Tag Archives: green scene

ShaneStephens, CBRE

Shane Stephens Joins CBRE

CBRE has announced that Shane Stephens has joined the firm’s Retail Services Group in Phoenix, Ariz. as a vice president. Stephens, who is one of the top emerging retail professionals in the Phoenix commercial real estate industry, will partner with Vice President Traci Russell to form a new team that will focus its attention on retailers and retail developers looking to capture opportunities in the greater Phoenix marketplace. “Shane is a wonderful complement to our team of best-in-class retail professionals,” said Craig Henig, CBRE’s senior managing director and Arizona market leader. “His experience, gained while working with notable local companies RED and Evergreen, will expand CBRE’s reach and strengthen our capabilities to serve the diverse needs of our retail clients throughout the Phoenix area.” Prior to CBRE, Stephens worked for RED Development, where he was the top senior leasing associate for the major development, management and acquisition firm. In 2013 alone, he was honored by Cole at 2013 RECON for most transactions in their portfolio and led the RED Arizona team with number of transactions for the year. Prior to that, he was a leasing manager for Evergreen Devco, Inc. With Arizona’s retail market continuing to improve post-recession and consumer and retailer confidence continuing to strengthen, strategic hires like Stephens will help CBRE expand its retailer practice in Arizona and across the southwestern United States. CBRE Retail Services Group represent clients worldwide, providing integrated products and services including strategy development, management, finance, corporate services, consulting and leasing. Whether serving the retailer or the retail property owner, the division’s professionals act as advisors and become an invaluable part of clients’ decision-making processes. Stephens holds a M.S. in economic management and policy from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland and a B. S. in economics from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla.

Mark Skalny Photography

CPI Brokers 36KSF for Mark IV Capital Properties, Inc.

Commercial Properties Incorporated, Tempe, recently brokered six leases totaling almost 36KSF at Red Rock Business Plaza in the Chandler Airpark.

Black Diamond Advanced Technology, a division of Roper Industries, took 24,196 SF of flex industrial shell space.  Chris McClurg with Lee & Associates and Eric Ramer with ICON Commercial Interests out of Atlanta represented the Tenant.  The built to suit space will be delivered to Black Diamond in “turn key” condition by Mark IV Capital in early 2014.

Black Diamond valued the high building standards of Red Rock Business Plaza as well as the great San Tan Freeway Corridor location as deciding factors.  Other lease transactions with Generations Physical Therapy, Express Interlock, BBJ Rentals, Aptech Systems, and HSP Corporate Arizona have brought the occupancy rate at Red Rock up to over 75%.  Red Rock Business Plaza, part of the Mark IV Capital portfolio, was built in 2008 and is comprised of three, single-story buildings, totaling 134,478 RSF of office/showroom/warehouse space just south of the San Tan Loop 202 and east of Crossroads Towne Center on Gilbert Road.

Sarge Glenn and John Hart, with Commercial Properties Incorporated, represented the Landlord, Mark IV Capital.  Mike Gilbert and Justin LeMaster with Cassidy Turley represented Express Interlock.  Tricia Gumulka with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented BBJ Rentals.  Josh Wyss with Cassidy Turley represented Aptech Systems, and Russell Gould with StoneCrest Properties represented HSP Corporate Arizona.

Water Conservation, City of Phoenix

Water Conservation Tips For your Business

In the desert, water is scarce, and water and sewer charges can really add up. The City of Phoenix has partnered with numerous water conservation associations to stay in the know and help its customers conserve water and save money.

Upgrading to low-water appliances and equipment will eventually have the equipment paying for itself. But the quickest and most immediate return is changing employee and customer behavior. Communicate your conservation message to your customers and suppliers, and be proud of the change your business can have on the Arizona ecology.

Water conservation doesn’t just save your business money. The City of Phoenix’s website lists four more reasons to participate in water conservation:

  • Reduced wastewater costs and less spending on water treatment chemicals
  • Energy savings from using less energy to heat, pump and treat water
  • Environmental benefits
  • Positive publicity resulting from your conservation efforts


The City of Phoenix provides these tips to help your business reap the benefits of water conservation as listed above:

  • Make water efficiency a factor when choosing new equipment. Take into account the cost savings that can accrue over the lifetime of a unit. Look for industry-specific opportunities to save water.
  • Use waterless technologies where available. This could range from switching to waterless urinals in men’s rooms to using waterless woks in your kitchen to replacing old photo-development or x-ray equipment with modern digital technologies.
  • Eliminate all technology operating with “once-through” (continuous water flow) systems such as once-through cooling.
  • Reuse and recycle water wherever possible; wastewater from some indoor sources can be used outdoors for irrigation.
  • Install automatic devices to turn water off when equipment is not in use.
  • Restrict water pressure and flow rates where possible (install pressure-restricting valves, add aerators to existing faucets).
  • Consider installing sub-meters on major water-using units to track water use.


Water Conservation Outdoors: Knowing How and Where to Look for Leaks

If your business has a separate outdoor water meter you can check for leaks by shutting off outdoor water use and monitoring the meter. This is called sub-metering, and sub-meters (point-of-use meters) can be used for indoor fixtures, pools, sprinkler systems and large heating or cooling equipment.

However, if you feel that the leak maybe underground, a leak detection specialist will use echo correlation to find the source of the leak.

Water Conservation Landscaping

Growing plants that are accustom to an arid climate will aid in water conservation and save money on high water bills.

