An Earth Day inspiration for small local businesses

The Agency Malibu, a local real estate office, looks to inspire other small businesses in town to follow their very green approach to daily operations. Because they have an ocean view and can see whales migrating and paddle-boarders going by, they’re reminded every day about trying to do whatever they can to help preserve the natural world.

Managing Partner Sandro Dazzan and Community & Operations Manager Jenna Fabian have spent the past three years working towards the creation of a more eco-friendly office, and both are “passionate about eliminating waste and protecting the environment.” 

“This rural environment is very special, and we have an appreciation for Mother Nature and the earth, want to preserve the beauty of it, and also be as healthy as we can,” said Dazzan, who was born and raised in Malibu, attended local public schools, and lives here with his wife and two small children. “Even at home, we’re organic and natural — no plastic or chemicals, and we like to bring that here to the office. Everyone here shares that, and it’s a nice environment to work in.”

Fabian shares that sentiment, and hopes that others will too.

“I hope to inspire other local businesses to also adopt greener practices,” she said, “and I’d also like to learn about their green initiatives.” 

Here are some of the specifications The Agency Malibu now uses when purchasing office supplies, swapping many conventional products for ecologically friendlier ones:

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  • Toilet paper — recycled/unbleached or bamboo
  • Paper towels — recycled/unbleached or bamboo
  • Trash bags — compostable paper
  • Printer paper — recycled or bamboo paper
  • Hand and dish soap — in refillable containers
  • Cleaning supplies — in refillable containers
  • Coffee pods — reusable K-cup pods 
  • The office already had reusable glassware and silverware, but now opt for bamboo utensils for larger gatherings
  • All beverages in aluminum cans — no plastic bottles
  • Snacks — No palm oil or use only sustainable palm oil
Some of the many green products used in the office of The Agency Malibu are shown. Photo by J. Tallal

In addition, The Agency Malibu has a “bring your own water bottle” (BYOWB) policy, with refills available at their own water bottle refill station. The thermostat is kept at 75 degrees to save energy and money. 

The business also reduces its carbon footprint by shopping locally for green products as much as possible, as opposed to having everything shipped. Online purchases are made in bulk to reduce packaging waste.

As Fabian did the research into all the products being used in the office, she was able to gradually introduce greener and greener solutions, which mostly come from eco-friendly and eco-conscious manufacturers.

“It’s all about education — a lot of people don’t know how to make a positive environmental impact in their own office or home,” Fabian said. “And there’s a lot of ‘greenwashing’ by companies, so you have to do the research to know which one to choose.”

The Agency Malibu, which is part of a national company, also advocates personal health and wellness in the workplace. In May 2021, at the peak of the pandemic, they were the first residential brokerage firm to earn the WELL health safety seal through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The award is evidence-based and verified by a third party and given to companies that follow a list of actions that prioritize the health and safety of their staff and visitors.

As part of this effort, The Agency Malibu installed an advanced indoor air quality monitor that measures nine air quality factors and has a virus index.

They hope to make a positive impact in the Malibu community by sharing their information on green products and practices with other local businesses. Anyone is welcome to come by The Agency Malibu’s front desk during business hours and pick up a list of the current products they use. The agency is located at 22601 Pacific Coast Highway, #103.

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