CityPerk: Small Business Makes Big Movement Towards Sustainability

March 24, 2012 | By | Reply More

An interview with Lane Avery, one of the owners of CityPerk

Located on 21 Vantis Drive, Aliso Viejo CA 92656

 

Why is sustainability important?

I think sustainability is important because I think the science is in about global warming. Earth is our home. To treat it as a toilet would defy all common sense. We need to treat our home kindly and respect it to sustain life, and sustainability is a great way to do so.

 

What has CityPerk done to support sustainability?

Well, we have mainly Energy Star Appliances that conserve as much energy as possible. We now have a digital Edison meter, which allows us to track our energy usage and monitor how much energy we are using. This has helped us see which changes really are making a difference, and which ones are not. We try to select only Green products, if they are affordable. Our products need to be  affordable, as well as Green, in order to save our customers money as well. CityPerk has a hot water recirculation system, allowing us to save water because we don’t need to wait for the water to warm up or even open the tap to get hot water. We have replaced our air conditioning with a higher seer model than the standard, which was a good investment because it is more efficient. The most important change that we have made, I think, is living in a live-work community. It reduces the carbon footprint a great amount because we don’t have to drive to work. Most of our staff either walks to work or lives close by, reducing the amount of gas used to get to and from work.

 

How have these changes benefited your company?

I’m a big believer in financial incentives bringing more people into the sustainable world. If it doesn’t benefit people financially in some way, people often can’t afford to make the effort to go Green. The changes we have made have saved our company a lot of money in energy and water bills. We are able to track our energy usage with our new meter, which allows us to make sure we don’t use too much energy, which really does save us a lot of money. Also, we have received a lot of good publicity for our sustainability efforts. We have won an award and have gotten exposure in the Aliso Viejo Patch, as well as the O.C. Register. It’s nice to receive recognition for our efforts. Right now we are working with the city of Aliso Viejo in its Green Initiative. We are known as the sustainable small business in southern Orange County.

 

What else are you looking forward to changing?

Right now, we would love to get off the grid for electricity. There are certain restrictions and regulations on what we can and can’t do, since we are located in a live-work community. Getting off-grid for electricity would give us the opportunity to expand our horizons for sustainability. For example, we would be able to invest and install solar panels on our building. We are looking into the regulations to see what else we can do, but we need a better commitment from the community and city to make the investment.

Within the city and from the community, we would love to see a more recycling-friendly community. We have tons of trash cans on the streets, but we definitely don’t have enough recycle or compost bins. In San Francisco, they have separate cans for different trash items and recycle items, and it has become part of the culture, and a good habit that people have developed, to separate their waste. It would be nice to see that in our community. I think people need to take that extra step to work with CR&R [Waste Services] to make this happen.

 

What is one thing you wish you were able to do to become more sustainable?

Well the main thing, as I said, is going off-grid. If we were detached, rather than in an attached building situation, we could do geothermal air conditioning, have a grey water system, go off-grid, and do a lot of other things. However, we are looking into the regulations and we hope we can make some more changes in terms of sustainability. We are always looking for new ways to save and conserve energy.  

 

 

CityPerk Spotlight was written by IEA Member and Editor, Jessica Murphy

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Category: Small Businesses

About the Author ()

I am in 11th grade at Aliso Niguel High School and I am excited to be working as a part of the International Energy Alliance in order to help the community.

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