Sustainability for All Apr21

Sustainability for All

Green is always good. Every action taken throughout the day has an impact on the planet. Here are some simple tips to be sustainable in everyday life, which are tremendous ways to become more eco-friendly. Eat more greens. Everyone wants healthy longevity, and eating more plants is how to get there. Going vegan overnight is impossible, but gradually incorporating at least two or three days of meatless meals can make a difference. Half of the world’s habitual land is used for agriculture, which only gives the world 18% of global calories. It releases most land use, cattle methane emissions, manure management, and fertilizer use. Reduce your carbon footprint by eating more plant-based foods like tofu, beans, nuts, and foods with the lowest environmental impact, like whole grains, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables. You can now find more sustainable wine and beer using organic farming and zero-waste commitments. Sustainable foods are local, seasonal foods grown without hazardous pesticides and chemicals and support the local economy, which offers jobs and builds stronger communities. Save water. Agriculture also requires much freshwater, which can cause significant environmental pressures in regions with water restrictions. Saving water is another effective way to reduce electricity use, greenhouse gas emissions, and other energy-intensive operations. For example, try at home to only run the dishwasher with a full load and the same with full loads of clothes in the washer. Reuse water by keeping some buckets outside to catch rainwater and use them to water plants in the coming days. Cold showers use less energy, and thanks to Wim Hof Method, so has cold therapy, which gives the body immense health benefits. Recycle. Depending on where you live, recycling options will vary and programs may be more comprehensive in some states or cities than elsewhere. Try to separate trash and follow the local recycling guidelines. Reuse items as often as possible before throwing them out. Sustainable reusables. 50% of all plastic produced is for single-use purposes. As a result, 10 million tons of plastic are dumped in oceans annually. Using so much single-use plastic is entirely unnecessary when there are many sustainable alternatives. Reduce trash by being more conscious of consumption and waste patterns. For example, consider getting reusable water bottles instead of multiple plastic bottles, reusable utensils, and containers. Always remember to bring your reusable tote bags for groceries. Since the spring holiday, Easter, is coming up, skip the plastic grass for the baskets and opt for some Spanish moss or other biodegradable grass or crinkled paper. Plastic grass lasts forever in the environment, not to mention it’s dangerous for pets that might get ahold of a basket. Eco-friendly cleaning. Let’s face it, home cleaning product chemicals are terrible for the environment and your body. By choosing eco-friendly cleaning products, you will reduce the amount of plastic packaging used and the number of chemicals that flow into the oceans. Vinegar is a pantry cleaning staple known to cut grease and dissolve hard water stains. If the smell is too much for some, add some essential oils, such as lavender, pine, or lemon balm. Pine and lemon oils are great alternatives for floor cleaners which is how Pine Sol was created in the early 1900s. Baking soda is an eco-friendly product with many benefits. Sprinkle it directly on hard surfaces that need extra stain removal.  Baking soda can also absorb odors. Use it in the refrigerator, freshen mattresses, pet beds, and shoes, and it can even be added to the wash and rinse cycle to deodorize clothing. Vinegar and baking soda, together, will go a long way when cleaning bathroom tubs, sinks, kitchen appliances, and faucets. Laundry soaps are terrible for the oceans. Tide now has an eco-friendly laundry detergent that contains 75% plant-based ingredients. In addition, the formula is free of dyes, chlorine, and optical brighteners and is produced at a zero-waste-to-landfill manufacturing site using 100% renewable...