The City of Phoenix has four tips to conserve water when landscaping for your business:

  • Harvesting Rainwater is a practical (and free) form of irrigating both large and small landscapes. This is done by using the right type of plants and creating a simple system of berms (mounds) and swales (ditches). If done right, this system can reduce or even eliminated the need of using metered, potable water.
  • Another way to harvest rainwater is collecting and storing roof water runoff. Contact an expert to ensure you are safely storing the water and not creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can be hazardous.
  • Hydrozoning is simple; you will save water by planting the hardiest, most heat-tolerant plants right next to walkways, which are generally hotter, and by grouping plants that have similar water requirements together to reduce superfluous watering.
  • Nearly every business in Arizona has an irrigation system, and the best way to conserve water is to keep the irrigation system well maintained. The City of Phoenix recommends getting regular inspections of sprinklers and irrigation systems to spot leaks or misaligned heads.


Water Conservation Remodeling

When it comes to saving money and conserving water on the inside of your business, water smart remodeling is the way to go. When deciding on interior upgrades, the City of Phoenix recommends tankless water heaters, pressure reducers, aerators, and high-efficiency fixtures and appliances to reduce water use.

  • Tankless water heaters: When replacing water heaters, a “tankless” heater that heats water instantly can reduce use from hot water taps by up to 20 percent.
  • Pressure reducers: Adding or retrofitting existing technologies with pressure regulators that keep pressure to all fixtures below 70 psi can reduce water use and offer quick return on investment.
  • Aerators: For only a few dollars, retrofitting faucets with aerators increases water-efficiency instantly.
  • Install high-efficiency fixtures and appliances: Water-efficient fixtures and appliances include low-flow shower heads, faucets, toilets and urinals. High-performance dishwashers, clothes washers and a wide range of industry-specific technologies are also available for your business.


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National Bank of Arizona, APS Energy Efficiency Partnership

APS Home Performance Program Provides Loans For Homeowners Energy Efficient Improvements

National Bank of Arizona has partnered with APS to provide an affordable financial incentive for APS customers to renovate their homes with energy efficient improvements. It’s called the APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program.

The program was started more than a year ago and at the time was only available to schools and small businesses. But now, the partnership has  opened up so all APS residential customers have the ability to benefit not only the environment, but their wallet as well.

“We’re pleased to continue our partnership with a company like APS that views environmental sustainability as a top priority for our community,” says Craig Robb, executive vice president of National Bank of Arizona. “Our business energy financing program has been incredibly successful and, we’ve recognized the need to offer the same initiatives in the residential sector, as well.”

Photo: photos.com

The APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program allows homeowners to receive loan amounts ranging with a standard rate of financing, from $1,000-$15,000 for qualifying energy efficiency improvements. Loans that include improvements for solar water heaters are available up to $20,000. The energy efficient improvements included in the partnership program range from duct sealing and shade screens to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) replacements, solar water heaters and more.

To get started, customers need to schedule their $99 (regularly $400) APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Checkup with a participating contractor. Customers can locate a contractor by calling (877) 850-8358 or visiting www.aps.com.

Learn more about the APS Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program and financing details by visiting any one of National Bank of Arizona’s 76 branches statewide or calling (866) 277-5605 for more information. Customers can also log on to www.nbarizona.com or www.aps.com/financing.

Clean Air Cab & ASU

Clean Air Cab Partners with ASU, Promotes Sustainability

Come September, Clean Air Cab will be promoting two new Arizona State University-themed cabs, which will help promote sustainability as well as raise money for scholarships.

The company, based in Mesa, is Arizona’s first completely carbon neutral taxicab service. Clean Air Cab first started in 2009 with just 19 cabs and has successfully flourished the past two years, adding 31 more. The company uses Toyota Hybrid Prius’.

Clean Air Cab has agreed to partner with ASU to assist students and their families in safety, and sustainably, getting to and from university football, baseball and basketball games.

Even on no-game days, Clean Air Cab will still be around the university. “We’re always going to have a presence on ASU,” says Steve Lopez, president and owner of Clean Air Cab. “We’re just going to spice it up on the weekends for the games and be more present.”

Clean Air Cabs partner with ASUThis partnership is not only helping ASU “go green” but scholarships also will be made available from Clean Air Cab.

This sustainable cab service will be donating one dollar of every fare from the ASU-themed cabs, which will help fund scholarships for university students.

“ASU has always been on my radar with what they do with the community,” Lopez says. “I want to give the funds to young entrepreneurs that want to be challenged, that want to make a difference.”

The company has already donated a $7,500 scholarship for this year’s academic school year. As the company grows, the scholarships will grow as well, Lopez says.

Clean Air Cab not only supports ASU, but is involved in other charities as well, such as Mesa United Way and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

For more information on Clean Air Cab, visit www.cleanaircab.com.


Arizona Green Jobs Increase

Arizona Green Jobs Continue to Increase

Arizona Green Jobs: Energy efficient and green jobs in Arizona are booming. Thanks to consumer demands for energy-saving services and products, the green workforce is increasing with multiple jobs created and available across the state.

Arizona green jobs have grown from about 29,000 in 2003 to 37,000 in 2010, according to the Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment report by the Brooking’s Institute.

This low-carbon and green economy blossoming has been a source of job renewal to many across the country, including local businesses here in Arizona that have been revitalized thanks to the products and services being created to benefit the environment.

One of these successful green businesses here in the state, WellHome, has done very well over the past few years with the rising energy-efficient economy.

WellHome, located in both Tucson and Chandler, is a business that assesses and completes home energy audits. The company has been growing since first opening two years ago, during a time when energy costs were heavily on the rise.

This business not only makes homeowners energy efficient, but also saves clients’ money. While many Arizonans currently have tight budgets, WellHome can come into a residence and improve home energy efficiency. After completing an energy audit, as well as energy-efficient upgrades, homeowners can expect to see 10-40% in energy savings.

Because green jobs are booming in Arizona, WellHome has been able to take in many employees from the distressed housing industry and teach them the new skills regarding energy efficiency demands.

Of course, WellHome is not the only Arizona business that has been skyrocketing during a time when the national economy is failing. Accel Electric and ATS Electric are other companies that have successfully adjusted to the growing demands of an economy that wants to go green.


