What is Green and what does it mean for a home?
Green has become a catch-all term for all kinds of things related to better lives for people through better actions. It embodies many different aspects, especially for homes and buildings. Environmentally conscious, sustainable, energy-efficient, water-efficient, resource-efficient, natural, toxin-free, and off-the-grid covers most aspects. No matter which of these, or all of these, means green to you, the outcome is a home that works better for the people who live thereby providing a safer, healthier, and more comfortable living experience.
This blog is actually the show notes from an interview with Suzanne Shelton of the Shelton Group on my Everyday Green Home podcast. Click here if you’d like to listen in.
Suzanne is an expert in marketing sustainability, as well as the founder and owner of the Shelton Group. The Shelton Group is a leader among marketing communications agencies focused exclusively in the energy and environmental arena.
Her company thrives by conducting market research and polls, keeping a constant pulse on the mainstream. The insight into what and how people are thinking, perceiving, and doing, in terms of energy and the environment is invaluable. The coronavirus pandemic made many acutely aware of the dangers to health, wellness, and safety in our homes. This increased general awareness can drive many to look to support companies whose practices reflect our own values. A conversation still relevant to today, I hope you enjoy this throwback from the archive!
The energy space
Suzanne started the company 25 years ago. About eleven years in, she realized her company needed to focus on being the best at something, rather than trying to be all things to all people. They had done a lot of work in the energy space, and looking at where it was heading, they realized there were going to be more environmental problems. It was something they felt passionate about so they decided to focus exclusively on that arena.
Today, Shelton Group is well known for polling Americans and Canadians, to understand their thoughts and perceptions, and what they are doing in terms of energy and the environment, and how that shapes their buying preferences.
Shelton Group is well known for edgy creative campaigns to help people make informed decisions, and for their research work.
Talking about sustainability used to be niche. It hit the mainstream. Green home fixtures are now more affordable and in greater variety than ever before.
The top five of the thirty-six “nice to have” features people want in their new homes save either energy or water.
Greener homes without breaking the bank
Shelton Group figured out how to build beautiful homes greener and more energy-efficient, without breaking the bank.
Sustainability principles are standard these days in commercial construction; you’d have to search to find contractors, developers, and architects who don’t design for economies of scale and efficiency.
There’s more of a challenge with sustainable practices within residential construction. Millennials entering the home buying market, however, are often more aware of things like indoor air quality issues and chemical content issues. Different demographics
When people don’t ask questions, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. Most people simply assume that their basic expectations in terms of sustainable practices are being met in the construction of new homes.
Asking the right questions
Homeowners sometimes don’t know the right questions to ask builders. They just want to know their family will be happy, healthy, and safe.
Builders want to sell homes
Builders want to sell homes so they build what they believe will sell. There are studies showing certified efficient and green homes sell faster, for more money, and better retain their value.
To effectively communicate, market, and advertise, it is key to accurately understand what people think. The Shelton Group collects data that tells them and then can compare today’s data with that of eight years ago. The Shelton Group asks new questions every year as new issues arise.
The results of the studies fuel the development of Shelton Group’s creative campaign work so they can build the right campaigns and marketing materials to sell more products, build brands, and create social movements.
Climate change is real, so now what?
64% of Americans accept the science of man-made climate change, and 51% of Americans are feeling anxious about the future. They want to do something or at least want something done, and yet few know where to start. Only 6% know the single biggest source of US greenhouse gas emissions is from the energy we rely on to heat and cool our homes.
Making a positive impact on the environment
More people need to understand changes to our homes can make for changes in the world. Do you understand the changes to make in an existing home or while building a home for it to be safer, healthier, and more comfortable?