Earth Day Options Apr12

Earth Day Options

Let’s go green! Earth Day is April 22. Earth Day is celebrated with over a billion people worldwide, promoting a clean, green environment. Companies that have developed robust Environmental Social Governance (ESG) standards are seeing better profitability, stronger financial performance, and happier employees. Yardi was recently awarded the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year for Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy for the fifth year. Earth Day is important to us at our offices worldwide, as it is for our clients and their communities. No time is more vital than the present to act and invest in our planet. Here are some ideas to mark Earth Day at your properties and be good guardians of the environment. Host a “lights out” event for your community. Host a happy hour in the clubroom for an hour and encourage residents to turn off their electronics inside their units. Have organic paper-made utensils and plates. Serve up some organic cupcakes, green juices, and organic coffee. Clean-up event at a local park. Host a trash pick-up day if you are close to a park or recreation center. Residents can come out and help clean up the park free of cans, plastics, or any other trash that is on site. Be sure to provide supplies residents need, such as trash bags and gloves. Then, take it a step further and plant a tree with residents. Plant a tree or some flowers around the property. Native plants are the best option for local bees to pollinate. Plants serve as mood boosters and increase productivity and creativity. Your green efforts will give you leverage over the competition to retain or attract new residents. Explore the outdoors. This saves on indoor gym...

Earth Day 2022 Apr22

Earth Day 2022

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970, as a response to environmental deterioration. Inspired by the 1969 Santa Barbara offshore oil spill and other catastrophes, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) teamed with Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.) and activist Denis Hayes to organize a series of college teach-ins. The inaugural event went far beyond campuses, drawing 20 million Americans – 10% of the population – to demonstrations and teach-ins at schools, parks and auditoriums. “Pogo” cartoonist Walt Kelly created a promotional poster. New York City Mayor John Lindsay closed Fifth Avenue to cars and gave an impassioned speech. President and Mrs. Nixon planted a tree on the White House grounds. April 22 became affixed on calendars as Earth Day. Happy earth day banner to celebrate environmental safety One of Earth Day’s enduring legacies is providing a common frame of reference for a disparate range of animal conservation groups, anti-pollution activists and others. “I think the most important thing that Earth Day did was to take all of those different threads and weave them together into this fabric of modern environmentalism, to help them understand that they were operating from similar sets of values,” says Hayes, who remains active in environmental causes. “Earth Day has grown into a secular holiday recognized by billions of people and which has no goal beyond building a better world,” Rolling Stone writer Jeff Goodell said in a 2020 profile of Hayes. This year on April 22, under the theme of “Invest in Our Planet,” millions of private citizens, business leaders, government officials, academics and students around the world will recognize “our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all,” according to EARTHDAY.org, a nonprofit that arose from the initial event. EARTHDAY.org will...

Earth Works

Each year, Yardi Vancouver participates in a spring Earth Day event at Maplewood Flats, a popular bird watching park along Burrard Inlet. Located in North Vancouver, there are more than 200 hundred unique bird species have been spotted in the park. Yardi Vancouver is a founding member of EarthWork Day (EWD), an annual collaboration with three other environmentally-minded companies. Each group takes on unique projects each year. This year’s efforts included a stream restoration project, free bike tuning for bike commuters, refilling and repairing social housing planters, and helping out at a non-profit grocery store reducing food waste. The EWD participants gather at the end of the day to share the results of their efforts and network. “Being part of a bigger group really helps with expanding the impact we can have as a small office,” said Edward Glen, general manager of the Yardi Vancouver office. Every year as part of their EWD efforts, the Yardi team participates in a different project that assists with habitat restoration and conservation at Maplewood Flats. “We work on removing invasive species, replacing them with native plants that support the local wildlife, and spreading mulch to help keep the invaders at bay,” Glen said.  “The primary removal target is the Himalayan Blackberry, delicious berries but with tenacious root bulbs and vigorously spreading roots that must be completely removed to eradicate. We started counting how many we were removing, but gave up after getting to 50 root bulbs in the first 15 minutes.” Because the team has been going to Maplewood Flats consistently for so long (read a previous blog post about their 2017 efforts here, it’s possible to see the progress that has been made over time. “I was excited to review some of the areas we’ve worked on over the last four years I’ve participating in these efforts. Most of the plants from last year are thriving though some didn’t make it through the dry summer,” Glen said. “One of the patches of cow parsnip we worked on three years ago, which supports the Anise Swallowtail butterfly, is doing spectacularly well and spreading on its own now. We weren’t able to access our work site from two years ago due to not wishing to disturb the off trail areas, but from a distance it looked to be doing okay.” The benefits of the work extend beyond habitat restoration. “It’s great to connect with each other outside of the office but even more it’s great to talk with the community. From the volunteers that run the society to the visitors of the conservation area, most will stop to thank us for the work we’re doing and have a little chat,” Glen said. “It’s fantastic to see all the visitors (human and otherwise) to the area while we work and know that we’re having a direct impact. Another nice connection for the Vancouver office is that a number of the staff in Vancouver work on Yardi’s energy offering, Yardi Pulse, whose goal of energy use reduction pairs well with the associated environmental benefits.” Yardi employees are Energized for Good! Learn more on the Giving...

