The Blind Center of Nevada

blind center of nevada, recycling, recycling electronics, recycling programs, Zappos LEAF, Zappos Sustainability, community, Community efforts, North Las Vegas, Downtown Las Vegas, Zappos Campus, The Blind Center of NevadaZappos LEAF is very proud to work with the Blind Center of Nevada to recycle computers and IT equipment for a good cause.  During our epic move from Henderson, NV to Ddowntown Las Vegas, we donated more than 800 flat screen monitors and other IT equipment to The Blind Center to be refurbished and sold, or recycled, with all of the proceeds directly funding programs and job creation for the blind and visually impaired.

Located in North Las Vegas, The Blind Center is the largest private not-for-profit seller on eBay, with 60% of its operating costs covered by electronics re-sale. The Blind Center is also a very green operation; including an impressive rooftop solar array that powers almost 100% of the electricity needed at its North Las Vegas headquarters

On a recent visit to The Blind Center, directors Cory and Ronnie showed the Zappos LEAF team that the Center is a joyful, happy place focused on helping people who are both genetically and newly blind to socialize, be active and reach their full potential.

The Center has grown to include classes in music, crafting, exercise and even bowling! Volunteers also lead members on trips to the grocery store and picnics at Red Rock Park. This holiday season, members of the center are busy assembling beautiful holiday gift baskets filled with delicious chocolate treats, with all proceeds benefitting The Blind Center programs (definitely check it out!).

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On November 15, Zappos LEAF celebrated America Recycles Day by collecting computers, printers, and other home electronics from employees for donation to the Blind Center. We look forward to our continued friendship with The Blind Center; improving both the lives of others and the health of our planet.

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For more information about the Blind Center of Nevada, please visit: blindcenter.org

Check out more exciting news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: #zappos_leaf

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Introducing: The New Z-Bistro

Hi everyone! Zappos L.E.A.F. is psyched to introduce you to our brand new “Z-Bistro”! It’s a great addition to our LEED-certified (pending) campus and fits well with our overall sustainability initiatives. To start, we renovated one of Clark County’s oldest libraries into this stunning new employee dining room we call the Z-Bistro.

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We preserved and refurbished the old concrete floors and wooden ceiling trusses to create an awesome, eye-catching exposed floor and ceiling. We cozied up a traditional looking dining room with comfortable furniture, a reading lounge and warm color tones. When it’s nice outside, Zapponians can hang out on the lighted outdoor patio and enjoy the beautiful desert weather.

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In an effort to be more sustainable, we implemented numerous initiatives aimed at reducing waste and water consumption. We have washable plates, cups, and utensils that can be washed over and over again in our water efficient dishwasher (a change from our last campus dining room) and for meals “to-go” we provide 100% compostable utensils, cups, plates and bowls.

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To reduce waste we have single-use napkin dispensers, bulk condiment dispensers and we went trayless to reduce food waste (even though we would have loved to use the trays for sand dune sledding!). We continue to compost our food scraps with a local composter, keeping tons of food scraps out of the landfill by repurposing them for tasty mulch. Most importantly, the new Z-Bistro has transitioned toward healthier and seasonal offerings, including fresh local ingredients; we even started growing herbs in our own backyard herb garden!

These are just some of the awesome features of our new Z-Bistro. We’ll be sharing more updates soon about the sustainable features of the entire downtown campus, so please stay tuned!

Check out more exciting news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: #zappos_leaf

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Getting Dirty in the Las Vegas Wash

Zappos was thrilled to get down and dirty this month at the biannual Las Vegas Wash “Green Up”. Members of the Zappos LEAF team joined more than 350 other community members (boy scouts, girl scouts, students, church groups and businesses) to plant 3,000 trees and shrubs in a 7-acre area along the banks of the wash. The sun was shining, water was flowing and adults and kids were chatting about the importance of preserving this spectacular oasis inside the Las Valley.

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The Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee stated, “The efforts of these volunteers have created much-needed habitat for wildlife living along the Las Vegas Wash. Re-vegetation also has helped stabilize the wash’s banks, reducing erosion and improving water quality into Lake Mead, the source of the Las Vegas Valley's drinking water.”

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See you all next fall at the 22nd Las Vegas Wash “Green Up”!

