Green Renters is a not for profit organisation for those who want to lead a responsible ‘sustainable’ existence but who are renting! It offers help by providing ‘a voice’ and resources such as a website, workshops, opportunities for discussion. It discusses and demonstrates what renters can do to live more sustainably and reduce their carbon footprint.
Green Renters started in 2009, frustrated with the lack of information and resources specifically for renters.
Much of the mainstream environmental movement focuses on retrofitting existing homes or building environmentally friendly homes but most renters, for example, are not able to install solar energy or a rainwater tank.
There have been workshops and panel discussions at the 2011 Sustainable Living Festival, a range of workshops around Melbourne and the first demographic survey of renters across Australia.
Green Renters is currently working on several projects including an International Student Challenge and a Green Renting Expo for residents of social housing as well as having been recently nominated for the Education Award as part of Earth Hour 2011.
They are currently running a ‘Pay the Rent’ drive – if you like what they do!
This new program run by the Green Skills Institute, NSW, is said to have saved the Pacific Restaurant group – including Kingsley’s Steakhouse and Crabhouse in Woolloomooloo and Chophouse in the Sydney CBD – 14 per cent in costs during a pilot program.
Pacific Restaurant Group director Wes Lambert said he was keen to see whether improved awareness and changes in behaviour affected energy use.
“We were very eager to be part of this project from the outset..
The restaurant business is tough – restaurants use a lot of energy and tend to operate on slim margins..
Most of the changes we made were at an operational level, our investment was minimal. Simple things like implementation of start up and shutdown schedules for lighting and large cooking appliances made a big difference. We also looked at replacing worn seals on ovens, and refrigerators, as well as installing plastic curtains on freezers”.
The aim is to help restaurants save money by:
The program, funded by the NSW Government’s Energy Efficiency Training Program, is offering a series of free workshops next month.
Green Skills chief executive officer Mark Hutchinson said the program was strongly focused on showing operators how they can reduce their energy and water costs without having to invest in major upgrades.
“Eighty per cent of our course focuses on behavioural change..so that even small cafes with maybe only six staff doesn’t have to go and spend 20 grand refitting their workplace.”
My sustainability expert tells me most of us can save money by changing our ways..