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LiveSMART/Green Pages: Inspires, activates, and connects thousands to their local green scene and actions that move the sustainable needle


Description

Summary

 

      

The LiveSMART trailer and Green Pages app (LS/GP) will inspire, educate, activate-to-action, and connect 30,000 people a year to local sustainable products and services, and educational resources.  The goal of this effort is to stimulate enough demand and supply in our community to reach a “sustainability tipping point” with 20% of our population regularly demanding sustainable products and services within six years (2020).

There are two parts to the LS/GP project – a catalyst and a connector.  The first part, the LiveSMART trailer, is similar to a “green home on wheels” exhibit (the CATALYST).  On the outside, there are eye-catching colorful graphics, and on the inside, the trailer contains interactive educational exhibits and examples of sustainable materials and products geared toward the typical homeowner.  LS provides each visitor with an opportunity to see, touch, and experience sustainable materials and products and to ask a knowledgeable volunteer specific questions related to their personal needs.  LS allows an unbiased look at sustainable products.  

The second part, the Green Pages (GP) website and mobile app, is the digital connection that gives individuals the opportunity to connect with providers of local sustainable products and services both onsite and after leaving the exhibit (the CONNECTOR).  The GP will include reviews by both experts and the general public and a sharing forum for success stories and ideas that will allow users to encourage others to join them in their green journey. 

LS/GP will specifically: 

  • inspire, educate, and activate people to take immediate, sustainable action,
  • connect them to local resources so they can complete their action(s) and “vote” with their dollars,
  • create positive economic growth by creating supply and demand for healthy, high-performing sustainable products, services, and policies,
  • inspire other communities to do something similar through open sharing and building upon our actions and lessons learned from other units


Category of the action

Mitigation/Adaptation, Changing public attitudes about climate change


What actions do you propose?

LiveSMART & Green Pages Mobile will have a direct, positive effect on behavior change, policy, cultural norms, personal and business purchasing choices, and climate change.  

IMAGINE A GREEN JOURNEY THAT STARTS WITH A LIVESMART VISIT!

Imagine that you visit a “green home on wheels” exhibit at a Home & Patio Show and it inspires you to install five LED light bulbs, a dual flush toilet, and a solar thermal hot water system in your home (YOU ARE INSPIRED AND EDUCATED). Before leaving LiveSMART, you scan a QR code that provides a list of where to find the three items locally, or you become a user of the Green Pages app (YOU ARE ACTIVATED).  You also receive an email with the local rebates and incentives available and suggested detailed questions to ask before you purchase the items (YOU ARE CONNECTED).  

You successfully install the items and reduce your water and energy consumption and bills significantly.  You now want to share your success and experience with others.  You visit the moderated social forum section of Green Pages and share your success story (e.g., “I just installed a few light bulbs, a dual flush toilet and a solar thermal water heater and my utility bill went down by 14%!”).  You also share your ideas and needs (e.g., “I wish we had curbside composting pick-up in my city” or “does anyone know how to…”), and your suggestions (e.g., “We need community solar in this region.”).  You spark many others to take action, start/patron a green business, or meet a need with an innovation.  The green sparks multiply exponentially!  (BEHAVIORAL AND CULTURAL NORMS BEGIN TO SHIFT)  Maybe you decide to take it further and write your elected official about curbside composting, more incentives, and community solar and they begin to seek policies and sponsor legislation to nurture more such positive economic growth. (POLICY ACTIVATED)

You want to do more and take more sustainable action(s). You easily search the Green Pages website for a recommended green business/school/program (e.g., cleaners or a local, sustainable restaurant) by others in the community.  The website has an easy to search directory and each entry has their own description of talent, product and services, video/menus/etc., and why and how they are green.  The resource expert and customer reviews that are similar to Rotten Tomatoes, Angie’s List, Amazon, Urbanspoon, and Yelp are invaluable to you in helping you make a decision.  You personally have just sent multiple market signals into the community and to your friends, family, and colleagues (your sphere of influence).  (WE ARE ALL CLOSER TO THE TIPPING POINT)

Scenarios similar to this one person story can be run for each audience we will touch including schools, homeowners associations, business campuses and employee education days, football games, large festivals, and many more causing twice the ripple effect and market signals.