Earth Week Apr19

Earth Week

Since 1970, Earth Day has served as a reminder to honor our beautiful, fragile, and generous planet. What started as a single day is now a week-long observance! Below, you will find ideas for Earth Day programming that build loyalty and community among your staff. Yardi Atlanta even offers a full week of fun, informative activities that you can adapt to your site.    Build loyalty Employees favor eco-friendly workplaces over traditional models. Millennials in particular desire workplaces that “improve society.” When working for an earth conscious employer, employees report a heightened sense of well being and purpose. Sustainability measures are popular tools to attract and maintain talent. Use Earth Week to highlight your existing green efforts or jumpstart new programs at your organization. In the process, you will build loyalty amongst employees and position your brand well with prospective new hires. Explore an office-wide celebration If a week of earth-friendly activities seems overwhelming, take heart. You don’t have to go in alone. Yardi Atlanta, for example, collaborates with local businesses to get employees involved in Earth Week. Its programming piques employee interest in sustainability while encouraging workplace satisfaction. Starting April 22, Yardi Atlanta will host fun and informative daily activities. Sustainability Within Atlanta Yardi (SWAY) teamed up with Yardi client and property management company, Cushman & Wakefield, to host these events: On Monday, Yardi corporate sponsors a healthy breakfast for staff. Selected foods will emphasize the role sustainable farming practices play in overall environmental health. Tuesday emphasizes sustainable transportation. A representative from the Georgia Power Electronic Vehicle Program will facilitate a session on EV car chargers and rebates. Guests are also invited to a car show with contributions by local dealers. Tesla, Porche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Nissan, and BMW will have cars and...

Earth Day Apr19

Earth Day

In preparation for Earth Day on April 22, we are exploring a few ways to celebrate that can benefit your business while promoting sustainability. More than 190 countries celebrate Earth Day every year. Individuals, families, and organizations combine efforts to support sustainable initiatives. Aside from employee participation and donations, businesses largely miss out. The sustainable programs below offer notable benefits to for-profit entities. Yardi Smart Energy Suite Yardi Smart Energy Suite includes products for total insight and management of your energy consumption and costs, including REC purchases and Yardi E2 Insight. Combining your energy initiatives into one platform for utility billing recovery, paperless utility invoice and payables processing, HVAC optimization and smart thermostats, let’s you leverage the data with your property management information for better results. The mobile-ready stack of energy management solutions can be customized to meet your needs and facilitate the greatest cost savings for your company–without sacrificing tenant or employee comfort. Yardi E2 Insight You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Yardi E2 Insight collects cost and usage data down to the individual building meter. The reports generated allow you to precisely measure and moderate your energy usage. Program analytics can be adjusted to account for seasons, building size, occupancy, and other factors to ensure that you report the true performance of your assets. Modules within Yardi E2 Insight dashboard facilitate easy benchmark reporting. Get effortless access to the data that you need to complete complex reporting requirements. Such reports can help your company qualify for portfolio-wide certifications issued by GRESB and ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. For more on Yardi E2 Insight, call (800) 866-1144 or request more information online. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) It is now cheaper than ever to offset the harmful emissions that your company generates. The prices...

