Welcome to a new year and a new world! We hope you got our holiday card and that the start to your year has been safe and blessed.
As our nation is changing and evolving, the Sustainable You team has been reflecting on how we can continually be the change and help others to do so as well. So far what we've found is that it takes one step at time!
I just recently met Vicky and Jeff about a month ago through Craigslist during my housing search, who quickly became my housemates!
On our very first encounter during the house tour, we discovered that we had a mutual friend, JS Ham, another team member here at Sustainable You! Jeff brought up the fact that he was about to get a Tesla in a couple days partially due to JS' influence. This was exciting news because they were already on track to becoming sustainable (check out our Tesla referral link and EV resources on our app)!
One of the first steps towards a sustainable lifestyle begins with recycling. Jeff and Vicky mentioned how confusing recycling could be due to the lack of and/or misleading information, such as mistaking resin identification codes on plastic packaging as a symbol to “toss this into the recycling bin”! What these mysterious codes found on the bottom of your orange juice bottle actually tell us is what type of plastic it’s composed of!
Did you know? Compounds that are often a byproduct of refined crude oil are added to plastic products to manipulate its properties into being lighter, sturdier, or more flexible.
There is a common misconception that if it’s made out of paper, plastic, glass, or aluminum, it's automatically recyclable, but this isn’t the case! Styrofoam and plastic bags, for example, are widely not accepted in curbside programs because they require special processing.
Ask us what to do with the filthy five!
It has been an ongoing process of Jeff and Vicky asking all the right questions and myself explaining to them how recycling really works, what plastic resin codes mean, and what's recyclable and what's not. They have even shared their recycling journey with all of their friends!
In addition, I’ve seen a proactive effort to reduce food waste in the household. With my help, I get to eat leftovers as well which is always a plus! The food in our fridge has a pretty quick turnover rate if I must say so myself. Lastly, takeout food being the main staples for Jeff and Vicky is now turning into home cooked meals.
Vicky just recently signed up for Arcadia as well after I walked them through the Eco-Evaluation. Jeff’s sustainability score was 10 and Vicky’s was -25, so there’s a lot of room for sustainable evolution!
“My first thought is I want to talk about how shocked I am about my Eco-Evaluation score. It opened my eyes to how I can do better in caring for the environment, being sustainable, and getting rewarded to do so. I recommend the Eco-Evaluation to everyone!” - Vicky.
It has been extremely rewarding to be a guide for Vicky and Jeff, who have been so open in learning how to adopt a more earth-friendly practice in their daily lives, and eager to share their journey and knowledge with everybody around them.
As we go into holiday season, we wanted to share our gratitude for how our community is evolving. Our work in awakening people to their power of evolving a sustainable consciousness means that we often find ourselves helping spiritual communities and houses of worship.
We installed on the Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church Seminary earlier this year and the next phases just broke ground. We are grateful that they entrusted us to construct solar on their beautiful Church and Maronite House building on the other side of the grounds. This one took a while to get through permitting and interconnection, but we couldn’t be more excited to get it to the finish line!
It’s not just solar that we’ll be installing for churches either! As we’ve been expanding our engagement with The REED Center for Ecosystem Reintegration (where our Director of Growth completed one of her Permaculture Design Courses), we reaffirmed that one of the most impactful ways to develop agricultural, social, and conscious regeneration is to work with community centers like churches to cultivate permaculture gardens with leaders and constituents. In addition to this, The REED Center also plans to work with us to curate more educational events at their food forest and farm, and in the city!
With the help of our new colleague, Will Cousseau, we have expanded our consultations to the Massachusetts marketplace where the state has created a first of its kind SMART solar program. Instead of the lucrative SREC market we have come to love in Washington DC, they have pivoted to a new program with significant upfront incentives rather than recurring payments from SRECs. It is key to note that homeowners who went solar before the SMART program was created are still eligible to generate and trade SRECs in the state for a significant profit. This is a strong assurance for the longevity of SRECs in the DC area, even in the unlikely event DC decided to pivot towards a new incentive based program.
We discovered with our solar partners that this week will definitely be the last week to put permits in for solar projects to be installed before the end of the year to benefit from the 26% tax credit before it expires.
If you know any special people that you would want to help get paid to go solar, please let us know immediately!
