SCALE UP: Reducing Our Environmental Impact

Posted by Shannon Riggs on

At Pop Cycle, we believe in producing beautiful new things out of old. Since our beginnings in 2008, we have focused on keeping reusable and recyclable building materials out of overburdened landfills by de-constructing materials and channeling them back into the marketplace with our in-house lines DDCo Design and Monster Booty Threads. Part of Pop Cycle’s mission is to encourage our community of artists to incorporate recycled materials in their work, and to carry products with a long lifespan to discourage throw-away culture. If you’ve been to Pop Cycle, you know we have lots of small but important sustainable behaviors. Community members answer our calls for plastic grocery bag donations, and they contribute books to our lending library. We use 100 percent recycled gift wrap and shipping supplies, recycled mailer envelopes and scrap paper, and we make our own product tags using recycled cardboard. We even save the pop tops off soda cans to use as hangers for DDCo's products!

Sustainability goes beyond the artwork and goods we sell, and we have been wanting to take bigger steps in our sustainable practices for some time. When we learned about the Sustainable Communities Accessing Lending and Expertise Upon Performance (SCALE UP) program at Local First Arizona, we knew it was a great opportunity to learn more about ways to adopt energy efficient practices in our beloved historic building. We feel so fortunate to have joined other local businesses in setting goals of achieving at least a 10% reduction in one of four categories: water use, energy use, transportation emissions, or landfill waste. We focused on lighting and water use, as well as better insulation. Since retrofitting our lighting (including all the vintage chandeliers that are for sale) with LED bulbs, we’ve reduced our energy usage by nearly 500 kilowatt hours. In addition to our new low-flow toilet, we’re also planning on getting new windows that will better insulate our large space. 

Shout out to our fellow June 2018 graduates of this amazing program:

  • Borderlands Brewing Co.
  • Community Food Bank
  • Delectables Catering & Venue
  • Gloo Factory
  • LeadLocal
  • Merit Foods
  • Sonoran Glass School
  • Surly Wench Pub
  • Tucson Thrift Shop
  • Wholesum Harvest

Big thanks to Local First AZ for including us and creating sustainable change in Tucson! We learned so much about making our building more energy efficient, and look forward to continuing to implement new strategies. 

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