Tap Insulation Being installed

Pest Control Insulation Systems – Pest Control with Home Insulation

Pests, as well as high energy bills, can be a big problem for some homeowners. However, a company called Pest Control Insulation Systems (PCIS) has introduced a new way to battle both issues, while at the same time saving energy and money.

Bill Turk, president and CEO of PCIS, founded the successful company in the late 1990s. After envisioning a product that would not only reduce energy costs but control pests, Thermal Acoustic Pest Control (TAP) Insulation was patented.

Bill Turk, president & CEO of TAP Insulation, pest controlTAP Insulation, made from recycled paper and natural borates, reduces home energy bills and noises and even eliminates common household pests.

This specialized insulation is blown-in and put on top of previous insulation in homes. For pest control, borates are used, which are mineral salts mined from the earth. Although mineral salt has minimal effect on humans and pets, it is extremely toxic and deadly for insects.

When TAP Insulation is installed in a home, less energy is used to cool or heat a home. The ability for heat to transfer through walls and attics is reduced, which means cooler homes during those hot summer months and warmer homes during winter. Thus, cooling and heating bills are lowered.

The insulated walls and attics reduce noise as well. With a thicker padding, outside noises and inside noises, such as running appliances, are lessened.

TAP Insulation is also the only pest-eliminating product labeled by the Environmental Protection Agency that bears the Energy Star label that also lowers energy costs.

This insulation isn’t just beneficial to homeowners because of the positive ways it saves money and reduces pests, but it is also a green and sustainable product.TAP Insulation, pest control

When looking at the product as a whole, it is very green and environmentally friendly. It is made from recycled paper, provides no post-installation waste, reduces a home’s carbon footprint by saving energy, and the cellulose insulation takes less energy to make than regular insulation.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce energy bills, eliminate pests, or reduce household noises, TAP Insulation might be a good choice for you.

For more information about Pest Control Insulation Systems, visit www.tapinsulation.com.

Fresh Water is Becoming Scarcer with the Planet's Changing Climate

ASU To Host Climate Control Discussion On Water Sustainability Practices

 Climate Control Discussion  – With the world’s fast-growing population and climate changes, fresh water has significantly become scarcer. On August 25, Arizona State University with be hosting a climate control discussion where a group of panelists will discuss how we can create better water sustainability practices.

The Changing Planet: Adapting to Our Water Future event will also be hosted by National Science Foundation, DISCOVER Magazine and NBC Learn with Anne Thompson, NBC chief environmental affairs correspondent, moderating it.

With hopes of addressing the impact of climate change on water resources, challenges of achieving sustainability and how we must adapt to those changes, panelists that include scientists and policymakers will discuss how shifting climate patterns are stressing the world’s fresh-water resources.

This will be the last installment of a videotaped, three-series production from NBC that focuses on climate control and is expected to be aired in the fall on the Weather Channel.

Panelists for Adapting to Our Water Future will include Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico, Patricia Mulroy, general manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority, and Heidi M. Cullen, correspondent of Climate Control.

Come explore the effects that climate change is having on our planet, and learn how to change your water sustainability practices.

ASU’s Adapting to Our Water Future is free and open to the public, all with the hopes of educating the community about the problem of finding fresh-water resources with the ever changing climate.

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Climate Control Discussion, If You Go:

Changing Planet: Adapting To Our Water Future
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011
6 – 7:30 p.m.
Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe Campus


Light Rail Station On Washington, Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Takes On Two More Solar Power Projects

With sustainability practices continually increasing with popularity, it’s no surprise that Phoenix is expanding its go green tactics and introducing new ways to put solar energy to good use.

On July 6, the city launched its first solar-cooled light rail station. One of the most popular and well-used seating areas for the light rail, 3rd. St and Washington, recently went through a remodel and now provides free, on-demand cooling to those waiting for transportation.

The seating area was designed and constructed by NRG Thermal, and provides an environmentally-friendly system that uses solar energy. The company also uses its downtown district cooling system, which cools 34 major buildings downtown, including Chase Field.

The constructing was finished in record time, and fans that went to the Major League Baseball All-Star event were able to try out the new cooling station during one of the hottest times of the year.

With the first solar-cooled light rail station now available for citizens to occupy, another solar power project is in the first sPhoto: Toy Dog Design, Flickrtages of beginning at the Burton Barr Central Library.

Construction has already taken place at the library by SKY Renewable Energy and will occur in two phases to reduce inconvenience to library visitors. The construction will provide power for the library from canopy SolarWings that will be installed in the parking lot.

SolarWing is a Phoenix-based green company that provides covered parking solutions that deliver solar energy.

The installation of 42 SolarWings in the north lot will be able to cover 84 parking spaces, offering both energy to the library and lighting at night.

This $1.3 million project is funded by an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Photo: borman818, Flickr

NBAZ Invests $300,000 In Energy Conservation, Reduces Consumption By 25 Percent

Today, energy conservation seems to be the latest trend with businesses both large and small. Over the past several years, National Bank of America (NB|AZ) has made energy efficiency a top priority, with just recently investing $300,000 in energy conservation to their Phoenix headquarters in late May.

The completed upgrades to NB|AZ’s corporate headquarters and adjoining branch are expected to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption by an estimated 25 percent, in just the first year.

Investments to the bank’s campuses include installation of smart controls and occupancy sensors, lighting retrofits and de-lamping, as well as giving building personnel access to remotely monitor and control space temperature settings in the three campuses from the installation of a building energy management system.

The renovation allows building engineers to pre-cool air handlers, building chillers, cooling towers and pumps, and the initiatives taken will ultimately provide huge savings in preventative maintenance costs.

