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Fall 2014 Updates

Hiya friends,

It’s been a minute since we updated the LEAF blog, but rest assured the LEAF team has been busy. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to so far this fall.

Grass removal project:

Our LEED Gold campus is 57% more water efficient (compared to the baseline model) thanks in part to the desert landscaping all around the building. However, we do have a patch of grass we call the “backyard”.  The backyard grass is nice for yoga sessions and petting zoos but since we aren’t utilizing all the grass, we just replaced a third of it with more desert landscaping.  Desert landscaping is easier to maintain and helps with water conservation.

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New Trane chiller with VFD and Free Cool:

In order to cool our office space we need big HVAC equipment, such as chillers. This fall we replaced an old chiller with a new Trane 550 ton chiller with a preinstalled variable frequency drive (VFD) and free cool system. The VFD throttles the machine up and down depending on demand instead of running at 100% all of the time. The free cool system should allow us to use outside air in the winter for all of our cooling needs – preventing the need to run HVAC equipment. It’s a big investment that will yield efficiencies and energy savings in the long run.

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Tech Department Coffee Mugs:

Our tech teams were looking for ways to reduce their use of disposable coffee cups so they bought a whole bunch of coffee mugs for their break rooms. The reusable mugs can be washed in our energy and water efficient dishwashers countless times; AKA less paper waste from single use cups. We applaud our tech teams for championing this initiative!

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SXSW Eco Conference:

The LEAF team visited Austin, Texas in October for the SXSW Eco conference. We enjoyed 3 days of awesome speakers, presentations, and networking. We were also proud to sponsor the 2014 SXSW Eco Ping Pong Tournament! There were some ferocious ping pong battles throughout the week, but when the dust settled, an app developer from Sweden, Henrik S., won the tournament and a $250 gift certificate to Zappos.com.

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VERGE Conference:

I’m writing this blog post while in San Francisco at the 2014 VERGE Conference. VERGE, put on by the GreenBiz Group, brings together experts who are integrating sustainability into cities, transportation, and technology. We’re here to pursue growth and learning! (Zappos Core Value #5)

 

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

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Zappos Installs Solar Panels

Here comes the sun! - and Zappos is taking full advantage of the more than 300 sunny days a year in Las Vegas to generate clean electricity using new photovoltaic solar panels. For the first time in company history, Zappos installed 66 280-Watt solar panels creating an 18.48 kW solar array on the roof of our Z-Bistro

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Las Vegas is known as a solar hot spot with excellent solar radiation. The deserts around Las Vegas are home to some of the world’s largest solar arrays including the 64 MW Nevada Solar One power plant and the 390 MW Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Additionally, many Las Vegas residents are adding small solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems to the rooftops of their homes. That rocks!

The 18.48 kW Zappos Bistro solar project might be small in comparison to the ones mentioned above, but it’s our first step towards clean, renewable energy while our sustainability team researches larger solar installations. We certainly are proud parents!

Check out this sweet time-lapse video of the installation filmed by the awesomely talented Zappos A/V team.

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf           

Zappos Garage Lighting Retrofit

Here’s a story to brighten your day! ;) On May 29th, we completed a retrofit of the Zappos South Garage’s lighting by replacing the old, yellow high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures with bright white, energy-efficient induction lighting fixtures. The Zappos garage is quite large and offers parking for more than 600 cars.

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Garage lighting retrofit projects are the ultimate low-hanging fruit in the sustainability world. In addition to providing superior illumination, the Zappos retrofit is projected to reduce the annual energy consumption of the garage by two thirds! That’s 323,000 kWh/year; the equivalent of roughly 25 homes and a reduction of 223 metric tons of CO2e emissions.

Induction lighting is really cool and dates back more than a century to when Nikola Tesla advanced the technology in the 1890s. Induction is unique because the power required to generate light is transferred from outside the lamp envelope to the gas inside via an electric or magnetic field. Benefits of induction include long life spans, low heat output and excellent color. The Zappos induction lamps are even more advanced. The lamps have two brightness levels, dimming controls, daylight sensors and occupancy sensors – reducing the “ON” hours and saving even more energy!

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: @Zappos_leaf       

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Recap: Zappos 3rd Annual Earth Day Party

On April 24th, Zappos hosted its 3rd Annual Earth Day Party at our new LEED-Gold* downtown Las Vegas campus! The plaza courtyard was packed with employees, vendors, and friends – this year’s event was leaps and bounds larger than the two previous year’s events. 

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Zappos LEAF teamed up with Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day this year to bring our kids to our Earth Day Party. The LEAF team gave a presentation about recycling, solar energy and water conservation to more than 100 kids! The kids already know so much about the importance of protecting our earth’s resources – it’s inspiring!

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The LEAF team raffled two awesome beach cruisers for Zappos employees who participated in the event. Employees could earn extra raffle tickets for bringing used cell phones and batteries for proper recycling.  Needless to say, we collected a whole bunch of cell phones and batteries!

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It is evident by the excitement around this event that Zappos employees really care about the environment and actively seek out ways to reduce their impacts. Though we celebrate Earth Day just one day a year, we really try to remind our employees and friends that it is important to celebrate every day with daily acts of “greenness”. The Zappos LEAF team is thankful to have such great support from the company and employees. You guys rock!

Thanks to these very special friends for making Earth Day 2014 a huge success:

prAna

Keen

Republic Services

Renu Oil of America

Springs Preserve

Sierra Nevada

BluMarble

Klean Kanteen

ChicoBags

Clean the World

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

NV Energy

A1 Organics

Vegas Roots

Create a Change Now

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC)

WonderSoil

Zerorez

Outside Las Vegas

Taylored Photo Memories

Fat Daddy’s Ice Cream

Eurest Catering (for the bomb grilled corn)

Check out more awesome news from LEAF on Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf

 

*Pending final USGBC approval

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