ACTIONS AT A COMMUNITY LEVEL

All throughout this effort will be the philosophy of “we are all in this together” and by collaborating we can "lift all boats” and enhance our community and other communities in the world.  Together we will work on creating incentives, disincentives for unsustainable choices, education, market-based policies, and social support by creating an ever-powerful feedback loop.  Some specific actions along these lines include hosting:

  • Monthly action-oriented challenges – Example: Install five LED light bulbs and be entered and eligible to win that monthly green prize from a local green business (e.g., free massage from Massage Green) and be recognized on the Chapter’s blog and social media (business gets publicity and individual has several incentives to complete an action)
  • Monthly green mobs (aka flash or carrot mobs with a purpose) – Example: A green business in the Green Pages wants to upgrade its HVAC system to a much higher SEER rating to save money and provide better customer comfort.  The Chapter, through LiveSMART and Green Pages, publicizes and organizes a green mob to patron this business between 9am-1pm on a Saturday.  All those who go during that time get a 20% discount and the business agrees to split the revenue, donating half to LiveSMART and half to upgrade the HVAC.  Green mobs help create a win-win-win focused solution and increases awareness at the same time.
  • Capturing suggestions and feeding them regularly to decision makers for incentive and market-based policy formation.
  • Collaboration meetings to share lessons learned in order to help other communities replicate or do something similar, appropriate, and customized for their community

 

On a much more specific and detailed level, the LiveSMART and Green Pages Project will:

  • Build out the LiveSMART Mobile Unit in Fall 2014 as a “green home” mobile showcase and exhibit that demonstrates the sustainable choices and high priorities in a hot, humid climate
  • Exhibit LiveSMART at a wide range of events to a broad audience.
  • Develop both physical and digital educational and programming content for general public, businesses, and K-12 audiences.
  • Activate our strong “Sustainable Partnership Program” training program to orient our partners to the program and how they can set up and present wherever LiveSMART is located
  • Develop, launch, operate, and grow the First Coast Green Pages website and app
  • Measure our actual impact constantly

 

EXPANSION AND REPLICATION IN OTHER COMMUNITIES

The beauty and magic of LiveSMART and Green Pages is that it speaks through a common denominator that everyone needs throughout the world: Shelter.  Everyone needs shelter and everyone should have the right to healthy, high-performing shelter.  Shelter is also the place we spend most of our time (in the U.S. it is 90% of our time) and is where we bring our food, our supplies, and our young and elderly.  Our shelter (our homes, workplaces, and schools) is a focal point that everyone can understand, relate to, and is the “house” for most of the economic activity and impact we as humans cause. 

The materials and products used in our LiveSMART and Green Pages Mobile can be tailored to the reality, culture, social, and economic situation of a specific community and country.  So while a low flow faucet or vegetable-based spray foam insulation might not be appropriate to a community that does not have running water or electricity, the mobility and portability of a SMART unit could provide information on how to collect and harvest rainwater, solar ovens, reduce solar gain by orienting windows and houses away from hot hours of the day, etc.

LiveSMART is a replication and expansion of a similar unit in central California called BuildSMART.  According to the USGBC C4 Chapter who launched their BuildSMART unit a few years ago, they reach approximately 40,000 people a year and there are four other communities actively working on their own SMART unit (Northern California, Texas, Illinois, and Israel).  With each SMART unit that “graduates” more tools are built and sharing occurs.  The start up of a SMART unit does take some organizing and commitment but with each unit we are making it easier. For example, the USGBC C4 is in Phase 2 for its BuildSMART unit and is creating construction documents and a virtual tour that anyone in the world can use.  With our LiveSMART & Green Pages effort, we will be adding the green pages component, measurement and evaluation tools (such as near field communications, opt-in strategies, monthly challenges with raffles), and a training program toolkit for volunteers and partners to the sharing mix.

In some regions, it might be easier to have one set of plans, graphics, educational content and easily build out several trailers at one time.  A large Jacksonville-based health-care corporation and foundation, suggested this idea to us.  The company wants to expand into other major cities in Florida (Orlando, Miami, Tampa, Pensacola) and see their health mission and a LiveSMART unit as a strategic method to get their message out quickly and with deep penetration into the market.  Once LiveSMART/Green Pages is up and running, we will contact the company and pursue this opportunity.  Another option for expanding this outreach program to other communities outside Florida, is to work with established networks such as the 70+ USGBC Chapters and the World Green Building Councils in over 90+ countries.  By providing the idea, concrete examples, and customizable materials and toolkits to such vast and capable networks, it would expand and accelerate the public demand and awareness of green building.

In other regions, the multiple production option or using an established network might not be the right approach.  Customization for any community can be done and will depend on the capacity of the team and needs of the community.  There is the option of starting out small with a portable booth at events, a small wall exhibit on a partner’s mobile unit, or a simple matching game of sustainable building materials and their raw materials (e.g., composite decking and plastic milk jugs).  Another option is educate virtually via your own website photo gallery or a virtual tour.  The USGBC C4 Chapter is currently working on a formal virtual tour for its BuildSMART unit and has a temporary YouTube video).  Finally, launching your own community green pages is yet another option even without a catalyst like a mobile unit to build momentum. 

