Walking the Talk: Increasing our Efficiencies, Reducing our Impacts

walk the talk bootsBe the Change You Want To See

We believe that the most effective way to effect sustainable business practices is by walking the talk. The RE Store staff members are constantly working to reduce our impacts and increase our efficiency. We utilize green building techniques in the improvements to our store facilities that include:

  • Upgraded high-efficiency lighting and heating technologies
  • Salvaged materials (no brainer here…)
  • Our recycled paint product, MetroPaint, is being used throughout our facilities.
  • Used vehicles, tools, and office equipment
  • Green office products like printing on recycled paper, reusing large mailing envelopes, and more
  • Many of our staff ride bicycles or public transportation to work
  • On-site rainwater storage used for community garden at our Bellingham facility

The RE Store Gets Lit with High Efficiency Lighting – 77% Return on Investment in Just 1.3 Years

*Business owners take note for potential big savings!
As part of our ongoing effort to “green” our operations, The RE Store in Bellingham completed a lighting upgrade in early 2010. This project, which focused primarily on our fluorescent lights, increased energy efficiency and reduced our energy costs. The helpful crews from Energy Conservation Service and All Fields Electric, converted our old, T12 florescent lighting fixtures to accept T8 bulbs. (T12 and T8 refer to diameters of lamp tubes. Thus a T12 lamp has a diameter of twelve eighths of an inch.) A narrower lamp is more energy-efficient. Top-quality T8 lamps also function with reduced mercury, a potentially harmful substance used in many lighting fixtures.

We also removed and properly disposed of all magnetic ballasts containing PCB’s. The existing magnetic PCB ballasts were replaced by electronic, non-PCB, energy-efficient ballasts. The new ballasts offer better lighting without flicker and generate much less heat.

This project would not have been possible without support from Puget Sound Energy. Their generous rebate program for businesses funded 83% of this upgrade. The upgrade took our previous lighting system, which was consuming 60,557 kilowatt hours per year, down to 27,643 kilowatt hours per year. Our annual savings will be 32,914 kilowatt hours. This equates to a carbon emission reduction of 36,205 pounds per year! The simple payback on the project for The RE Store ended up as a 77% return on our investment in just 1.3 years. Cutting our carbon footprint meant saving money. Now that’s a win-win situation!