With these upgrades, NB|AZ plans to reduce energy expenses by 20 percent, as well as reduce their carbon footprint by 230,000 pounds over a lifetime in the 127,000-square-foot building.

According to Curt Hansen, executive vice president of NB|AZ, it is important to continually seek solutions to reduce one’s carbon footprint and remain cognizant of energy consumption.

NB|AZ has been praised for its sustainable business practices over the last few years. In May 2009, the bank installed one of the state’s largest commercial solar systems on its Phoenix headquarters. The company has also provided $25 million to help finance Solar Phoenix, the largest residential solar leasing program in the nation.

The initiatives taken support environmental responsibility in our community, and is a sound investment for our organization, Hansen says.

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About NB|AZ:

Founded in Tucson, Ariz., in 1984, NB|AZ is Arizona’s fourth-largest bank with more than $4.5 billion in assets. NB|AZ is a full-service community bank that offers award-winning service and innovative solutions. For more information, visit www.nbarizona.com.



GGI distributes food scraps to local pig farmers

Local Business Utilizes Extreme Recycling Techniques, Feeds Pigs

Did you know that the leftover foods you leave on your plate at some first class resorts here in Phoenix are saved to help feed pigs? No? Well, one company has taken “going green” to a new level, with not just recycling plastic bottles and cardboard, but going one step further to salvaging recyclable food scraps.

Global Green Integrators (GGI), a local business, is on the prowl to help reduce landfill space and reduce their carbon footprint; and they’ve come up with a unique way to do it.

The company uses “extreme recycling” techniques, with hopes of minimizing food scraps from convention centers, events, resorts and large employers.

Food scraps are sorted out and donated to Arizona pig farms, who then use it as animal feed. The scraps that cannot be used can then be composted, which in turn decreases the amount of waste that would ultimately be dumped into a landfill.

GGI can compost up to five tons a day. Once the food scraps are sorted to remove meat and protein, it’s then given to non-commercial pig farmers, who then feed it to Lisa Pérez, founder of GGI, Photo: Global Green Integratorstheir livestock.

The idea of using pigs as a way to reduce food waste came to Lisa Pérez, founder of GGI, in 2009, while working at the NBA All-Star event. She was asked what her company did with food scraps that were obtained at these events. This got Pérez thinking.

Pérez and her business partner, Chris Garcia, started brainstorming and came up with the idea that local pig farmers might possibly want their help. They did, and today, GGI assists four pig farmers in the valley with donating food scraps, according to Pérez.

GGI has previously contracted with big-name businesses and events, including the NBA All-Star events in downtown Phoenix, FireSky Resort and conventions at the Chase Field, providing ways to also recycle paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum, glass and organic material.

“Our goal is to be everybody’s forethought for anyone that has a recycling idea,” Pérez says. “I want them to think of us.”

This local business simply charges clients a fee to remove the recyclable waste, takes everything that can be either recycled or composted, and then provides the recyclables to companies that can reuse the materials.

With a zero-landfill mantra, Pérez’s company has certainly come a long way from when they first started off shredding paper and recycling electronic media.

“We’re innovative,” says Pérez. “We come up with new ideas on how to recycle and reuse. Nobody has ever done what we are currently doing. We want to show you how you are saving the planet.”

Phoenix Convention Center, GoGreen Conference 2011

GoGreen Conference Comes to Phoenix, Educating Business Leaders with Sustainability

Deciding to make your business more sustainable can be a challenging task, especially when profitability is in question. Luckily, Phoenix will be hosting its first GoGreen Conference come Nov. 15 at the Phoenix Convention Center, where business leaders and owners will have a chance to be inspired and educated on sustainable business practices.

The GoGreen Conference is a one-day sustainability event for business owners and leaders. This event program addresses key issues pertaining to sustainability, and gives businesses and organizations a chance to learn how to take these tools and use them in their business practices, according to Ericka Dickey-Nelson, founder of GoGreen Conference and president of Social Enterprises, Inc.

The conferences have been taking place for the last four years, with a goal to educate business leaders with the most recent sustainability practices, and in turn, to put their businesses on a sustainable path.

Derrick Hall, President/CEO Diamondbacks, GoGreen Speaker, Photo: Brian FiskeThe event works with all types of businesses, and each previously held event has been sold out, with each conference educating 600-1,000 attendees.

Some of Arizona’s most successful business leaders working in sustainability will be speaking at the GoGreen Conference, as well as promoting some of the best business practices and tactics to achieve sustainability.

Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has been chosen to be a keynote speaker for the event in Phoenix.

“It’s a challenging task to pick a keynote,” Dickey-Nelson says. “Keynotes are a big deal, and we have to choose the ones that are the best. We chose him because of the industry he is in.”

Hall is known for his green tactics, which include the new solar shade outside the Chase Field that generates solar energy for the stadium.

Of course, there have been challenges in promoting sustainability practices and the GoGreen Conference in this improving, yet rocky economy.

“I think the most important thing is relating sustainability practices to businesses,” Dickey-Nelson says. “It deals with money, and we make sure in every session we address profitability and long-term saving.”

The conference has plans for business leaders and owners to leave with an idea of how to successfully change their business practices.

“We want to make your business more sustainable,” Dickey-Nelson says. “We want you to walk away with a tool chest of strategies.”

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If You Go:

GoGreen Conference ’11 Phoenix:
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center, West Building

smart phone

Verismic Software Helps Businesses Conserve Energy, Save Money

With the technology era continuously booming with new inventions and ways to make our lives easier, the question of “What will they think of next?” always seems to follow after the unveiling of a new product. With the launch of their new creation, Verismic Software has reached a new level of tying technology in with efforts to “go green” simultaneously.

A leader in PC Power Management, Verismic has recently introduced a completely new way for businesses around the globe to save both energy and money with an application that can be downloaded onto a smartphone.

