What sets your Project apart from what is currently available?
Imagine a “green home on wheels” exhibit that inspires you to install a dual flush toilet and solar thermal hot water on your home. You scan a QR code at the exhibit that gives you a list of local resources of who to contact for both items and you receive a detailed email within a week of visiting the exhibit with these resources and suggested questions to ask as a savvy consumer. You successfully have both items installed and reduce your water and energy consumption and bills significantly. You now want to share your success and experience with others and take another action. You visit a website (which eventually will become an app) to easily find a green business like a cleaners or a sustainable restaurant recommended 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, and why and how they are green. The customer reviews, similar to what you see on Angie’s List, Amazon, Urbanspoon, and Yelp, are invaluable to you in helping you make a decision. There is also a popular moderated social forum section where you share your questions, your successes (e.g., I just installed a dual flush toilet and a solar thermal water heather and my utility bill went down by 18%!). You share your ideas that have been percolating, your wishes and needs (e.g., “I wish we had curbside composting pick-up in my city” or “does any one know how to…”), and your suggestions (e.g., “We need community solar in this region.”). You spark many others to take action, start a green business, meet a need with an innovation. The green sparks multiply exponentially!
A green spark can be anything that moves the sustainable needle forward – an action, an idea, a need, an innovation, a business,…
Our project is unique from anything else because it is a comprehensive, community empowering project that fills the much needed void of sharing and connecting people to reliable, objective, and local (hot humid climate appropriate) sustainable information and resources. The LiveSMART and Green Spark Mobile’s immediate goal is to activate people to take smart, sustainable actions and foster green sparks (aka actions, ideas, suggestions, inventions, innovation, etc.). It’s long term goal is to activate enough people to reach a tipping point for positive sustainable change in NE FL.
How do we hope to light the green spark in you? With a three prong approach:
• Mobile exhibit -- our LiveSMART mobile unit will INSPIRE, EDUCATE, and ACTIVATE 30,000 people a year by showcasing local, sustainable, affordable, and attainable choices, practices, and initiatives at big events like Jaguar games, Art Walks, Home & Patio Shows, and festivals as well as schools and businesses campuses. With the ability for people to physically see, touch, and ask specific questions regarding their homes and needs, they will be able to reduce their utility bills and increase the comfort, health, indoor air quality, and performance of their homes.
• Digital Experience & Connection to Resources – once a person has been activated to take an action, the next step is to CONNECT them to the resources they need to take that action. We will make it easy for you to discern what you need and how to get it whether it is through QR codes, customized follow-up via email, direct websites and contacts on site using tablets and touchscreens, or direct consultations. For example, if you are interested in learning more about solar hot water or are ready to actually install a system, we would immediately point you to the resources you need including what questions to ask to be a smart, savvy consumer, who are the local companies, and estimated costs if available.
• Dynamic Online Forum to Share & Multiply Green Sparks – if you have questions after visiting the LiveSMART mobile unit or once you have completed your action(s), we want to recognize you and encourage you to share with others to light up and multiply additional green sparks. By sharing your experience, you will influence others and together we can CREATE CHANGE, DEMAND for local sustainable products and services, and BUILD A GROWING COMMUNITY that cares about our sustainable future.
Why are you and your team the best people on the planet to handle this project?
U.S. Green Building Council North Florida Chapter (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. 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 (we try to make sure that architects, trades, product manufacturers know what the latest best sustainable practices are in hot, humid climate so their clients are informed and not disappointed with going green in the end), and policy initiatives where we try to nudge the market toward creating incentivized sustainable regulations.
The Chapter has the infrastructure and commitment in place to make the LiveSMART and Green Spark Mobile and Forum long lasting and impactful. Many of our current initiatives will feed in nicely to this project. After One Spark, the LiveSMART (Sustainable Materials and Resources Trailer) will reach over 30,000 people a year through big events on weekends like Jaguar games, Jazz Festival, Home & Patio Shows and during the week at schools, Art Walks, homeowners associations, and business campuses. With every touch with LiveSMART we hope to activate people to take action – light a green spark – and point them to the directory and forum for concrete, vetted, reliable, objective, local information so they can take action.