisfying certification requirements in 6 categories under LEED-EB O&M:

          • sustainable sites
          • water efficiency
          • energy and atmosphere
          • materials and resources
          • indoor environmental quality
          • innovation in operation
          • and upgrades

          Overwhelmingly, the process has been favorably received by existing tenants — and many have even begun seeking ways to improve on their own green efforts.

          A broad implementation of sustainability practices, such as LEED, in the nation’s private-sector existing buildings can significantly advance progress toward energy independence and precious resource conservation, while also promoting eco-friendly workplace environments and cutting operating costs.

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          AZRE Magazine November/December 2009