With the company’s new Verismic Power Manager (VPM), information technology personnel can enable a Wake-on-Web function all with a click from their phone. This function is for computer workstations within business environments and wakes up computers recently turned off to conserve energy by the VPM.

With this function, the IT department in a business is able to gain remote access to a workstation and use it from anywhere, at any time. This, in turn, conserves energy costs. 

Those on the Power Manager 3.0 are informed of their personal contribution to PC energy efficiency. These users are able to compare how efficient they are with their peers, and in turn it increases overall energy effectiveness.

This software works on PCs, Macs and servers, and it manages on both laptops and desktops.

With the goal of promoting the management of PC energy consumption with flexibility, Verismic Power Manager plays an important role with any business that has plans of going green. In this computer age, Verismic is making it easier for businesses to benefit from carbon, energy and cost reductions.

For more information on Verismic, visit www.verismic.com.

Macy's Announces New Sustainablility Practices, 2011

Macy’s Announces New Sustainability Practices

The department store giant plans to enforce new sustainable practices by the end of 2011.

Macy’s, a United States department store chain of mid-to-high range, has announced the store will perform a new series of steps in its ongoing drive to operate with more sustainability and to improve the environment. 

The company noted that in fall 2011, they will begin using environmentally friendly matte black hangers for most apparel sold in the stores, replacing the clear hangers that have been in the industry for several decades.

They will eliminate the foam packaging (cups, bowls, plates and to-go containers) and in-store restaurants nationwide by the end of 2011. The number has decreased by about 50 percent and will further be reduced to zero by the end of 2011.

They are increasing the use of solar power systems they use in the stores and other facilities. In May, a new 3.5-megawatt, high-efficiency solar power system will go on the roof of its online fulfillment center in Goodyear. Developed in partnership with SunPower, it will be one of the largest rooftop solar power systems in the United States. By the end of 2011 they expect to have 49 solar power systems on the roofs of its stores, fulfillment and distribution centers.

Macy’s went into partnership with ECOtality, a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies that address the world’s global energy challenges. The plan is to become the first major department store to pilot the use of self-serve electric vehicle charging stations, through The EV Project.

The company has become a Recyclebank Rewards Partner, allowing customers across America to earn special discounts at Macy’s when they increase household recycling, reduce energy and practice green lifestyles. They have increased the company’s energy saving by installing energy-saving LED light bulbs in stores nationwide.  By doing this the company reduces energy consumption by up to 73 percent. 

Macy’s continue to encourage their credit account customers to receive their monthly billing statements online. At the end of March 2011, more than 4.1 million customer accounts are receiving billing statements online, an increase of 23 percent from a year earlier. This has reduced paper use by 520,000 pounds annually.

About Macy’s:

Macy’s, Inc., with corporate offices in Cincinnati and New York, is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with fiscal 2010 sales of $25 billion. The company operates about 850 department stores in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as the Macys.com and Bloomingdales.com websites. The company produces the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which has been held in New York City annually since 1924.

Eco-Friendly Clothing Raising The Organic Cotton Production, 2011

Eco-Friendly Clothing Raising The Organic Cotton Production

Fashion to some is matching the right top with the perfect pants or skirt. To others it’s creating a style about them that tells the type of person they are. Businessmen and women wear suits to express their professionalism. Athletes wear their sporty gear to reflect their enthusiasm for the sport in which they play. Why not wear eco-friendly clothing to show your passion for the environment?

Sustainable clothing is the new craze in saving the atmosphere. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has aimed to establish a worldwide index for measuring and evaluating apparel and footwear product sustainability.

Organic cotton blog 2011, Picture:Flickr, Salty_Soul

The marriage between saving the earth and producing reliable clothing is done by using organic cotton. This cotton is grown without pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers or any other chemicals.

According to the 2009 Organic Cotton Market Report, released in May 2010, an estimated $4.3 billion in global sales have been reached, rising 35 percent from the $ 3.2 billion in 2008.

Out of the 22 countries that produce organic cotton the top 10 are India, United States, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Egypt, Peru,  China, Syria, Turkey and Tanzania.

Programs developed by apparel companies are using 100 percent organically grown cotton or combine small percentages of organic cotton with conventional cotton in their products.

Organic Cotton blog 2011;Picture:Flickr, ninette_luz

This has increased the need for domestic and international organic cotton.

Some of the companies that have joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to improve their clothing line and environmental impact are: Adidas, Gap Inc., H&M, JC Penney, Kohl’s Department Stores, Levi Strauss & Co., New Balance, Nike, Nordstrom, Target and Wal-Mart.

A new demand in fashion has consumed the philosophy of fashion. Being stylish is no longer about whom you are wearing but what you are wearing. Eco-friendly clothing is the next step in life changes right after recycling. Going green brings a new meaning for what color is in your closet.

Photo by Flickr, okalkavan

Mobile Applications Can Help Business Sustainability

Smartphones have become a communication necessity in business. They can do just about anything, from tracking packages to depositing a check into the bank. Business owners and entrepreneurs are embracing smart phones because they are better, faster and have applications that focus to specific business needs.

Now these phones are helping companies go green. With applications such as Greenpeace Tissue Guide, which allows a consumer to make better green-buying decisions on toilet paper, paper towels, tissue and paper napkins is available on the iPhone and Android. Greenpeace Tissue Guide is an organization that focuses on the use of recycled paper products.

The smartphone application features 100 brands of paper products to choose from, ability to search for brands or browse by product category, ratings based on expert analysis and brand recommendations.

If business owners are worried about gas prices they can download an app called Avego. This application is a real-time, ridesharing app. It allows drivers to be matched in real time as they travel, so ridesharing can be done whenever and wherever you are. It also helps to operate and manage fleet operations with web-based instructions with no additional IT help.

