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Be green. Be secure. Be Paperless.

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From improving environmental conditions and better safeguarding your personal information, to simplifying everyday tasks and decluttering the kitchen junk drawer, there are a number of benefits associated with going green.

Reducing your environmental impact, protecting your personal information and improving your quality of life are just a few of the perks that can come with creating a green-friendly household.

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Here are 10 tips to get started:

  1. Sign up for e-statements (save on trees and fees). When you sign up to receive e-statements from your bank, credit card, insurance, doctor office and more, you greatly reduce your paper trail, but still have access to your account at any time. Additionally, many institutions charge for paper statements to incent customers to move to e-statements, so in these cases, you can save money as well.
  2. Pay bills online. Paying bills online is quick and easy, and you will save money on stamps and envelopes by using the free service. Need a reminder to pay your bills? Download an app like “File this and you can have all your bills stored in one location and saved to the iCloud. You can also create bill pay reminders so you receive a notification when a bill is due.
  3. Mobile tickets/boarding passes. Instead of printing your airline boarding pass or event tickets, download them on your phone. The ticket agent can scan your bar code straight from your device.
  4. Scanning apps. There are a variety of free and low cost apps that can take pictures of documents with your camera’s phone. The apps use optical character recognition (OCR) that can detect characters, words and numbers making your documents easily searchable.
  5. Digital Signatures. Gone are the days where you need to print a document in order to sign your signature. Create a digital signature for PDFs in Adobe Acrobat, or use an app like “Sign Now that allows you to sign any document with your finger.
  6. Mobile “To Do” lists. There are a variety of apps that will help you capture your “To Do” lists. A popular grocery list app is Grocery IQ, which allows users to set up the list by aisles. It also recognizes many brands, includes a barcode scanner and offers coupons.
  7. Note taking. Use your tablet at school or at the office to take notes, sketch ideas, annotate records, provide audio feedback and more by using apps like Notability or Evernote.
  8. Read using your tablet. Instead of printing out documents to read, open them in iBooks, your Kindle app or other reader and view on your tablet. You can easily download the latest novel as well.
  9. Opt of out junk mail. Eliminate unwanted mail by signing up for the National Do Not Mail List.
  10. No more article clippings. Forget printing recipes and other articles of interest. Apps like Pocket let you save articles, web pages, videos and more so you can view later, even when you don’t have an internet connection.

At UMB, we are committed to protecting, supporting and enhancing human and natural resources that will be needed in the future. Going paperless is one small step we encourage our associates, clients and communities to take part in as it can lead to big changes in the environment.


Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 16 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She serves on the board for BikeWalkKC and Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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Geared up to Bike to Work

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Geared up to Bike to Work

UMB recognizes the undeniable importance of sustainable business practices. We examine ways to reduce waste, promote recycling, decrease air pollution to improve air quality, conserve energy, and educate our associates about the benefits of environmental sustainability.

One way to make a positive environmental impact is to consider transportation options.

Whether your workplace is casual, business casual or strictly formal business attire, with a little pre-planning you can enjoy a smooth ride to the office.

Here are some tips to plan your commute.

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Map your route in advance

Free apps like Ride with GPS and MapMyRide can help you determine the best route to bike to work. In addition, they offer local bike route suggestions, bike challenges, mileage tracking and more.

Bike Necessities

  • Make sure your breaks, gears and chain are all in working order.
  • Adjust your bike saddle so that you are comfortable when you ride.
  • Be sure to have reflectors/lights in the back and a light in front.
  • Always check your tires before you ride to make sure they are inflated properly and don’t have leaks.
  • Remember your bike lock. Even if you are parking your bike in a secure company garage, it is still a good idea to lock it.

Transporting “your stuff”

There are many baggage options for bike commuting. If you have minimal items and only bike occasionally, consider a backpack, flipbelt or a small seat post bag. If you have greater baggage needs, try adding a bike rack that accommodates many bag styles, such as the Topeak MTX Trunkbag. It easily slides onto a bike rack and has expandable panniers.

What to wear

There are many options for stylish office-ready commute clothing, including items like this Columbia skort (see picture) or office ready technical trousers that are comfortable and stylish. You can also pack a change of clothes or have some standard pieces, such as a jacket and dress shoes, that you leave at the office. And last, but most important, don’t forget your bike helmet.

Transforming at the office – if you don’t have a shower at your workplace, or simply don’t have time, baby wipes make for a great quick clean up. There are also “adult” versions you can purchase, such as Paper Shower  dual wet and dry towelettes. Also, keep a deodorant handy in your desk drawer.

Additional accessories to consider:

  • A cellphone mount can be helpful if you need to check your GPS bike route map
  • A bike computer will keep track of your mileage, speed and the time
  • A bell is a great way to signal your presence if you are coming up behind pedestrians or other bikers
  • Fenders help keep water and mud from splashing onto your clothes

If you have a really long commute and can’t avoid highways, but are still interested in an alternative mode of transportation, consider the bus or carpooling. Many employers provide subsidies for bus riders – for instance UMB provides a subsidy that may cover 70% or more of an associate’s bus pass cost.

