Retailers Go Green for Community Service

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Retailers Go Green for Community Service

NEW YORK -- A number of convenience retailers are doing good deeds in their local communities, including Circle K and BP, which are helping local projects that support the environment, and Canada's Esso, which is helping the youth and others in need through the United Way.

In Arizona, Circle K stores have become a convenient place to recycle empty bottles and cans, with the installation of small Enviro green collection houses at 16 Circle K convenience stores in Yuma County, the Yuma Sun reported.

The project, in collaboration with the Habitat for Humanity, allows people to place their empty aluminum cans and plastics for recycling. Proceeds from the recycled products fund Habitat's home-building efforts in the Yuma, Ariz., area, Debra Hunter, business manager for Habitat, told the paper.

The program also helps the environment by keeping empty cans and bottles out of the landfill, the report stated.

"It's so exciting to be able to give back to the community," Angela Anger, a district manager for Circle K Stores Inc. in the Yuma, Ariz., area, told the paper.

"We wanted to send a message to the community that we're not just about making money," she added. "We want to give back. We saw a need for recycling and thought this would be an excellent opportunity to give customers a place to recycle their cans and bottles and also help Habitat."

The idea for the collaboration came from Anger, when she discovered Habitat's aluminum can recycling program during a can drive held with Sam's Club, the report stated.

"We heard they were looking for sites," Anger told the paper. "We jumped at the chance. We thought our stores would be convenient. We see so many bottles and cans in the trash. We hope people will make the extra effort to take a few steps to put them in the houses instead of the trash."

She added: "Now I can clean out my car."

Circle K stores hosting the Enviro Green Collection Houses are located at:

-2409 S. 8th Ave., Yuma, Ariz.
-695 S. 4th Ave., Yuma, Ariz.
-2400 S. Arizona Ave., Yuma, Ariz.
-2398 S. Avenue B, Yuma, Ariz.
-1798 S. 4th Ave., Yuma, Ariz.
-379 W. 1st St., Yuma, Ariz.
-2505 W. 8th St., Yuma, Ariz.
-2089 S. Avenue A, Yuma, Ariz.
-7110 E. Highway 95, Yuma, Ariz.
-2090 E. 32nd St., Yuma, Ariz.
-637 E. 32nd St., Yuma, Ariz.
-2600 S. Araby Road, Yuma, Ariz.
-6544 E. Highway 80, Yuma, Ariz.
-29102 Los Angeles Ave., Wellton, Ariz.
-121 E. Main St., Somerton, Ariz.
-2360 Main St. in San Luis, Ariz.

In other community service news, BP America is donating $1 million and a solar-powered buggy to become energy efficient at Discovery Green, an $80 million, 12-acre park scheduled to open next year in downtown Houston, reported the Houston Chronicle.

The gift will fund two solar panels, which will be mounted on the park's administrative office building and a restaurant, Guy Hagstette, the park's director, told the newspaper. The goal of the panels and other environmentally friendly energy sources is to provide at least 35 percent of the park's electricity, Hagstette added.

In addition, the Discovery Green Conservancy, a nonprofit group overseeing the park's development, hopes to attain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification (LEED) with the use of the solar power, Hagstette said.

The park is also hoping to gain certification through its location in an urban center close to public transportation; efficient use of water; and recycling of construction materials, among other green strategies, the newspaper reported, citing a statement by the conservancy.

The solar-powered buggy will join a fleet of electric-powered golf carts, which will be used for maintenance and transportation within the park, Hagstette told the paper.

BP's gift follows other donations by Anheuser-Busch and philanthropist Dan Duncan, according to Hagstette.
Discovery Green will feature an outdoor amphitheater, a pond with an area for sailing model boats, a putting green and two restaurants, the report stated.

Hagstette anticipates the park will open in January or February of next year.

In other community service news, Esso and the United Way will celebrate the fifth annual Esso United Way Day on Saturday, Sept. 15, where 500 Esso sites across Canada will donate one cent for every liter of gasoline pumped, and $1 for every car wash to United Way organizations across Canada.

"By simply filling up at your local Esso station this weekend, you're helping the people in your community," Simon Smith, vice president of
fuels marketing at Imperial Oil, said in a statement. "At Esso, we recognize the importance of United Way in our community and we're delighted to maintain our commitment to this organization from coast to coast."

Last year, the one-day event raised more than $185,000 for United Way in Canada, he added. Funds generated from the event will be used to support United Way agencies that help youth, families, the homeless and others in need.

Imperial Oil's Esso United Way Day makes up a larger national commitment to the United Way. The campaign last year raised close to $3 million for the organization, the company stated.

"Individual customer contributions may seem small, but in fact, Esso United Way Day represents one of the largest one-day fundraiser of United Way Canada," Al Hatton, president and CEO of United Way Canada, said in a statement. "Through this initiative, Imperial Oil remains one of Canada's leading donors to United Way. We are thrilled to see Imperial Oil grow its participation in Esso United Way Day and commend the organization for its long-term involvement -- contributing more than $17 million since 2000."