Protecting Our Planet
Often in this country it seems that people feel they have to choose between being environmentally responsible or having a profitable business. We believe you can do both! We’re on a mission to prove that we can protect our environment while still being profitable, and we challenge other business owners to do the same. We’ll even make it easy for you – as we find methods which work, we’ll list them here with links so you can incorporate them into your own business. And of course, if you have suggestions for us we’d love to hear!
Reducing Climate Change
- Electric Vehicles: Driving is a necessary part of real estate. We’re often astonished at how many miles we put on a vehicle each year. We implemented a program to provide Tesla cars at no charge to our top agents (since they drive the most). The agents commit to purchasing a minimum of 25% of their household energy from green sources. Our goal is to eventually have all agents on our team driving Teslas so keep an eye out for more green cars around town!
- Fly Responsibly: We often travel for conferences, masterminds and team vacations. Whenever we do we make sure to purchase carbon offsets for our trip. This is much less expensive than people think. For a round-trip flight from Wisconsin to California an offset is less than $10. It’s a small amount per person, yet if all airline travelers did it the potential impact is enormous. We personally prefer to donate to the reforestation projects which are slightly more expensive, still only about $30/person to offset a flight to California!
- Eco-Friendly Vacations: Whether we’re taking our top agents in the brokerage on a trip, planning a vacation for our team or just heading off with the family we always stay at eco-friendly resorts. These resorts commit to protecting the environment and their local communities – we’ve found them to often be some of the most beautiful resorts! Our favorite so far was a Mexican resort with coatis running across the sidewalks and monkeys who would perch on the balcony and ask for grapes.
- iPads: Agents on our team get team iPads after 6 months with us. We encourage the use of iPads to access property information during showings, open house registrations and writing offers. We work to have a paperless office as much as possible.
- Organic Foods: We have organic surplus delivered to the office every week by ImperfectFoods. This fabulous idea takes food which is perfectly edible but may have varying appearances so can’t go to stores and would otherwise be discarded. We believe in purchasing organic and locally produced items whenever we can to reduce the carbon footprint of our food, support local farmers who maintain their crops while minimizing added chemicals.
- Renewable Energy: We purchase renewable energy both at home and at the office. Even though we have 4 kids (who never seem to turn the lights off), green energy only adds about $50/mth to our typical $350 bill. Your utility provider usually has a simple website signup if you’d like to do the same. We purchase 100% green energy but even if you only purchase 25% it’ll still make a significant impact for the planet.
Reducing Chemicals & Plastics
When we opened our own real estate office we made a commitment to reduce our plastic consumption both at home and at work. We started simple, with just a few items. We quickly found (thanks to Facebook’s all-knowing algorithms) that it was incredibly simple to just keep adding! We’re happy to share what works, and please let us know if you have more ideas!
- CleanCult: Our go-to service for hand soap, dish soap and cleaning supplies! Most homes and offices are filled with plastic soap dispensers, plastic dishwasher detergents, plastic dish soap bottles, etc. When it’s used up you toss it in recycling and buy a new one. The ingredients in those bottles are often unhealthy chemicals which are damaging both for people and our environment. CleanCult uses effective but environmentally friendly coconut-based chemicals in their products. The easy subscription service sends reusable glass bottles in your first shipment, then sends refills in cardboard packaging.
- Compostable Utensils: Our offices are always stocked with real silverware for daily use. For client events where that’s not an option we purchase 100% compostable utensils. Costco is our go-to place for ordering these – at 5 cents each, it’s always affordable! If you don’t have a Costco membership then Amazon has plenty of options. And of course, you’ll never find plastic or styrofoam cups or plates with us.
- Eco-friendly Office: We utilize a “green cleaning service” for our regular office cleaning. They utilize eco-friendly products with no harsh chemicals. We also make a point to not utilize any chemical sprays, air fresheners or other similar products in our offices.
- Garbage Bags: We were a bit hesitant about trying compostable garabage bags but we’re very happy with the quality of these bags from Amazon. They fit a standard kitchen garbage and hold up well.
- Paper Towels: Our paper towels are all 100% recycled material with no plastic packaging. You can find them here on Amazon.
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