Also, if you live in Kansas City and are using alternative transportation, you may be eligible to compete in the 10th Annual Mid-America Regional Council’s (MARC) Green Commute Challenge, June 1- August 31. Our associates have competed over the last 10 years, learning about different modes of alternative transportation and the impacts on cost and environmental savings.bloog

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Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 16 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She serves on the board for BikeWalkKC and Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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Stay warm and save energy this winter

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Winter is coming, which means a change in temperature as well as your heating bills. Below are helpful tips on how to keep the chill out of your home and more dollars in your wallet.

Keep warm air in and cold air outFlake-thermometer_400x400

  • Make sure gutters are clean. Cluttered gutters can lead to water damage and foundation deterioration in your home, which allows outside air to seep into your home.
  • Update windows with air leaks. If you can’t afford to replace windows, consider installing storm windows or cover them with plastic to reduce heat loss.
  • Use weather stripping around doors, and caulk windows to prevent cold air from entering the house.
  • Ensure your attic is well insulated.
  • Reduce drafts by using spray foam or caulk to seal holes around penetrations, such as pipes, wiring, vents or recessed lights that go through the home to the outside, attic, crawlspace or an unfinished basement.
  • Protect basement window wells with plastic shields.
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Maintain equipment to save money year-round

  • Schedule yearly checkups for your HVAC system. Energy Star recommends you plan the checkups around the beginning and end of daylight-saving time each spring and fall.
  • Change your air filter every month. Dirty filters slow down air flow, making your system work harder to heat and cool your home.
  • Keep air registers and vents clear to allow air to flow freely throughout the room.
  • Install a programmable thermostat – proper use can save you about $180 a year.
  • Insulate old water heaters with a water heater blanket. When it’s time to upgrade, consider purchasing an electric or tankless water heater to save money and energy. Note: Energy Star certified water heaters can use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional water heaters.

And remember, dress for the weather, even when inside. As the cold weather sets in, instead of donning shorts and short sleeves, put on a sweater or cover up with a blanket in order to keep warm without having to crank up the thermostat.

For more energy-saving tips, visit ENERGYSTAR.gov.


Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 16 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She serves on the board for BikeWalkKC and Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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The Overlooked Cleaner Energy Source for Home and Office: Ground Source Heat Pumps

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Everyone has heard the energy saving benefits of solar and wind power but did you know ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) can save you up to 45 percent on your energy consumption compared to conventional HVAC systems. How do we know this? Experience.  In 2004, UMB installed a vertical ground source heat pump system consisting of 12 wells at our branch location in Grandview, Mo. According to Roy Allen, who is part of the UMB maintenance team, the Grandview location saves approximately 21,000 kWh per month over similar sized banking center locations. With such great savings on energy UMB has decided to install a second system at another banking center as well. Construction for this new center should begin in February 2016.

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In addition to saving energy and money GSHPs are good for the environment since they are a cleaner source of energy using mostly ambient heat from the ground while using very little electricity.

How Ground Source Heat Pumps Work
So how do these systems provide cleaner energy and help you save on your utility bills? Air temperature can fluctuate greatly with the seasons and even daily, with daytime highs and night time lows, but surprisingly ground temperature remains relatively constant. Conventional air-source HVAC systems attempt to capture heat from frigid winter air as well as disburse heat into the baking hot summer air – which is no easy task.  However ground source heat pumps work by capturing the neutral heat absorbed at the surface of the Earth, it then heats the air in the winter and then extracts the heat from inside air in the summer. This is done through a water solution that flows through pipes (wells) buried in the ground that circulates the heated water to the home/office in the winter and then it is reversed in the summer whereby the heat is extracted from the air and transfers it via water through the pipes removing the heat from the building and transferring it to the ground.

Types of Systems
There are four basic types of GSHPs including horizontal, vertical, pond/lake which are all closed loop systems. The fourth type is the open loop system. The option you choose is dependent on the climate, soil conditions and the available land. UMB banking centers utilize the vertical option. This option is used when soil is too shallow for trenching, it also does not require a lot of space. Roy explained the system only takes up a 70 ft. x 100 ft. space and contains 12 wells at a depth 500 ft. It is located under the drive through teller lanes. He said both the current and new systems, designed by Lankford Fendler and Associates, have life time warranties on the wells. Another benefit of the system is that it is very low maintenance.

So the next time you are looking for a cleaner energy source for your new home or office you may want to consider ground source heat pumps.

Sources:
http://energy.gov/energysaver/geothermal-heat-pumps
http://energyblog.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/17/10-myths-about-geothermal-heating-and-cooling/

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Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 16 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She serves on the board for BikeWalkKC and Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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