People Pulse: Erin Goes Green

Call her a tree hugger.

Eco-queen.

Environmental geek.

Whatever the title, Central Florida blogger Erin of ErinGoesGreen.com is making a difference in the world, in her own way, and we want to get to know her a little better:

Q: Like our previous “People Pulse” feature, ErinGoesGreen.com speaks to a pretty specific audience. Why did you decide to start a blog about this topic, and what do you hope to gain?
A: Working for social media marketing company IZEA really inspired me to start writing down my thoughts and views. Being embedded in the blog world really opened my eyes that I could do some good and inspire someone to “go green” on wide scale. It is also a kind of mind dump outlet for me, ideas, rants, news etc.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for content?
A: I want my content to really center around green design, lifestyle choices, green pop culture and nature. Sometime I just come across things that are crazy and I want to rant about the injustice of it all. Or sometimes I have a “green” idea I want to share and get feedback on, or highlight a great green initiative that gives me warm fuzzies. Friends send me articles and I read a lot of random magazines and books.

Q: You obviously have a passion for the “green” cause. How did it start?
A: I was the president of my 6th grade environmental committee. So needless to say, I was pretty pumped on nature from an early age. I love being in the ocean, underwater, on a mountain or in a forest. I think we have a responsibility to preserve these places and protect them from ourselves. Thankfully there are a million ways to lesson your impact on this earth and protect these amazing places. We have just coined the word “green” to encompass these choices and practices.

Q: In the “about” section of your blog you mention you recently became a Florida Green Home Certifier. What exactly does this mean?
A: Florida Green Building Coalition is a non-profit resource organization that provides quidelines and information for people who want to create spaces that are eco-friendly. It is our local level certification much like the national certificiation of LEED. It takes into account some things that are specific to Florida, like water and cooling needs. So if a homeowner, builder or designer needs guidance on going green or wants to officially be considered a Florida Green home, they would give me a shout. We would create a plan that takes into account energy use, water reduction, waste reduction and using recycled or eco-friendly materials. Going green is awesome because it significantly reduces the operating costs involved in running a home, your environmental impact and your dependance on the rising energy costs of the grid.

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Q: Do you have a regular blogging schedule? Or do you simply publish posts whenever you feel like you have something to say?
A: When I have something to say. I’m not just going to post some random thing that has nothing to do with my blog or myself just to post for posts sake. I would love to post at least once a day. I also want to write something that has been researched and thought out and sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day.

Q: Do you market your blog at all? Or do you just rely on word of mouth, referrals, and search results?
A: If I have an engagement piece, where I want feedback, I’ll twitter my post, or start a discussion with a green group on LinkedIn. I also comment on blogs that I read but that isn’t really for promotional reasons, but because I want to be a part of a conversation. If that gets me traffic, sweet. ☺

Q: How do you engage with your audience?
A: See above.

Q: Going “green” seems to be somewhat trendy right now. What do you do–if anything–to set yourself apart from others who might just be jumping on the bandwagon?
A: I’m glad it is trendy and I hope it is a trend that stays. For me, it’s about being realistic. Setting realistic green goals that you can integrate into your lifestyle are more likely to stick then going for the extreme. I look at if from a realistic and budget minded perspective. You have to try to practice what you preach, which isn’t always easy. It’s really hard to always make the green choice. For me it’s more about learning as much as I can and actually following through. It’s more than a T-Shirt slogan for me. It is the direction I want to go in my life.

Q: Do you feel living in Central Florida has any influence on the content of your blog at all? Is Central Florida a “green” region, or do we have a long way to go?
A: For sure! We live in a beautiful part of the country that is close to nature which provides that inspiration. Any place has the propensity to be green. Are we behind California? You know it. We are getting there? Hells yeah. Charlie Christ is pushing that all new government buildings should be built green. Orange County is going nuts right now integrating green building practices. When you have a government that is green, it all trickles down. They set the building codes and the standard for which we create our infastructure. One thing that really concerns me is our urban sprawl. I think there is a great opportunity revitalizing existing urban areas. Downtown is a great example. Lets say you aren’t the super tree hugger type, you love city life. That can be green too. You are closer to the places you shop, eat and hang out. You don’t consume so much gas getting around. Multi family living is actually a greener alternative to singe family housing, with lower energy costs associated with smaller spaces and shared walls.

Q: What are some of your favorite blogs?
A: Pulseofcentralflorida of course*!!! But also, http://www.treehugger.com/, http://www.ecogeek.org/, and http://failblog.org.

Q: Do you qualify yourself as someone who is “green” and is blogging about it? Or would you say you’re a “green blogger”?
A: I am green and blogging about it. I started it to document green things that I do, and a way to lessen the learning curve for someone else who wants to start a similar project.

Q: Why do you feel it’s important for us as world citizens to be aware of the “green” causes, and what can we here in Central Florida specifically do to help?
A: As world citizens we are part of this planet and we are also huge consumers of it’s resources. The current pace at which we live is unsustainable and we can probably all agree on that point. Be the change you want the world to become. Don’t wait for green products and practices to come your way, make them happen. Green starts at home, you can make changes just by what you purchase. ☺ Free things you can do to be green and save some money: Don’t leave the AC so cold, program your ac to be warmer while you are at work, insulate your hot water heater with an old blanket, lower the temperature on your heater to 120 degrees, dry your cloths outside on a nice day, skip bottled water, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow”, turn lights off when you leave the room, carpool, ride your bike. Green doesn’t always mean money, it is just choices.

Q: If you could only get one point across about being “green,” what would it be?
A: Green means REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE!!!!

*There was no bribe or exchange of currency for this statement.

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