Save Money, Be Healthier and Increase Your Business by Greening Your Life, Business and Home

Posted by: Christine Rae on November 18th, 2011

It was 2007 when I had my consciousness raised to pay attention to the plight of the planet’s resources. I admit to feeling pretty overwhelmed and inadequate when it came to solving the problems. It all seemed to me there was too much to do and it didn’t really affect me – surely “some” authority was taking care of it. As the week went by I was haunted by the things I had heard; but how could I make a difference? EcoStaging® was born that night. I realized the people who I teach could be an army to spread the message of conservation of resources. I am in the real estate staging industry, we come in contact daily with agents and sellers who want a marketing edge for the property they are selling… what better marketing edge than saving money while helping the planet?

What I learned was it was all too much for many; people didn’t understand how it affected them directly, how it improved their health, how they saved money or how it was a marketing edge for business.

I am an early adopter; five years later I see the world catching up with increasing interest in wanting to understand the who, what, where and how.

The simple ways it affects any household:

Seventy percent of all energy consumption in North America is used by households. By paying attention to simple things you can reduce your energy bill and increase your savings. Things like changing regular light bulbs to CFL, they use less energy, give the same amount of light but they last seven to ten years so you save money two ways!

“Phantom” power is a huge drain on energy; phantom is standby energy – when you have anything plugged in ready to go (coffee maker, cell phone charger, washer, dryer, stereo, cable box – etc.) it is still sucking energy. It’s a lot when you add up all the things throughout a house. One way to make it easy for yourself is to plug as many devices as possible into power strips. Then you only have to turn off one point. A friend of mine did this in his one bedroom condo when he was away for a few days or on vacation. It resulted in him saving 50% on his electric bills.

Associates of mine have asked why all the fuss? Surely the claims are exaggerated! Sadly they are not. The world is running out of resources because the amount of supplies could sustain approximately 5.5 billion people and we are at about 7 billion now and climbing.

Over the last hundred years we have levied more damage on the earth than all the time before it. Much is a result of the Industrial revolution, technology, chemical development – all faster, bigger, better than before but at such a toll not factored in to long term affects on people, the land, crops in North America and many of the larger land mass countries.

What I have learned over the past few years with respect to the greening of our consciousness is that most people haven’t taken the time or had the inclination to process the changes which are happening all around them so they don’t understand why they are happening. What helped me was to learn a little about the Kyoto pact. I had heard the word on the news but honestly, I didn’t have a clue what it was about. In simple terms this is what I know:

  • Over a decade ago, most countries joined an international treaty — the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — to begin to consider what can be done to reduce global warming and to cope with whatever temperature increases are inevitable.
  • More recently, a number of nations approved an addition to the treaty: the Kyoto Protocol, which has more powerful (and legally binding) measures, 194 countries attended convention, 193 support Kyoto
  • The Kyoto Protocol was seen as an important first step towards a global emissions (GHG) reduction; The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it set binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.
  • Canada has done most of its work reducing solvents, while the USA focus is in manufacturing. As of the end of 2010 both are only at about 3-4% reductions, so still a long way to go

What this means to you:

What it means is you will have seen the results of the government reductions in things which have become everyday items for us consumers:

CFL light bulbs are obvious; energy labeling of appliances, electric/hybrid cars;
Wind and solar power, geothermal heating options, hot water tanks which fit on the wall vs. in the basement, car pool lanes, energy efficiency creeping into advertising, smaller cars, recycling programs, banning pesticides, water and electricity costs increase for prime time usage, smart meters, bike lanes, organic farming, rain barrels and government grants and tax subsidies. These are all ways the government is working to reduce emissions without you being aware. After the ratification of the 2012 agreement there will be more and more requirements of property owners to do their part in a more conscious way. Here are some of the trends I believe we will see:

Top Eight Green Trends of 2011-2012

  1. Global energy efficiency regulations
  2. Energy Labeling Homes/Offices
  3. Energy Performance Requirements
  4. Carbon Disclosure
  5. Energy Efficiency Retro-Fit grants
  6. Smart Grids
  7. Mandatory Disclosure
  8. Health & Wellness


7 Comments on “Save Money, Be Healthier and Increase Your Business by Greening Your Life, Business and Home”

Realtor in Calgary

There are certain factors that are interconnected and there are relevant things that can be associated with the idea of keeping the home and work place green.

Tom Aikins

Your statistics, while I’m sure are accurate, are also a little scary. They certainly provide an incentive to save energy, not to mention the fact that you can save yourself money as well.

Puerto Vallarta Real Estate

Well written and informative, thank you. I understand that CFL actually take so much energy and resources in their production that they are little better than incandescent. Some of the newer LED technology may be a better solution. Your point about the world not supporting it’s 7 billion inhabitants is well taken. Funny how there is so little movement with regards to limiting population growth… we only stand by and applaud when someone has their 14th child.

HG Blog Admin

I agree with the “phantom power” concept. There are only a few devices that we leave in standby mode now. We always make sure to turn everything off completely.


Very good advice.


That’s interesting that you bring up Phantom power. I was just talking to someone recently who was telling me about a device that you can check-out at lots of public libraries where you can plug your electronics in and see if it’s using energy while it’s “off.” I really should just buy some power strips though.


Ry Steven Yu

Real estate has been a tough business. Thanks Great Post. I’ll share this too.

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