Denise Mika, Maricopa County Eco-Employee of 2009

Denise Mika, Maricopa County Tobacco Use Prevention Program

Congratulations to Denise Mika, Maricopa County Tobacco Use Prevention Program, who was just named Maricopa County Eco-Employee of 2009. She was one of 170 county employees nominated for the award.

In an effort to increase employee awareness of regional sustainability, a contest was developed to acknowledge a Maricopa County employee who has demonstrated substantial leadership in furthering Maricopa County’s vision towards regional sustainability. The Eco-Employee is an employee nomination-based contest with categories including advocacy, commute, energy conservation/production, reduce/re-use/recycle, and water conservation.

watch a highlight video of Denise’s sustainable actions

Denise is truly evergreen. “I’ve been green forever,” she says. “This is a lifestyle. I believe in the phrase reduce, reuse, renew and recycle – in that order.”

When explaining where to place your trash and recycle cans she says, “put your recycling on the right, because it is the right thing to do and the trash on the left because you only trash what is left.”

Denise leads by example. She is a member of the Green Council for Public Health. Her energy, commitment and enthusiasm have made us all think and act more green. There are a number of ways that she models “green” behavior in her personal and professional life:

She lives in a solar home.

She drives a Prius and takes mass transit whenever possible.

She has a compost bin in her backyard (it was a Valentine present).

She brings her own reusable containers to work and to restaurants. She does not use plastic forks, paper or Styrofoam plates.

She does not buy paper towels or napkins.

She hangs her clothes to dry.

She breaks down delivery boxes at work and takes them to a city recycling center.

She has found a vendor who will reuse bubble wrap.

Denise and other members of the team have redesigned our training manuals to reduce the amount of printed materials sent to our contractors. Denise encourages us on a daily basis to think “green.”

With this award she received a 2009 Citizen folding bike to reinforce her sustainable lifestyle. Denise has demonstrated true environmental stewardship and is a great example of sustainable living.

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