This app helps business save on route issues and gas. Allowing employees to sign up for ridesharing also helps the economy to focus on working together for a greener environment.

Mobile Applications Can Help Business Sustainabliltiy

If your company requires employees to be on the road, try an app called GreenDrive, that helps heavy-footed drivers put their driving in perspective by suggesting the most economical driving method. When you are going too slow or fast it will let you know how much more speed to increase or decrease in order to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. This app is said to save you an average of 15 – 25 percent on fuel costs.

No matter what type of business you have, smartphones are advancing the way you service your customer base, invest your time and money. Communicate with employees on a new level. Mobile applications will continue to be a driving force in everyday business ventures, including green initiatives.

By 2014, green mobile applications could exceed 400 million according to a report issued by Juniper Research.

Mobile technology can help business sustainability initiatives and create a reliable form of green standards for employees, owners and consumers to follow. Don’t loose money when you don’t have to. Make sure your company is allowing your smart phone to work for you.

Desert Star Construction's First LEED Home, Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley Gets The First Ever LEED Certified Home

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Desert Star Construction, Inc. (DSC) has placed the first ever LEED home in Paradise Valley. DSC specializes in luxury commercial properties and luxury homes in the Paradise Valley and  Scottsdale areas. They stand out by doing complex projects that offer the leading green standards.

“Our clients range from local leaders to presidents of Fortune 500 companies,” says Jeremy Meek, sustainability programs manager at DSC. “They recognize that green building is the future, and they welcome opportunities to consider new technologies as they build.”

LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certifications are determined by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and are the leading, nationally-accepted, third-party verification program for green buildings.

This will be one of four custom LEED homes located in the greater Phoenix area.

“We’ve been building ‘green’ for over 30 years, but this is the first official LEED home we have done,” Meek says. “We do niche commercial projects and audits for the luxury market.”

In order for a home to be “green” and have the LEED tag, they must meet high design standards, rigorous construction practices and scrupulous third-party verification of all measures. The USGBC then ranks the homes as (from lowest to highest) Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

The three-structure Paradise Valley LEED home includes a main house, guesthouse and casita. The guest home has been ranked “Gold” while the casita is “Platinum” Certification.

Because of the different certifications and building style, DSC has also completed houses five and six.

“We build better, implement new things on the next home and always favor the next project,” Meek says.

All three buildings apply essential green-build and sustainable strategies to meet LEED requirements. In the Paradise Valley home, these include:

  • Solar hot water and solar electric systems
  • Reduced water use through low-flow faucets and toilets, as well as an “intelligent” landscaping irrigation system
  • High-efficiency LED lighting and mechanical equipment
  • Enhanced home occupant health measures, such as hard surface floors in lieu of carpet that can emit chemicals from production
  • Materials that reduce the local heat island effect, such as light-colored driveways, sidewalks and patios (particularly those within 50 feet of the home) that reflect rather than absorb heat from the sun
  • Recycled and salvaged materials
  • An advanced home automation system that includes motion detectors that will shut off lights when spaces are not in use and gives homeowners the ability to control light intensity. At the Paradise Valley home, all lights are set to 90 percent brightness, which can double the life of bulbs.

About Desert Star Construction

For 34 years, Desert Star Construction has advanced a tradition of excellence and integrity through its commercial and luxury custom home construction and renovation projects. The company has gained honors including a Gold Nugget Best in the West award, Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Custom Home of the Year, Valley Forward 2010 Environmental Excellence Award of Merit, and the 2010 Heart of Business Award.

EcoAvenues Earth Day Celebration, Green Scene

EcoAvenues Earth Day Celebration

As Earth Day approaches, companies are celebrating with events — both active and educational — that get residents into the “green” spirit. One such celebration is the EcoAvenues 2011 2nd annual collaboration of the Southwest Valley event.Green Ecoavenues blog 2011

On Saturday March 26, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Estrella Mountain Community College, families can enjoy a FREE day of activities that promote ways to see the latest in environmental products and services.

Hosts of the event include EcoAvenues, Buckeye Valley Chambers of Commerce, EMCC and the cities of Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield Park and Tolleson.

EcoAvenues is a collection of cities and chambers that work together to help communities strive toward a sustainable community.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about energy sources, hybrid emission transportation, recyclable building materials, innovative “green” technologies, locally-grown organic foods, and much more.

Kids will be able enter a kid-friendly zone full of fun-filled youth activities such as bike rodeo, face painting, eco-crafts, science project competition and live animals from the World Wildlife Zoo.

Bringing together businesses, organizations and volunteers help the Southwest Valley be an independent, more sustainable and healthier environment — guiding the lives of those in it to be better protected.

If you have e-waste — electronic equipment nearing end of use such as fax machines, computers and cell phones, Goodwill Industries will collect them and accept donations.

New and innovative technology exhibitors will display unique and organic products to enhance our everyday living and increase public awareness.

Showcase your company or city by contributing to being green.

Sustainable Banks, Green Banking

“Green” Banking, New Resource Bank, Helps Empower Sustainable Businesses

Sustainable Banking

More than ever companies are taking the steps to creating a sustainable business; however, changing your business from “regular” to “green” can be costly and take time.

But there are banks that can help: green banks — specific banks designed to aid environmentally-conscious businesses and consumers with better incentives and loan rates. Despite the changes in our economic system in business caused by the housing market, these banks are willing to work with companies who want to empower sustainability.

New Resource Bank is a small commercial bank established with the sole mission of serving the particular needs of green entrepreneurs and sustainable businesses. The model “rethink, rebuild, renew” has a vast appeal to the bank because they want to educate with programs, reduce consumption and challenge other companies to do the same.

Not only is this bank lending funds to help other companies go green, they are walking the walk themselves. The bank is reducing their environmental footprint by using renewable energy and buying re-manufactured toner cartridges and chlorine-free paper products. The Values in Action Committee monitors the bank’s performance and pledge to promoting a global well-being for future generations.

