Habitat for Humanity

HabitatHow does the company you are nominating exemplify the concept of “reducing”?

Habitat builds sustainable, efficient homes to reduce environmental impact on Tucson neighborhoods. These homes and the Habitat offices are equipped with low-flow toilets, high-efficiency HVAC systems, shade trees and motion sensor lighting to reduce consumption of resources.

Additionally, the HabiStore — Habitat’s retail outlet for used furniture, appliances and supplies — keeps 250 tons of materials out of landfills each year. All sales directly support the building of additional energy-efficient homes in the community. The store utilizes photovoltaic systems and high-efficiency lighting to reduce electricity costs by 50%.

How does the company you are nominating exemplify the concept of “reusing”?

The HabiStore serves as a recycling hub that helps people keep working, useable household items out of landfills. The store has upcycled materials for signage and displays. It also hosts workshops on repurposing items. Habitat uses the store’s profits to fund additional energy efficient homes, which turns reused materials into houses for others.

Habitat encourages employees and partners to recycle and compost at their homes and office. The Habitat office uses water-harvesting to feed desert landscaping. It is the agency’s practice to build with quality materials meant for longevity to lower overall costs and environmental impact.

What is this company’s recycling policy and practice?

Every office, cubicle, and Habitat home is armed with a bin to collect materials that would otherwise be thrown away. They also use recycled materials in building, such as lightweight concrete roof tiles made of recycled materials.

The HabiStore is the ultimate leader in recycling practices by selling used goods. The store also recycles metal materials from unsalable items.

Habitat also accepts vehicle donations, which allow them to continue purchasing the needed building materials for future homes. It is a great way to recycle, as old cars can be a strain on the environment.

How is this company engaging and informing consumers and employees about the 3 “Rs” and other sustainable practices?

Habitat homeowners are taught to live sustainably and affordably, reducing their waste. Build sites act largely as live-demos for the latest in green building technologies as volunteers are exposed to strategies they can use in their own homes.

Habitat encourages staff to recycle and compost eligible items and buy used furniture and materials from the HabiStore. Most documents are digitalized to reduce paper waste.

Habitat has been featured on radio shows and other media outlets for their efforts to create affordable, efficient homes. It is one of 13 nonprofits working to build sustainably and offers green building advice to other businesses.

What else would you like us to know about this company?

Habitat for Humanity Tucson strongly believes that sustainability is a necessary component to creating a lasting impact and partnership with the community. Habitat Tucson is committed to building homes, community and hope. It offers an innovative solution to the problem of poverty in local neighborhoods by offering a hand up, not a hand out.

Habitat Tucson continues to innovate and build homes that meet and exceed community and national standards. By incorporating the newest technologies – LED lighting, high-efficiency and recycled insulation product, smart thermostats and appliances – Habitat Tucson remains a forerunner in the fight to protect local and communal environments. They continue to improve building strategies that more efficiently use materials to further reduce waste. Habitat also provides opportunities to educate homeowners on the importance of stewardship in their neighborhoods and encourages the use of gray water and rainwater harvesting.

Habitat Tucson is already an award-winning organization, noted for efforts to reduce waste and cut energy costs. In 2015, it won the BrightEE Award from Tucson Electric Power in the nonprofit category for adopting significant energy saving measures. TEP has also partnered with Habitat in an effort to provide new homes with solar arrays. It also won the Best of NAIOP: Office Build to Suit award in 2013 for remodeling their offices with functionality and sustainability in mind.

Additionally, Habitat homes are Energy Star rated, with Indoor airPLUS and WaterSense certifications – the EPA trifecta of high-efficiency building. Going green isn’t just something that Habitat for Humanity Tucson strives for, it’s part of their core philosophies.