Total Macy’s, Inc. Solar Electricity Production on 03/17/2018

8,287 YTD

6,795 YTD

$916,521 YTD

15,081,984 YTD

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Associate Spotlight: Going Green and the Hawaiian Dream

POSTED UNDER By Our Associates

Being earth-conscious doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul of your world philosophy and daily practices. Realistically, the more organic and natural your approach is to going green, the more it will positively affect several aspects of your life. Men's Shoe Sales Associate Paul Deyden isn’t really a green crusader, at least not by traditional standards, but he may be the most sustainably-conscious person you’ll meet.

After approximately 30 years of doing construction work along the West Coast, including L.A. and Arizona, Paul decided to buy a one-way ticket to Hawaii – the island of Kauai to be exact. In perhaps his most sustainable move, Paul lived off the land of one of his friends, earning his keep by pitching in with farm work. Twelve years later, Paul’s now settled down with his wife Myra in a house three miles from Poipu Beach.

Paul and Myra have lived in their house for about five years, gradually transforming their property to not only be sustainable, but also pay for itself – and then some. Paul’s most notable sustainable improvements?

  • Twenty solar panels, covering one entire side of his roof
  • A solar-powered water heater
  • An organic garden easily producing more than 500 pounds of fruits and vegetables annually
  • A snow coat roofing, helping to reflect sunlight and self-cool the home
  • Energy Star appliances
  • Solar-powered electric charging station for his electric car, a Nissan LEAF

Paul gained an education in sustainability while working in construction, along with store management experience at Home Depot. Combining the federal and state tax credits and loans available for green home improvements with the knowledge of how much power these products can save, albeit eventually produce, Paul couldn’t find a reason not to make his renovations earth-friendly.

One thing led to another, and over the course of a few years, Paul’s improvements gradually compounded. He hasn’t received an energy bill in two years; he actually sells energy back to the grid. And with the purchase of his electric car, Paul hasn’t bought gas in six months. Any upfront costs he encountered – whether from solar panel investments or his electric car – have been paid back and then some.

When it comes to his work life, Paul appreciates working for a company that puts time and attention into sustainability. He promotes the use of digital receipts and reusable bags to customers (in fact, plastic bags are banned in Hawaii). He even set up a recycling bin in his store’s break room for associates, and it’s really taken off. He also takes advantage of the two electric charging stations available in his store’s mall parking lot.

Paul’s favorite sustainable contribution? “The car is cool, but the food is better,” Paul replied. “It’s something tactile – I can pull it off my tree, even sell it at farm stands.” From food to fuel, Paul’s main focus on sustainability is cutting transportation cost and waste out of the equation. Everything has to be shipped to Hawaii – even fuel. By going solar and organic, the Deydens don’t have to worry about importing – a true example of acting local and thinking global. And Paul’s not alone; being earth-conscious is a priority for Hawaii. It might have something to do with being one of the most beautiful places on earth.

The main takeaway Paul wants to leave us with is this: a major sustainable lifestyle isn’t terribly inconvenient or an expensive pipe dream. It can be relatively simple – and extremely beneficial – with the right information and investment.

Paul actually came into contact with our Green Living team by inquiring about our Electric Car Charging Station story, and we’re very happy he did. Thanks for sharing your story, Paul, and keep up the good work. If you’re a Macy’s associate and have a sustainable story to tell, please contact us. We’d love to share it.

  • Paul with his Nissan LEAF and solar-powered car charging station

  • The Deyden's home and garden, including electric car and solar panels

  • Paul's side garden – the entire side yard will be the future garden

  • Close view of Paul's budding organic vegetables