We had an amazing trip earlier this month where we traveled to green hotspots to meet with leaders and future partners in regenerative agriculture!
Our Director of Growth, Ariana, and Managing Director, Kay, joined an edible forest consult with the Reed Center for Ecosystem Reintegration representatives, visited Edible Eden Foodscapes for a group podcast (coming soon!), and toured the Baltimore Free Farm!
Are you ready to learn more?
We’ll help you start to regenerate the planet right at home, in your own backyard. With new local partners we’ll consult, design, construct, install, and maintain your optimal permaculture garden, while facilitating continuous education on how to work with the natural principles of nature that will lead to a more resilient home and abundant planet!
I am deeply grateful for all the incredible connections that are being weaved and this platform that I have been blessed with to inspire DC and beyond to live a more sustainable life through their connection with nature. Much more to come including an exciting investor event this weekend and a growing ecosystem of co-creators. And thank you always for your support and love as this sustainable path is paved, or should I say planted!
We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. It tends to be that in the hardest, most trying times that what really matters comes into focus and helps get us through the most difficult moments.
Despite all the negativity surrounding our climate, COVID-19, this election, and the seemingly insurmountable divides in our country and world, we would like to share how we’ve been staying positive and striving to build a better world as we go transition into autumn today.
In hopes that we can provide additional value to our growing community, we have decided to start a consistent newsletter series and have several exciting updates to share with you all.
We have over 100 community members who have installed income-generating solar on their homes and we are starting to see a consistent increase in referrals from our community members sharing their experience with their friends. With the solar side of our organization scaling smoothly, we’ve been able to expand our offerings to accomplish our mission.
Some of you may remember, or even have experienced an Eco-Evaluation, and now we are ready to launch the offering more formally to those that have shown interest, and to the greater DC area.
If you are already a solar customer, an Eco-Evaluation will be free for the rest of the year (for your friends, we will be offering this service for $99 moving forward)!
Another exciting new offering is Permaculture! We’ll help you start to regenerate the planet right at home, in your own backyard. With new local partners we’ll consult, design, construct, install, and maintain your optimal permaculture garden, while facilitating continuous education on how to work with the natural principles of nature that will lead to a more resilient home and abundant planet.
We’re launching these two new offerings now, because one of our biggest goals is to develop and sustain community resiliency in our neighborhoods, and beyond, that include incorporating solar, permaculture, and sustainability education. We’ve helped the first ever gas station that removed its gas tanks and switch to EV chargers in Takoma Park, MD, to install solar on top of their auto body shop on site, completed two solar installations on churches and will be installing on two more in the coming months, and our largest project thus far - a community sustainability center that integrates a church, school, and daycare. We are thankful to have the ability to manage large-scale resiliency projects as a team with our partners, and we hope you can help us and our city to accomplish its goal of being the most sustainable city by 2032.
We are so blessed to have grown such a diverse team of over 13 throughout the summer (read our bios!) and as we go into fall, we look to you, our neighbors, to learn how we can better integrate our abilities to further serve you and our community.
A big part of our commitment to you as our neighbors and to a sustainable world is to share our story (check out our updated website!) in hopes others will share theirs, so we hope you'll grow to follow and lead us further in our journey.
We’ll be hosting more of our sustainable journey on our free App and we invite you to download and start engaging with other neighbors to evolve your sustainable lifestyle.
We cannot thank you all enough for your support, your referrals, and your commitment to making more sustainable choices thus far. We have helped many of you make the switch to clean energy for your home, pick your first ever EV, complete energy efficiency audits, set up composting, buy more sustainable products, eat more sustainable food, and even start growing your own!
It is an honor to get to know you all and we hope we can all take a moment to celebrate what we are capable of when an entire community comes together to create a healthier, more just, and more sustainable future for us all.
Over the next few weeks, we will be reaching out to our community to see how we can provide more value to you. We hope you see us as a lifelong guide in your sustainable journey moving forward. Please let us know how to help, or if you are interested in helping us, we are always looking to expand our team and partners!
There is no better time than now to tap into the solutions available to climate change like revitalizing the soil.
Kiss the Ground Mission: Awaken people to the possibilities of regeneration.
Sustainable You Mission: Awaken people to their power of evolving a sustainable consciousness.