Watershed Management Group was voted Arizona's Greenest Workplace for 2015 in an annual challenge hosted by Mrs. Green's World. Entrants are judged on how well they embody the three Rs—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Here's how we won:
We are great at reducing our negative impact, but it’s a small part of what we do. We focus on creating a positive impact with the resources we have. Our office of over 15 staff produces less than 65 gallons of trash per week and we use very little water, sewer, and electricity for our normal business operations with our large cisterns, compost toilet and solar panels. Once our systems are completely installed, we will not need any city utilities! Our staff also reduces our impact on traffic and fuel consumption by biking and busing—ride over 300 miles per month for work.
Reuse is a core component of our business. At our office we reuse all organic waste with our composting systems—including a permitted composting toilet! Almost nothing goes to waste at our office. Scrap materials are sold or reused by employees. We use water that comes from the sky and reuse it throughout our landscape with greywater systems to support our native edible and fruit tree urban orchard.
Recycling is encouraged with signs and separate containers for waste, organics, and recyclables. We also work hard to educate and inform staff and the public who visit our Living Lab and Learning Center about recyclable materials and best practices for recycling and leading a zero waste life style. We conduct our events to be zero waste and we work closely with vendors to ensure recyclability/compostability of products being utilized.
Beyond the three Rs
At Watershed Management Group, we focus on holistic management of natural resources through our development of projects and policies in close collaboration with communities.
We work with diverse people, including schoolchildren, neighborhood groups, low-income populations, businesses, design and engineering professionals, city governments, and elected officials. Founded in 2003, WMG has trained thousands of people in cities throughout Arizona and the greater Southwest including New Mexico and southern California. We have worked with cities including Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff to develop and implement ground-breaking green infrastructure practices and standard designs. We led in the development of a Green Streets Active Practice Guideline policy governing all new or redeveloped roadways for the City of Tucson which was passed unanimously by the Mayor and Council.
Our long-term vision is to preserve and restore urban and rural watersheds including hydrologic processes which reestablish and enhance flowing rivers and streams throughout the Southwest. WMG is a founding member and the primary fiscal sponsor of the Community Water Coalition, a group that provides leadership and guidance toward water policy that sustains healthy ecosystems and quality of life in the Santa Cruz Watershed. WMG is also a founding partner of the Tucson Conserve to Enhance Program, which works to ensure that water conservation will translate into benefits for the environment by linking personal water conservation efforts with local riparian restoration projects. These are the two leading efforts in the Santa Cruz watershed to restore flowing desert rivers.
Come visit us at the Living Lab in Tucson
See all these green features in action on a free tour at our Living Lab and Learning Center in central Tucson on the second Saturday of each month. The next tour is scheduled for November 14. Learn more and register online.
Or join us at the Living Lab for our Edible Shade Mesquite Pancake Breakfast on November 22 for a fun-filled morning to celebrate the delicious shade of mesquite, pomegranate, olive and other edible native and desert-adapted trees. Enjoy live music, an artisan market, and educational presentations as you explore sustainability practices in action at WMG’s Living Lab and Learning Center. And come hungry—we’ll be serving up local mesquite pancakes, fresh off the griddle! Find us on Facebook to RSVP.
Get to know us at Hydrate Phoenix
We are halfway through our Hydrate Phoenix series, but you can jump in at any time! Hydrate with happy-hour priced local craft brews, and soak in knowledge about greywater, composting, and building a rain garden, and learn how to create a sustainable backyard oasis at your home. Learn more and register online, and look for our Hydrate series soon in other Valley cities.
Mrs. Green’s World encompasses an Internet radio network and website that features an informative blog, e-newsletter, topical videos and more to promote green living in Arizona.