In order to replicate or start a similar project, we recommend a community meet the following characteristics:

  • Have commitment, passion, and enthusiasm (this is first and foremost)
  • Have  an understanding of the community’s needs, eco-literacy level, green marketplace growth potential, and access to best strategic outreach methods (e.g., large events)
  • Have an achievable scope and a long-term revenue plan.  For instance, consider starting with the green pages or a small trailer that can be pulled by any truck (or even an all-in-one bread truck like with truck and exhibit space that still affords sponsor logos but less up front investment.
  • Have a portable mechanism – Mobility is key so the physical and interactive information can go to the “person on the street” and not make them come to you in a specific, static location.  Without mobility, you lack the ability to reach the "unconverted."  A person is quickly overwhelmed by often un-vetted and huge amounts of information. Providing an easy to understand and credible platform to obtain the information is invaluable. 

LiveSMART & Green Pages has attracted all kinds of great people with diverse talents.  Most of our volunteers to date say the love working on this project because it is so practical in its approach and so hopeful in its outcome; has a high level probability of success; and they feel like they are contributing to something great for the community and larger than themselves.

We currently have an amazing architect, contractor, graphic designer, interior designer and professors at two different local universities who have been extremely successful in recruiting students as LiveSMART volunteers.  We also have a volunteer coordinator who publishes our events online so that volunteers can sign up for two hour shifts.  This will be helpful in the early stages of LiveSMART, but our budget includes a well thought out plan to have a paid volunteer coordinator specifically for LiveSMART.  

PAYING IT FORWARD

USGBC North Florida Nonprofit Chapter works to accelerate sustainability and achieve full market transformation by 2040 in its region and to help others do the same.  We are happy to assist others interested in duplicating LiveSMART & Green Pages by sharing our design and construction plans, listing of selected materials, and website and app platform.  Other items include, but are not limited to, volunteer toolkit, graphics and educational content.  


Who will take these actions?

Individuals, students, employees, and policy makers will ultimately take the key actions and cause the ripple effects. 

The USGBC North Florida Nonprofit Chapter (USGBC NF) is the one that will implement and sustain the program.  USGBC NF has been an active and solid non-profit working in the community since 2005.  We are a dedicated volunteer and membership organization deeply committed to creating a sustainable region by 2040.  You could definitely say we are UBER passionate about moving the sustainable needle locally.  We are ambitious in our initiatives and goals each year with three main focuses: awareness initiatives to stimulate demand, education initiatives to supply the knowledge talent to meet the demand, and policy initiatives where we try to nudge the market toward creating incentive-based sustainable regulations and business sector.

The Chapter has the infrastructure, talent and commitment in place to make the LiveSMART and Green Pages Mobile long lasting and impactful.  Many of our current initiatives will feed directly into this project.  The team leading this effort is top notch including:

  • Tom Norman, Architect, Ebert, Norman, and Brady Architects – Architect and sustainable product sourcing
  • Rusty White, Contractor, Carlton Construction – Contractor
  • Pamela Lindeback – Graphic Artist and Interior Designer
  • Dr. David Lambert, Director University of North Florida Environmental Center – Educational Content Team
  • David King, Website and App Developer, University of North Florida – Green Pages Website and App
  • Mike Hornsby, Exhibit Director, Museum of Science and History – Design and Educational Content Teams
  • Dr. Ashley Johnson, Professor, Jacksonville University -- Educational Content Team
  • Sarah Boren, Executive Director, USGBC North Florida Chapter -- Design Team and Educational Content Teams
  • Environmental Nonprofit Partners – Resource Content and Sustainability Partners and Green Pages Participants


Where will these actions be taken?

The U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Nonprofit Chapter is located in Jacksonville, FL, the 11th largest city in population and the largest land mass city in the U.S.  It also happens to be on the coast of Florida, the front stage for sea level rise and effects of climate change.  In general, the population of Jacksonville does not rank very high on eco-literacy scales or demand for proactive environmental policies.  If we can stimulate public demand for green building in our region and document both the successes and the challenges we encountered along the way our efforts will help others who are also pursuing similar goals in their community.

We see myriad opportunities to make this program replicable through the trailer, curriculum being created, graphics, lesson plans including week long STEM turn-key lesson plans easy for teachers to implement, creating digital local Green Pages elsewhere, and more.

Americans are known for their high natural resource consumption rates and to be a large consumer market.  We hope to show by example that you can change people’s behavior, perception, and purchasing habits by demonstrating environmentally-responsible choices makes wise long term resilient and smart money sense.


