Bullfrog Power customer
and Ottawa Sustainability Fund volunteer
When we sent out a call for holiday decorating tips for the December issue of the Bullfrog e-Buzz we received a lot of great responses, but we couldn’t have anticipated Adam Frey’s. Rather than tips, Adam sent along a document that detailed how he was able to take savings from small behavioural changes and the purchase of energy efficient products and direct this money toward helping others to do the same.
Now a Bullfrog customer, Adam explains that he first became aware of Bullfrog Power after “seeing a bullfrogpowered sign in the window of a neighbor, about three years ago. I didn’t know what it was and so I looked it up online. I liked the idea, but at the time I was a little short on cash.”
His motivation to choose green energy was reinforced in 2011 when Japan was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami, resulting in the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima power plant.
“An article really caught my eye—someone had suggested that Japan could have developed more geothermal power instead. What was so attractive about this idea was that there is technology already available. It was the first time that I realized we had the technology and that it was just a matter of implementing what we already have. And then I started to bring that thinking into my own life. What can I do? What’s available?”
Taking action for the environment
As the idea of greening his day-to-day life took hold, Adam knew he would need to find the resources to implement the changes. “I thought: What if I start saving money by conserving? Then I could afford to do more.” By reinvesting the money he saved from conserving, he found that he could further support green initiatives.
When this money became available, one of the first things Adam wanted to do was to support renewable power for his apartment. “I phoned my local utility to see if there was any way I could choose renewable power. They said there was no such program—even after I told them that I wouldn’t mind paying extra. At that point it clicked: That’s exactly what Bullfrog Power already does. I signed up right after that.”
“Be green but also save money.”
Even though he is willing to take action for the environment, Adam understands that it is difficult to convince others. “The major criticism of green initiatives is that they cost money. This is especially important for Canadians. You need to find a way of not necessarily losing out economically—to be green but also save money. If you choose to cut down on fuel or become more energy efficient, you will save money—it goes hand in hand.”
“When I think about the changes I made in the last year, one thing stands out: the fact that I started with my own life. It was in my power to improve the efficiency of my home and choose green energy—and I felt good as a result of these actions. I stopped worrying about what was happening at the Durban climate conference, because I focused on what I could do. I believe anyone can do this. You just need to look at how you live your life and make practical, positive changes for the environment.”
Connecting with others
The next step was connecting with and learning from the diverse
interests of people who are making different personal choices for the environment. The lesson here was clear when we asked Adam if, after choosing Bullfrog Power, there was one specific action that everyone should take.
“I would hesitate to offer up a standard of what people should do. Even with respect to the idea of being green, people have different priorities. Does that mean reducing carbon emissions? Using less water? Saving money? Community involvement? Gardening?”
“Not everyone is the same and I appreciate that, but there is something positive that happens when you start to find other people doing the exact same things that you already are doing. For me, it was getting involved with Ecology Ottawa and the Ottawa Sustainability Fund that helped me to connect with people who are motivated to take action. For everyone, the next step is just naturally finding people who are doing what you are interested in doing.”
Adam’s own project is the idea of a “green bank.” Projects like energy efficient retrofits cost more money than an individual might be able to save from making his or her own life more efficient. A green bank would be a way for like-minded people to get together to pool their resources in order to finance larger green initiatives.
“I’m interested in finding other Bullfrog Power customers who are looking to invest in green projects. I’m open to suggestions of ways to finance projects, work together and connect with people like me who are looking to make a difference.”
If you would like to contact Adam Frey with your questions, comments or suggestions, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.