Sustainability Certifications and Awards

Certified B Corporation

Green Banking 2011: Picture:Flickr, ithread

San Francisco–certified Green Business

LEED Gold headquarters

Green-e certified offsets

Outstanding Achievement 2009, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pacific Southwest region

New Resource Bank accepts applications from businesses in every state as long as you are a green business or committed to turning their business green.

green jobs 2011

What Are “Green” Jobs?

The term “green collar” is springing up in corporate America every day. It is now considered to be an effective way to produce and reproduce products and services while trying to reserve the earth’s precious resources. In order to say you have a “green job,” the business must be considered environmentally conscious. Cleaning up the environment, restoring our planet to healthy standards and controlling climate change are considered environmentally conscious jobs.

The focus on going green in companies has been known as the “green collar” industry. This new job trade is not only rewarding for the company and employees but to consumers as well. Having a sustainable career with innovative techniques that help make the world a better place doubles as a career and way of life.

Companies, such as jobing.com, now offer green job categories to feature such positions.

What exactly is a green job?

A green job is a profession that directly works with materials, technology or policies that contribute to making sure the environmental impact of products and services are minimal. Some may require special training or knowledge.

Why choose green jobs?Green Jobs, Lumber Work

This industry will provide better and longer lasting future for the earth. Jobs have gained importance when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act announced they would provide $750 million for programs to train and help workers grow in the emerging industry.

It allows new and innovative research to be accomplished, opening the door to job training and special projects in the renewable energy industries. Of the funding given, $500 million will go into this training.

The demand for new employees is opening doors for jobs daily. The growth in the business can create nearly 5,000 new jobs within five occupations during the next year.

Where can you find a green job?

Green jobs can be found within environmental jobs such as plants, sciences, earth or agriculture. They are also found in fishing, forestry, fuel, solar industries, engineering and energy.

Sustainable planning and waste management positions link local jobs to the Valley. They help to create green buildings, energy saving techniques, environmental compliance and waste management corrections.

Other industries to think about when researching green jobs are:

  • Bicycle repair and bike delivery services
  • Car and truck mechanic jobs, production jobs, and gas-station jobs related to biodiesel
  • Hauling and reuse of construction materials and debris (C&D)
  • Hazardous materials clean-up
  • Landscaping
  • Materials reuse
  • Non-toxic household cleaning in residential and commercial buildings
  • Parks and open space expansion and maintenance
  • Printing with non-toxic inks and dyes
  • Public transit jobs related to driving, maintenance, and repair
  • Recycling and reuse
  • Small businesses producing products from recycled materials
  • Solar installation
  • Tree cutting and pruning
  • Whole home performance, including attic insulation, weatherization
Otis Elevator 2011

Otis Elevator Company Shows The Way To Green

Otis Elevator Company, a unit of United Technologies Corporation, launched a major global environmental program Feb. 8th called The Way to Green. The program is designed to extend to every aspect of their business — from design and manufacturing to products and end-of-life recycling.

The Way to Green is designed to significantly boost the companies’ commitment to environmental protection and sustainability while reducing energy consumption and offering the finest performance.

By introducing this program, the company will encourage environmental awareness to 60,000 of its employees, customers, suppliers and business partners making them aware of environmentally sensitive practices.

Eiffel Tower Otis blog 2011, Flickr, Moonlightbulb

They are the world’s largest manufacturer and maintainer of people-moving products — including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. More than 200 countries use Otis Elevator Company and over 1.7 million elevators and escalators are being maintained worldwide.

If you have never heard of them, think about the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building; the Eiffel Tower; the Shanghai World Financial Center and the Los Angeles International Airport. All of these places have elevators installed by this company.


The line of Gen2 elevator systems feature regenerative drives that reduce energy consumption by up to 75 percent compared to conventional systems.

The Gen2-coated steel belts and machines require no additional lubrication, and LED illumination is standard, lasting up to 10 times longer than conventional fluorescent lamps. An automatic switch-off mode saves up to 80 percent wasted energy.

Otis escalators and moving walkways reduce energy consumption by up to 60 percent, an efficient, automatic lubrication system reduces annual oil usage by up to 98 percent versus conventional systems, and LED lighting options are up to 30 percent more energy efficient.


Otis implements processes that recycle 97 percent of industrial waste produced by Otis facilities.

water otis blog 2011, Flickr, Snap

The manufacturing facility in Madrid uses solar panels to generate about 60 percent of the site’s energy needs.

The TEDA Manufacturing Center in China has achieved Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Advanced technologies in use at this location reduce energy usage by at least 25 percent compared to conventional design and manufacturing methods.

Otis facilities have reduced water consumption by 12 percent by optimizing conservations through rainfall collection, recycling and the use of water-efficient fixtures.

More than 200,000 Gen2 elevator systems — covering a wide range of applications — have been sold to date, making it the fastest selling product in Otis company history. The Way to Green has taken “going green” to a whole new level.

Unisource teaches kids sustainability

Green News Roundup – UniSource Teaches Sustainability To Kids, Commercial Energy Solutions

The next generation of “green” collaborators is being influenced to conserve our resources for their future through fun and games. UniSource Energy Services (UES), which operates natural gas and electric systems for more than 230,000 customers in northern and southern Arizona, provides educational programs and services to kids.

Sustainability For Kids

Energy Efficient World is a game that allows kids to learn to conserve energy and save on electric bills — teaching them energy efficiency, how to help the environment and home energy inspection. It also provides links for parents.

Sunsite Funsite teaches children about solar energy, chemical energy, solar thermal and resources. The game is interactive, and children are able to see how their actions at home affect the universe.