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “20,750 [carbon dioxide] pounds is about average in the United States for a household of one person over a year."  By our conservative calculations, we believe that the LS/GP program will educate 30,000 people a year and activate 5-10% (1,500-3,000) people to take a least one emission reducing action ranging from 100-500 carbon dioxide pounds per action.  This totals to a range of 150,000 – 1,500,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions avoided each year.  

These are very conservative estimates.  First, we expect to activate many more than 5-10% and measurement will be based on how comfortable we make people feel to stay in touch and let us know what they accomplished.  Second, when one person goes home and takes an action such as installing a low water use toilet it actually affects and educates the other people in that family and their consumption rates and habits.  Third, we have high hopes others will replicate our program. 

 


What are other key benefits?

By having a mobile unit, we can take sustainability education TO the community and reach individuals from different socioeconomic sectors. Employee wellness days, career fairs, and football games are examples of large events where we can reach people beyond the "usual environmental-leaning choir."

There will be a large ripple effect from the LS/GP initiative including:

  • Increase the awareness and demand of sustainable buildings, products, and policies across a broad spectrum of communities, businesses and occupants.
  • Listen to, document, and share people’s obstacles and solutions to taking sustainable action into communal and institutional spaces
  • Reduce the feeling of inability by individuals and a community that they can't make an impact by sharing solutions and success stories.
  • Create community that actively supports and grows green initiatives, policies and businesses
  • Partner and collaborate with other entities to share their sustianbility education alongside LiveSMART and on Green Pages


What are the proposal’s costs?

To date the USGBC NF has raised enough money to purchase a trailer, wrap it with external graphics and founding sponsor’s logos, begin a basic build out while seeking additional sustainable product donations, and do an alpha launch of the green pages.  We have an amazing team of experts donating their expertise and time in design and construction as well as creating an effective long term revenue plan that includes an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, LiveSMART annual sponsors, vendor listing and advertising dollars from Green Pages, grants, and donations.

Support from the Climate CoLab contest would help us cross the finish line and get the LiveSMART mobile unit on the streets and educating and Green Pages live online by this fall!

Below are estimated costs for LiveSMART and Green Pages launch and one full year of educating and reaching 30,000 people.

LiveSMART and Green Pages Mobile Launch for First Active Year 

BUILD OUT ($12,000)

  • Liability Insurance: Truck & Trailer     $3,500
  • External Wrap     $1,000
  • Building Materials     $5,000
  • Internal Signage & Educational Graphics     $2,500

 

OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE ($36,100)

  • Parking & storage     $1200
  • Alternative fuel for truck that tows trailer     $2,600
  • Exhibit material wear and tear and new exhibit materials     $5,000
  • Tire maintenance & replacement     $200
  • Cleaning     $1,000
  • PR & Promotion     $2,000
  • LS Part-Time Coordinator     $15,600
  • Marketing Collateral onsite of LS (e.g., brochures)     $1,000
  • Nonprofit entrance fees to big events (50 events $150/ea)    $7,500

 

ONSITE EDUCATION & PROGRAMMING ($10,220)

  • Wifi Hotspot      $720
  • Onsite Interactive Tablets     $2,500
  • Entrance & Exit Kiosk Stands     $1,000
  • Touch screens     $1,000
  • Visits to 20 local schools      $4,000
  • Volunteer T-Shirts & Safety Vests     $1,000

  

GREEN PAGES ($10,600)

  • Development of software & digital experience     $2,500
  • Website hosting     $300
  • Website maintenance & upgrades      $5,200
  • Advertising budget (local NPR)    $2600

 

TOTAL COST:    $68,920.00


Time line

Fall 2014 –

  • Alpha and beta launchs of green pages website and app 
  • Build out and launch of LiveSMART
  • Full launch of Green Pages website and app (Oct. 4, 2014 at Green Lion Festival)

 

Q1 & Q2 2015 –

  • 50 green listing in Green Pages
  • 30 LiveSMART visits
  • First report of lessons learned, actions, and touch metrics

 

December 2015 –

  • First annual report of LiveSMART and Green Pages metrics
  • 100 green listings in Green Pages
  • 40 LiveSMART big events on weekends by the end of 2015
  • 20 LiveSMART weekday visits by the end of 2015
  • 30,000 people reached; 1,500-3,000 people activated

 

2016-2020 –

  • Continuation of program with constant improvements 
  • Helped many other communities replicate or do a similar program


Related proposals

Not sure about other proposals but we are happy to share and collaborate and we have very high hopes that our initiative can be replicated elsewhere on many different scales from the actual trailer to the materials created to the lesson plans/STEM curriculum we are creating


References

Inspiration came from USGBC C4 Chapter with their BuildSMART trailer

One Spark 2014 Crowdfunding Festival entry

LiveSMART website