March 28th marked a 30-day period that was highlighted by a series of activities celebrating our planet and its protection and stewardship. The Las Vegas-based Team Members of The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo demonstrated to their community their substantive commitment to sustainability and minimizing our impact on southern Nevada’s unique desert environment.
The properties made a one-of-a-kind statement for Earth Hour 2015, inviting guests and team members to assemble an LED candlelight display. Once the 4,000 reusable candles were lit, glow sticks and glow wands were distributed to passers-by in front of The Venetian and The Palazzo as they witnessed the darkened Las Vegas Strip.
In conjunction with Earth Hour, Pranav Jampani, assistant director of sustainability, and the Green Captains organized the 2015 “I Will If You Will” (IWIYW) challenge. Team Members brought old inefficient light bulbs from home for recycling and purchased energy-efficient LED light bulbs at a 50% discounted price from the Venetian and Palazzo Team Member Concierge. All participants were also entered into a drawing to win free LED light bulbs and Fitbit fitness devices.
As March waned and April blossomed, our Team Members prepared for Earth Day on April 22nd. Sustainable Events Manager Ryan Green of the Sands Expo led the Earth Day charge by championing a sponsorship by Sands Cares for the annual GreenFest. This community event, jointly produced by Republic Services and the Green Alliance, began with a prelude mixer for green and sustainable businesses and organizations at the newly opened Downtown Summerlin. The following Saturday, April 25th, Team Members Pranav Jampani, Rene Brana and Ryan Green shared information about Sands Cares and Sands ECO360° with the record-breaking number of the attendees from the Las Vegas metro area. Renewable energy, water conservation, gardening, eco-home improvements and much more were displayed along with live music, fashions made from recyclables, and arts and crafts vendors.
The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo also celebrated Earth Day and Arbor Day with the ceremonial planting of a magnolia tree on the north side of The Palazzo. Dana Beatty’s horticulture team and exterior horticulture team leader Delbert Leavitt prepared the new micro-habitat for the southern or “little gem” magnolia” (magnolia grandiflora “little gem”). The planting was attended by George Markantonis, president and COO; Katarina Testarova, vice president of global sustainability; Pete Boyd, senior vice president of operations and Tina Peetris, vice president of retail, as well as team members from various departments of the Las Vegas campus. Team Members who participated in the event received tee shirts made of 100% recycled soda bottles and a tree of their own to plant at home, including Palo Verde, Mesquite, African Sumac and California Pepper.
Planting drought tolerant trees is a key component of xeriscape landscaping.
Trees provide much appreciated shade as well as counter the radiant heat gain of the built environment, preventing a buildup of heat that would take longer to cool down during the night time hours. Properly selected and placed trees can help reduce air conditioning and water for irrigation. To learn more about drought tolerant trees and plants suitable for southern Nevada and how to plant them, visit snwa.org.