My name is Johanna Holub, and I’m a senior account executive at Bellmont Partners, a public relations agency in Edina. I haven’t always been a sustainably-minded person, but in the last few years I have been trying to be less wasteful and to be a better steward of the environment.
In my personal life, that means recycling, composting, and trying to re-use everything from plastic bags to empty yogurt containers. My partner and I installed a smart home thermostat that tracks our location via phone and turns down the air conditioning or heat when we’re not home during the day. We also try to shop locally for food and other items and we purchase clothing second-hand (Clothes Mentor is one of my favorites!). We’re both handy with tools and sewing machines, so we repair things when they break or mend clothing when it rips.
In addition to green activities at home, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the realm of green practices at work. My company has always had a mind for being sustainable, but it had not formalized that value prior to 2017. Last April, we officially launched our Sustainability Initiative, solidifying a yearly plan of objectives to achieve and tactics for reaching those goals.
First up: organics recycling. I discovered the Hennepin County Business Recycling website, which is full of resources for businesses in the county for increasing signage, implementing new programs (check out their grant program!) and more. After talking with their helpful staff, we realized that another business in our office building had been in touch just days prior and had already rolled out an organics recycling program complete with a dumpster that we were able to share. The organics are picked up by our building’s waste hauler and taken to a commercial composting facility where it breaks down into nutrient-rich soil and fertilizer. All we needed to do was get a bin for the office kitchen!
In addition to composting, we’ve begun purchasing more sustainable office supplies, such as additional re-usable utensils, plates, bowls and glasses for the kitchen, high-efficiency lightbulbs for lamps and cartridge-free printer ink. For events, we use compostable plates, utensils and napkins and we clearly mark how to dispose of compost vs. recyclables vs. trash so our guests aren’t confused.
We’ve also had some fun with it! We have completed two Lean+Green Challenges, friendly health & wellness and sustainability competitions through Hennepin County Health@Work, we held a Car-Free Day with Move Minneapolis and we are growing our own vegetables on our patio this summer.
I’m really proud of work we’ve done to become a more sustainable business, putting into action one of our agency’s core values: being “Invested” in our community. With each new year, we expand our plan with new ideas of how we can become even more environmentally-friendly and continue to be an excellent member of our community.
If you have any questions about how we implemented these initiatives at our office, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com. I’d love to chat!