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This Is Us: UMC employee’s commitment to sustainable choices | #3

Sydney Armitage

Account Development Specialist

27 June 2022


You don’t need to have a huge budget to embrace sustainable practices that have a long-term positive impact. Incorporating seemingly small choices at a consistent pace or partnering with those in your community can help to make living sustainably feel more attainable.

In the third installment of our commitment to sustainability series, we hear from two more perspectives of how employees are exploring and implementing new ways to bring a focus to sustainability in their own homes.

David McCaughey, Senior Business Developer, Energy and Environment

  • Community Solar: My community put the opportunity for a 67-kw solar array where each homeowner had the opportunity to own half or part of a solar array instead of a whole one. This proved to be a more financially feasible way to have access to alternative energy.
  • Promoting Carbon Absorption with Old Growth Cedar Trees: More large trees = more shade and cooler air keeping the temperature more consistent all year long. That means less fan and AC use in the warmer weather and less heat for the cooler months. +
  • Local Action: I am the chair of Climate Change Advisory Committee for the City of Bainbridge Island. We currently have 130 actions on the docket to support the community at large. I’m also on the board of the Northwest Energy Coalition focusing on policy that supports recouping energy through a series of biomass, solar, and wind projects.

Jessica Bobinac, Communications Manager

  • Ditched the Daily Commute: One of the positives of the COVID-19 pandemic is the ability to work from home. I live on Whidbey Island, and prior to 2019, I would commute to Mukilteo every day. Car, bus, and ferry twice a day, five days a week. That is a lot of energy and CO2!
  • Ecofriendly Parenting: Toddlers produce a lot of waste... diapers, wipes, food, the constant cleaning, you name it! We focus on buying second hand and/or sustainable materials whenever possible, shopping locally, and try to reduce food waste by offering smaller portions to start, follow hunger cues to refill the plate, and repurposing all uneaten fruit and veggies into smoothies.
  • 1000 Hours Outside Challenge: With said toddler, we’re doing the 1000 hours outside challenge in an attempt to save on electricity AND foster a love of the outdoors from the start. Win-win!
  • Only Buy What’s Needed: We try to live realistically minimal and think about the overall cost of use and cost of production when we buy things like kitchen gadgets, furniture, décor, etc. Do I want an air fryer? Yes. Will I use it more than once a month? Debatable... I do borrow my neighbors every now and then, though!

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