Sustainable Living Portfolio – Holly I.

Client: Holly I.

Testimonial: “My favorite part of working with Mel was that she didn’t push me to make environmental choices that I wasn’t ready adopt. She took the time to understand what is important to me. Her recommendations were based on the resources I have available and so I feel way more confident about my ability to make sustainable habits. I’m looking forward to following up with her in a couple of months for feedback on my family’s new habits. I’m excited to feel like there are things I can do that will really make a difference! I definitely recommend working with her if you’d like to make a difference on our planet and aren’t sure where to start.”

Goals: This busy mother of four wanted to reduce her family’s exposure to toxins and chemicals. Additionally, she was looking for ways to decrease her family’s carbon footprint with actions she could implement right away, while also saving money.

Consultation: I surveyed Holly about her family’s carbon footprint and exposure to chemicals and toxins. We discovered she would need to plant 1444 trees this year to negate their carbon footprint; or that if everyone lived like her family, we would need 4.5 planets to meet the demand of resources. While she was very worried about the future of the planet, her limited time and budget mandated quick, easy, and low-cost actions. With the abundance of information available, Holly felt overwhelmed with where to start and needed help identifying the actions that would create the most impact.

Short Term Action Plan

  • Reduce consumption of meat by instituting Meatless Mondays, decreasing serving sizes, and replacing meat with beans or other plant proteins in a couple of meals each week.
  • Combine shopping and errand trips to reduce driving.
  • Practice eco-driving.
  • Purchase and install faucet aerators and low flow shower heads.
  • Replace 25% of the household’s energy with renewable energy.
  • Raise cooling by 1 degree.
  • Replace house cleaning products with recommended safer alternatives as they are used up. When bleach is used, dilute to a ratio of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
  • Replace bath and beauty products with recommended safer alternatives as they are used.
  • Continue replacing plastic food storage containers with glass alternatives, and stop heating food or baby formula in plastic containers.

Mid Term Action Plan

  • Replace CFL lightbulbs with energy saving LEDs as current bulbs burn out.
  • Landscape yard with low maintenance native plants.
  • Install solar window film on windows that receive the most sun.

Long Term Action Plan

  • Replace appliances with ENERGY STAR appliances as they stop working, or upgrade sooner with refurbished ENERGY STAR appliances.
  • Purchase hybrid vehicle for daily commute
  • Continue replacing more traditional electricity with renewable energy as funds become available.
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