Sunday, April 19, 2009

Earn money and save the planet: Green Irene

You may have realized by now that money for us is a little tight. Our cross-country move last year cost us thousands, we're earning less than we did in Boston, and, contrary to what the relatives who asked us to move here told us, the cost of living here isn't cheaper. In fact, everything now costs us more, except auto insurance (our rates for that have halved!).

Our heating bills this winter have killed us. Our relatives made the point that the Pacific Northwest doesn't have the temperature extremes that Boston has, so heating and cooling costs would be less. While that may be theoretically true, we lived in an apartment in Boston. We now live in a house, so whatever gain we might have had from the lack of freezing temperatures has been lost in trying to warm a house this big. And it's a drafty house.

We're also now paying for water usage and garbage pickup, which we didn't have to do in Boston. I'm proud of the fact that we've reduced the water usage for this house to one-fifth of what it was when our relatives lived here, and our garbage output is one-fourth of what theirs was. Some of those reductions would have happened automatically, since they have two kids, a teen and a preteen, to our one preschooler. Still, the fact that we've reduced so much is due to the conscious choices we've made to conserve. However, the savings we've realized in water use and garbage have been eaten up by the heating costs.

That brings us to the need to earn additional income. My husband and I recently signed up to become eco-consultants with Green Irene. Green Irene is a green business that trains and equips people to become eco-consultants, who provide households and small businesses with green home and office makeovers. They provide green audits, make recommendations for ways to make the home or office more energy-efficient, less toxic, and more eco-friendly; and they carry a range of products to help you do so. One of the things that impressed me a great deal was that the start-up and ongoing membership costs were very reasonable. Hubby has had other home-based businesses before, so I know that's not always the case. We're still in the training stages, but I'm excited about the chance to do something I care about, and help out our finances at the same time.


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  3. Great post, Amy. We are happy to have you on board and part of the growing network of eco-consultants powered by Green Irene. We look forward to working with you.