Electrical and Natural Gas Safety World explains the hidden dangers at home and in the community. With two separate worlds the fun never ends. They are exposed to learning how to protect themselves by enjoying an eye-catching game.

HogBusters Training Camp, an interactive lecture, allows kids — through a series of five levels — to work together and learn new ways to save the environment for the future. After completing the stages, a certificate is available for printing.

Commercial Energy Solutions

Getting rid of old equipment can be costly for a business. UniSource has a rebate system designed to make the change to “green” easier. Energy-efficient upgrades on lighting, controls, refrigeration & HVAC, heating, ventilation and air conditioning are available. The rebates are intended to help offset a portion of the cost associated with installing new energy-efficient equipment.

An incentive program for commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems, used to turn sunlight into energy, is being offered to encourage the installation of solar power. Systems greater than 50 kilowatts AC (kWac) can qualify.

UniSource is focusing on the present and future by getting kids excited about the environment and helping companies turn “green.”

Going green 2011

10 Ways To Go Green For Free In Your Home

“Going Green” is more than a term for saving our planet; it’s a lifestyle. Changing the way you perform everyday household activities can help you save money, energy and time.

You don’t have to leave home or spend money to turn your house green. The following simple activities take little to no effort to increase your home’s green power. You’ll feel better about yourself knowing you’re doing something to help the environment without spending any green.

open curtains 2011, Flickr d'n'c

1. Open Curtains

Leave your curtains open for as long as possible. Allow the daylight to brighten your home. According to Salt River Project’s Website (SRP), on average, lighting accounts for about eight to 10 percent of the energy bill. Turn off lights when you are not using them. The myth turning your lights on and off costs more is wrong. You save more energy turning them off than leaving them on.

drink tap water 2011, Flickr TheGiantVerm

2. Drink Tap Water

It’s no secret that water bottles load our landfills and take an average of 700 years before they decompose. Drinking tap water will not only cut down the price to dispose of plastic bottles, it will cut down the price to make them. According Refillnotlandfill.org, if everyone in New York were to use a reusable water bottle for one week, 24 million bottles would be saved. Switching to tap water will reduce waste and conserve resources.

clothes dryer 2011, Flickr Tracy O

3. Clean The Lint Screen In The Dryer

Taking the lint filter out of the dryer and cleaning the fuzzy fur only takes a few seconds, but can save you a pretty penny. The dryer filter collects fluff while drying clothes and most people forget to clean it. When the filter is dirty it takes longer to dry clothes causing the dryer to work harder and longer using more energy in the process. By cleaning the lint filter after you dry each load you reduce the risk of a higher electric bill, waste of resources and damaging your dryer.

compuer 2011, Flickr Si1 very

4. Turn Your Computer Off At The End Of The Day

Although there is an energy saver (sleep or standby) option on your computer that allows the screen to go black and conserve energy, the computer is still receiving electricity and, therefore, costing you money. A typical desktop computer can use between 65 to 250 watts, a laptop can use 15 to 60 watts and a monitor can use 15 to 70 watts. For example, leaving your 100-watt light bulb on all day for a month costs about $5, and that’s just one bulb. On average, $15.60 is the cost for leaving your computer on all month. Turn your computer off at the end of the day so it can rest, and you can save money.

plastic bags 2011, Flickr Swanksalot

5. Recycle Plastic Bags

After you come from the grocery store, don’t throw away those plastic bags, keep them in a drawer. When you need a small bag to go in your office, bathroom or bedroom trash bins, utilize those. Reusing plastic bags reduces the waste of plastic going in the recycling bins and later to the landfill. If you have no need for trash bags, get a plastic bag recycling bin and dispose of them properly. According to Plasticbagrecycling.org, in 2006 more than 812 million pounds of plastic film and bags were recycled, which is enough to manufacture nearly 1,500,000 composite lumber decks.

shower 2011, Flickr Spring Dew

6. Take Shorter Showers

Taking shorter showers save on wasted water and money. The typical shower time should be five minutes or less. Water is used at about 2.5 gallons per minute costing $2 per 1000 gallons, equaling .005 cents per minute.  That number may seem small but what’s important and worth knowing is how much water you will save. In one year, doing this simple task could save 4,500 gallons of water.

laundry 2011, Flickr mysza831

7. Line Dry Laundry

No, it isn’t the 70’s and almost everyone has an electric clothes dryer, but many people put clothes in the dryer that could be hung on a line. Jeans are a perfect example of something to line dry. They are weighty and take more energy to dry. Hanging heavy-duty clothes out to dry saves money, keeps clothes looking newer longer and cuts down drying time. Arizona is a dry state — take advantage of the heat.

paying bills 2011, Flickr bandita

8. Get Bills Online

The Internet has taken over in communication. Take advantage of that by receiving your bills online. You’ll save the company printing the bills money, and they will stop charging you a delivery fee — saving you money in return. When logging on to your accounts to pay your bills, choose the option that says “go paperless,” and they will start sending your bills to your email address. You will no longer receive a paper bill, and by doing this you will reduce paper waste.

junk mail 2011, Flickr Charles Williams' photostream

9. Stop Junk Mail

I can’t think of one person who doesn’t get annoyed by the junk mail filling their mailbox. Not only is it irritating, it packs our garbage bins faster than you may think. Credit card offers, catalogs, newsletters and fliers from places at which you don’t shop go from the mailbox to the trash bin. Stop receiving junk mail by visiting DMAConsumers.org (The Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service). It may take a few minutes, but you will stop getting wasteful mail.

tell friends 2011, Flickr Comedy nose

10. Tell Friends About Going Green

There is no chore in talking to our friends. Next time you’re on the phone with a friend tell them of money saving green tips to use for themselves. Word of mouth is the biggest advertising agent. Getting another person to improve their living habits to support the environment will benefit everyone around them, including you. Don’t forget to remind them to pass the news along.


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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