Several Ahwatukee Foothills businesses, ranging from storage facilities to pet salons, are taking steps to make positive changes on the impact they are having on the environment.
In July, Gov. Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1403, also known as the Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program, into law. The program, which begins in January, will offer income tax credits and property tax reductions to renewable energy manufacturers and headquarters that qualify, said Kristina Justin, communications director for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
She said the program is one example of state movement towards being environmentally conscious, but the practices of several Ahwatukee Foothills businesses shows that the trend is also occurring on a grassroots level.
Rande Leonard, owner and manager of Pecos Storage, which opened in September, said that integrating environmentally-conscious aspects into their building design actually saved money.
“Contrary to many ‘green’ products,” Leonard said, “immediate cost savings were the driving factor.”
As a result, the construction of Pecos Storage utilized waste concrete that was returned to plants from job sites to create concrete blocks that form the fencing for the storage facility. In addition, the facility’s mini storage units were created from used shipping containers, and some areas of the facility are paved with a product made from re-used road asphalt, Leonard said.
By using these more environmentally-friendly products, Leonard said they paid about $30 per linear foot for their fencing, versus $70 for a standard concrete block fence; and saved an estimated half of the money they would have spent using hot asphalt for pavement.
“For us, being green meant reduced construction costs,” Leonard said.
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Jon Ash started his business, fre|thot LLC, a product design and development company, in August with his partner, Shawn Meine. Although his business works with customers on a variety of product developments ranging from water misters to medical supplies, Ash said they have designed solar energy concentrating systems, and are now moving towards wind energy developments.
For example, Ash said, their company has been asked to provide concepts and designs for a company who is currently developing a windmill.
“As a company we want to help people produce products that improve everyday life,” he said. “I can’t think of a better way of improving the conditions of life than designing products that allow for better air quality and less environmental waste.”
In addition, Ash said his business also promotes environmentally-conscious products.
“If a customer’s product idea requires excessive waste during production, use or disposal, we generally recommend a process or design that will minimize waste and/or effect on the environment,” Ash said.
Malinda Malone, owner of Malinda’s Pampered Pets, a full-service animal care facility in Ahwatukee Foothills, said she chose to integrate environmentally-friendly practices into her business because it was important for her as a business owner, and because it can make positive steps toward helping current problems in the environment.
“Even the smallest things ... can make a big difference,” Malone said.
At Malinda’s Pampered Pets, they use high-velocity hair dryers to shorten animal drying time, save energy and cut down on the number of towels that need to be washed, they use all natural foods and colognes and non-detergent, mild shampoos, and they recycle company paperwork, pet pans and product bottles. They also have hair traps to keep hair from getting into the sewer system, and they even have someone who recycles their cat hair by using it in scientific experiments, Malone said.
Being environmentally conscious is easy to do, and even small changes can have a great impact, she said.
“It just doesn’t help the community, it helps everyone, it helps the world,” Malone said. “It’s not difficult ... and it becomes habit.”
Cassidy Olson is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.