National Park Week Apr19

National Park Week

Now through April 24, 2016 is National Park Week! The National Park Service (NPS) and National Park Foundation have designated this as a period of free park access, exciting events, and healthful activities. Don’t have time for a trip to the park? It’s more worthwhile than you think: time in nature has proven to improve mental health. Playing outside promotes mental and physical well-being while increasing productivity. A trip to the nearest National Park may be just what you need to refuel for the next big project on your calendar. So get outdoors and enjoy our National Parks! They are a source of endless beauty and wonder. Besides, you’ll be doing your mind and body a favor. Remember, National Park Week is more than just a celebration of nature. While that would be sufficient, the event is also a celebration of American heritage. Several National Historic Sites rest under the NPS umbrella. These are great alternatives if seasonal allergies or limited mobility make a romp outdoors sound more like a challenge than a celebration. Ready to explore? First, find your park or National Historic Site. (In honor of the upcoming presidential elections, it could be fun to visit destinations dedicated the former presidents.) All this week, guests can enjoy free admission to the NPS sites. Need a few National Park Week celebration ideas? Check out the scheduled events below: National Park Week includes the celebration of Earth Day, which falls on April 22. Do a quick search for Earth Day activities at a park near you. Once you’ve identified a nearby Earth Day volunteer event, organize a group of fellow coworkers to participate. Remember to bring a comfortable change of clothes if you’re heading out after work. It’s also a good idea to carpool—it’s...

Earth Day Apr16

Earth Day

There’s no better time than the present to start making a difference; and the best place to start is in your own community. Not only is Earth Day right around the corner, but eco-friendly action can help Mother Nature thrive. First celebrated on April 22, 1970, Earth Day was launched to honor our planet, acknowledge its fragility and promote the development of healthy communities. It was initiated by Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the terrible aftermath of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, Calif. (The hometown of Yardi.) The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord later commented, “but it worked”. What started as a “national teach-in on the environment” has now evolved onto a global-scale movement observed in over 192 countries around the world. At present, more than one billion eco-minded participants worldwide take the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment next Tuesday through events and festivities all focused on environmental issues. The movement is globally coordinated by the Earth Day Network (EDN). From tackling global warming issues to greening schools and hosting town hall discussions on clean energy investment and green jobs, EDN has many projects on roll. Among the many successful campaigns, the movement’s 40th anniversary made quite a splash. In 2010, EDN brought “225,000 people to the National Mall for a Climate Rally, amassed 40 million environmental service actions toward its 2012 goal of A Billion Acts of Green®, launched an international, 1-million tree planting initiative with Avatar director James Cameron and tripled its online base to over 900,000 community members”. Saving a thought for the environment becomes even...

Focus Green Apr22

Focus Green

Today, April 22, is Earth Day. Alliance Residential Company is among the Yardi multifamily clients that will mark the occasion: A tree will be planted at almost every Alliance community this week, except those that are in exceptionally urban environments or have special circumstances. “The goal is to plant a tree at the majority of our Alliance communities,” said Kelly Vickers, Alliance’s National Director of Sustainability. “Trees do so much for the environment: filtering air pollution, reducing soil erosion, creating shade, helping recycle water.” Alliance’s facility directors, who oversee 257 apartment communities across 13 states, worked with the companies’ regional landscaping vendors to coordinate the selection of appropriate local native trees, which will find new homes in the ground at each community site. The properties that can’t plant trees are helping out in a different way, such as supporting the Nature Conservancy’s “Plant a Billion Trees” campaign, which is working to preserve Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, an endangered tropical forest, and entails planting a billion trees by 2015. Each $1 donated equals one tree planted, and Alliance communities are encouraging their residents to support the cause. Broadening awareness about the benefits of sustainable living is just one aspect of Alliance’s Focus Green campaign, which was formally launched in 2012. Earth Day comes and goes in a flash. With Focus Green, Vickers and Alliance have developed a set of comprehensive principles to help guide the company toward a greener future. This year, the program will expand into action items that touch development, operations, training and administration. “The program has two overarching goals. The first is to reduce the consumption of energy and natural resources at our communities and our offices. The second is to educate, promote and support our associates’, residents’ and owners’ participation in more...