Corporate Responsibility

Earth Week: Kimco employees taking sustainability personally

Posted by: Will Teichman Will Teichman
on April 22, 2014

We spend a lot of time on our blog discussing the many initiatives Kimco has undertaken to advance sustainability at our properties and in our communities. But as I speak to my colleagues, I’m always inspired by the actions they’re taking in their personal lives to promote sustainability and healthy living. In honor of Earth Week, we thought we’d flip the script and ask our colleagues to share what they’re doing at home to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

The response has been overwhelming, so we wanted to share with you some of what our employees said — in their own words:

THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER: This artificial lawn stays green all year round, with no pesticides needed or lawn mower emissions produced in the upkeep

Danielle
Leasing, Portland office
“In addition to LEDs, low-flow faucets and toilets, and recycling paper, cardboard, plastics, cans, and glass, I recently installed an artificial lawn in my backyard. Not only does it look great, it’s extremely low maintenance, uses no water, and there are no lawn mower emissions since the grass doesn’t grow. No need for any gas-powered lawn equipment here! Also, no pesticides are needed for weed control. It’s beautiful and green all year round, and I feel confident that my children are crawling around on pesticide-free grass. Oh, and no sneezing from my grass allergy is a bonus!”

Susan
Legal, New Hyde Park office
“In our house we recycle everything that could possibly be recycled — our neighbors are always amazed that a family of four only puts out one trash can per pickup! We have also started thinking about the carbon footprint that we leave by ordering online. Thinking about the environmental cost of delivering one pair of shoes (carbon emissions, packaging, etc.) made us make more of an effort to buy at brick-and-mortar retailers as much as we can. I think that brick and mortar retailers can help by stocking more variety/inventory. Just think if everyone did their part!”

Christina
Leasing, Granite Bay/Sacramento office
“We grow our own fruit, converted to LED lights, recycle all cans, bottles, and plastics, and recently went to solar power energy!”

Paula
Leasing, Vista office
“I have four raised planter beds (and numerous containers) that I raise fresh vegetables and fruit in year-round. I also have three large compost bins where we compost all of our kitchen scraps and unused paper to produce a nutrient-dense soil that is then used in the planters. I also raise worms. They produce wonderful and extremely rich compost that is added to the beds. Additionally, I raise chickens. We consume their eggs (which are obviously fresh and delicious), the chickens help to keep the yard free of bugs that can harm the crops, and they turn the dirt in their scratching and picking. Another byproduct is their waste, which when mixed in with their bedding, creates fabulous compost!”

YARD-TO-TABLE: Four raised planter beds and a handful of chickens keep Paula’s family happy and healthy every season

Brandi
Office services, New Hyde Park office
“On the weekends my children and I walk or ride our bikes to get around. They love to plant gardens, and we’ve even grown radishes and spices in our home. Our family also recycles.”

Nina
Regional administration, Vista office
“I believe that no effort is too small in regard to being responsible for our use of natural resources. We recycle at home, always carry our own reusable grocery bags, consolidate car trips, and always try to buy organic foods that aren’t treated with chemicals that get into the foods and are left behind in the soil. I have become a huge fan of our local weekly farmer’s market. When having dinner out we are finding and patronizing more and more places that use organic foods or foods that are responsibly sourced. It’s better for us and the earth!”

SOLAR STAR: These sleek solar panels reduce the energy needed from the grid and double as convenient tables for evening dining

SOLAR STAR: These sleek solar panels reduce the energy needed from the grid and double as convenient tables for evening dining

Judith
Leasing, Vista office
“I utilize hydroponics for urban gardening in my upstairs unit, which uses approximately 90 percent less water than traditional soil plant system and produces higher yields. I also have three 140-watt solar panels that are connected to an inverter (which converts 12-volt DC to 110-volt AC) to reduce energy needed from the grid; these panels can also function as tables for outdoor dining in the early evening.”

Sophia
Ancillary income, New Hyde Park office
“I love making my own natural (no chemicals added) soaps, moisturizers, and eye serums. The soap smells awesome and is very soothing on the skin. In the spring, I always plant a vegetable garden in my yard. It’s very rewarding and the veggies taste great.”

Angela
Information technology, New Hyde Park office
“On the weekends in the spring and summer when the weather warms up, my husband, my children and I have ‘leave your car at home day.’ We ride our bikes around town and don’t touch the cars the whole day. It promotes health and quality family time and limits pollution!”

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: Jim’s childhood canoe reduces gas consumption and eliminates the risk of oil spills in delicate fishing environments

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: Jim’s childhood canoe reduces gas consumption and eliminates the risk of oil spills in delicate fishing environments

Jim
Portfolio and asset management, New York City office
“I still fish from my childhood canoe which is almost 35 years old. Fancy fishing boats make a lot of noise, burn gas, spill oil, and make wakes that erode the shorelines. By taking care of the old canoe, my carbon footprint is minimized in comparison to buying new boats over a lifetime. Not to mention, it is much easier on my wallet! Furthermore, since I am actually terrible at fishing, I am doing no harm at all to the fish population; they’re all well fed with my bait and are perfectly safe.”

Joanne
Property management, Rosemont office
“I eat organic foods!”

Scott
Information technology, New Hyde Park office
“I have started to replace fluorescent lights with LEDs when the fluorescent lights need to be replaced. The cost is high, but they will last longer and they are safer because they eliminate the risk of leaking mercury if they break.”

Nicole
Regional property administration, Irvine office
“I eat a plant-based diet for multiple reasons, including the environmental benefits. For example, approximately 2,400 gallons of water are needed to make one pound of meat versus only 25 gallons for a pound of wheat. The average meat eater’s diet also requires 4,000 gallons of water a day versus 300 gallons for a plant-based diet. According to PETA, making one calorie from animal protein requires 11 times more fossil fuel than a plant protein. And studies have shown that switching to a plant-based diet reduces carbon dioxide emissions more than switching to a hybrid car. Three meals a day? Seven days a week? That’s overwhelming, right? If an office of seven went meatless just on Mondays that would be equivalent to having one vegetarian/vegan around. :)”

PACKING A BIG PUNCH: This little car means serious savings on gas and emissions

PACKING A BIG PUNCH: This little car means serious savings on gas and emissions

Anne
Regional property administration,
Rosemont office
“Since September 2012, I have been driving a smart car. It’s perfect for commuting to and from work because it gets great mileage, but it wasn’t so great in the horrible Chicago winter we just experienced!”

Jennifer
Property finance and accounting, Vista office
“I drive a Toyota Camry Hybrid, and I try to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as I can. I hardly ever throw anything away, and if something is still usable, I donate it to Goodwill, Salvation Army or another local charity that collects donations.”

Emily
Property management, Charlotte office
“I donate used clothes and household items instead of throwing them away.”

Kelly
Property finance and accounting, Vista office
“Living 40 miles away from the office, my annual commute generates double the carbon emissions compared to the average carbon footprint per vehicle. But my husband and I recently decided to make a difference for our planet. After extensive research, last night we finally drove home a 100% electric car with zero emissions. We are very excited that my new little commuter arrived just in time to celebrate Earth Day!”

Reyna
Leasing, Los Angeles office
“I use a reusable coffee filter and am going to start riding my bicycle to work.”

From daily consumption habits to residential makeovers, small steps can go a long way. Congratulations and a big thank you to all of our colleagues who are making big personal strides in advancing sustainability.

Happy Earth Week, readers!

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