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Mimosa Books and Gifts
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Mimosa Books and Gifts
As the one-time, ten-year-old founder of "WACERs" (World-watchers and Animal-adorers Committee Who are Earnest About Recycling) and recipient of the top environmentalist award for her fifth-grade class, Ashley Leavy's commitment to environmental consciousness goes back a long way. Now the fourth-generation owner of Mimosa Books and Gifts, a downtown store that specializes in new age metaphysical products, Leavy shares her commitment through the world of retail.

"Concern for the environment is the overarching factor that drives every decision we make about the store," said Leavy. "It's just part of who we are."

With that in mind, Leavy and her business partner joined the Green Power Tomorrow program. The store now gets 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. This choice offsets over 9,000 pounds of coal and eliminates 14 tons of carbon dioxide annually.

"We upgraded our store lighting to LED, and the savings on that have been exceptional," Leavy said. "We anticipated a 16-month payback, but now we're estimating that we'll hit the mark in closer to 10 months. We'd like to put that savings into renewable energy."

Other recent updates around the store included extra insulation, plastic sheeting in an energy-wasting stairwell, a programmable thermostat and keeping most of the store's lights off before store opening and after daily closing. "The little things all add up," said Leavy.

Mimosa makes it a point to work with local vendors to minimize the impact of transportation, recycles its packing materials and tries to place less frequent, larger orders to save fuel costs. The store sends customers newsletters electronically and offers the Metro Commute bus card to its employees.

The shop's commitment to environmental consciousness also extends to its vendor choices. Mimosa tries to work with vendors who either are certified "fair trade" or meet or exceed the standards for that designation. "It costs thousands of dollars to get the certification, and one of the vendors we work with opted to meet the standards voluntarily but donate the fee to help organizations in the community," Leavy said. "There are a lot of companies doing things like that."

Leavy encourages other business owners to seek out ways to be more energy conscious. "Sometimes it can feel time- or cost-intensive, but often that doesn't prove to be the case. Many choices pay for themselves more quickly than you might think and there are a lot of resources, like MGE, who will help you investigate your options."
Thank you,
Mimosa Books and Gifts
, for supporting Green Power Tomorrow.

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