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Zappos Continues Support of Adopt a Highway

Zappos is excited to continue its commitment to cleaner highways by renewing its partnership with Adopt A Highway for the ninth year.  When Zappos moved to Las Vegas in 2005, we were only able to sponsor three miles of highway. But every year since then, we’ve been able to adopt more miles with Adopt a Highway. Now in 2013, Zappos sponsors 158 miles of highway in the Las Vegas valley and we’re on the waiting list for 20 more miles! We are excited to say we’re the second largest sponsor of highway cleanup in the nation!

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Adopt a Highway crews clean the right shoulders of these sponsored highways up to two times a month. In 2012, 9,300 bags of garbage were collected along the roadsides, equaling roughly 40 tons of waste. We don’t even want to imagine how things would be without this amazing program! Needless to say, we’re proud to continue our support of keeping Nevada’s highways clean.

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Photos courtesy of Adopt a Highway

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Special Delivery to Habitat for Humanity

Zappos saved tons of building materials and assets during the renovation of the old city hall building to donate to Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas. 125 fluorescent light fixtures, 85 sinks, 60 solid doors, 50 toilets, 20 water fountains, and much, much more will now go toward renovating homes in Las Vegas. Our awesome construction crew at Penta Building Group carefully removed the fixtures and assets so that they could be reused.

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Randy Corwin, Area Field Manager for Penta, said, “I’m proud of our entire team. From the start, we were focused and committed to reach our waste diversion goals. The donation by Zappos helped us exceed these goals. And the best part is, ‘It’s the right thing to do.’”

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Habitat for Humanity’s crews spent three days loading box trucks full of the assets. Tracy Gray, Donations Relations Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas, said, “Habitat for Humanity Las Vegas is very happy to receive these materials. This donation fits in perfectly with our ReStore motto “ReUse, ReCycle, ReNew, ReBuild.” 

Our Zappos development team is thrilled that these assets will be used in upcoming renovation projects, and others will be sold to support Habitat for Humanity’s mission to provide affordable, sustainable housing in Las Vegas.

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Zappos is Composting!

Zappos is composting! It’s true; we have partnered with A1 Organics to collect and compost the food scraps and paper products that are generated in the Z-Bistro. For the last few months, we have been testing the compost collection system inside the kitchen where food scraps from daily prep are separated and collected for composting. Recently, we extended the reach of the collection to include the leftover food scraps, napkins, and paper plates from the dining room. More than 1,000 meals are served a day - this makes for a lot of scraps!

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Just to be clear, we are not composting on-site since we don’t have a worm farm out back (but how cool would that be!). Rather, we are sending our compostable materials to A1’s facility north of Las Vegas. A1 has over 50 acres of land dedicated to making 24,000 tons of mulch and compost a year from the food scraps collected from Zappos, supermarkets and Strip casinos, and green waste from many local landscaping companies and golf courses. After 90 days of processing, the mulch and compost returns to the city and is sold at local nurseries – a great life cycle story.

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In typical Zappos style, we had a party to celebrate our composting initiative. The day-long “compost party” featured education from LEAF and A1 Organics and muddy cup treats from the Z-Bistro kitchen team. Mmm, tasty!

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Free Mugs, Free Hugs!

Last week, the L.E.A.F. and Bistro teams joined forces to promote the message of "reuse" and delivered FREE MUGS and FREE HUGS to the employees at the Carson office; free COFFEE mugs, that is! Washable, reusable ceramic coffee mugs were given to employees to take the place of the numerous paper coffee cups used each day.

To add a little bit of flare to these coffee mugs, we provided plenty of paint and glitter pens to make each mug “z”unique. Every day, Zappos employees work hard to use less paper products and reduce waste through initiatives like this one. We encourage employees to take green actions seriously, but above all want to make sure they have FUN with it!

Check out some of their beautiful mug masterpieces below:

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Cell Phone Recycling at Zappos

The LEAF (Leading Environmental Awareness for the Future) Team is always looking for ways to introduce new eco benefits to our fellow Zapponians. Last week, LEAF set up new, convenient Cell Phone Recycling Centers across our campus. We’re asking employees to clean out that drawer full of old cell phones, power cables, old school pagers, and even Zack Morris cell phones! (We know you have one!) It is time to get rid of that iPhone 1 or Razr you’ve been holding on to.

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LEAF has partnered with Newsweek’s #3 Greenest Company in America, Sprint-Nextel, to launch this exciting initiative. Here’s how it works: LEAF collects the devices from employees and Sprint-Nextel recycles the equipment in an environmentally responsible manner. To seal the deal, Sprint-Nextel donates proceeds from the recycled material to a charity of our choice!

Stay tuned for updates about this and other green initiatives here at Zappos HQ!