Bullfrog Founders Club member
Michelle Oliveira is a marketing professional who lives in Toronto with her husband Kirk Merrett, and their children Kyle and Ella. In addition to recently building a green home, Michelle and her family have been Bullfrog Founders Club members since 2008. Michelle took time to speak with us about her family’s environmental journey.
BP: When did you first develop an interest in taking action for the environment?
MO: When I was in university, my environmentally-conscious roommate introduced me to greener alternatives. But it was later when Kirk and I had our first child—our son Kyle—that we started taking more and more action for the environment.
We began to pay attention to the environmental impact of the food we bought, where it came from and how it was grown.
BP: How did you first hear about Bullfrog Power?
MO: A few years ago, we were out biking in the neighbourhood when we came across a Bullfrog Power lawn sign on a neighbour’s front yard. Kyle asked what Bullfrog Power was, and because it was the first time we had heard of Bullfrog, we decided to do some research. We found a new and unique alternative to conventional energy sources, and after talking about it as a family, we decided to sign on.
Ever since we signed on for Bullfrog Power, our kids have taken a real interest in green energy and we’ve encouraged them to learn more. Kyle has developed a real interest in renewable energy sources like wind and solar and is talking about becoming an environmentalist in the future. And at school, our daughter Ella encourages her classmates to be more environmentally friendly by reminding them about littering and wasting water.
BP: Why did you decide to bullfrogpower your home with green electricity?
MO: It has been our continued belief that we should make as little impact on the environment as possible. For example, we choose sustainably sourced products instead of those made from disposable materials. Choosing green electricity for our home is another meaningful way we are reducing our environmental impact.
BP: What else do you do in your personal life to reduce your environmental impact?
MO: In addition to choosing green electricity, we’ve recently built a green home. We have outfitted our home with geothermal heating, bamboo flooring, a heat recovery ventilation system and a drain water heat recover coil that recoups up to 80 per cent of the heat from our hot water drains. We also compost and recycle, and use non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products.
When we shop, we try to avoid purchasing products that are pre-packaged. For example, we prepare our kids’ lunches and snacks for school by hand and pack them in reusable containers instead of purchasing pre-packaged snacks and meals. We apply the same thinking to grocery shopping—instead of purchasing groceries packaged in plastic, we choose items that come in recyclable packaging like paper.
BP: If you had one message for all Canadians about taking action on the environment, what would that message be?
MO: According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Canadians were ranked 15th out of 16 countries for excessive water consumption. There exists a perception that we have an unlimited amount of resources to consume, and it is a perception that needs to change in order for us to live more sustainably.
If you want to reduce your environmental impact, research your options and look at what choices are available to you. We need to think ahead to the future—to our kids’ future or our grandkids’ future—and invest in them accordingly. We only have one planet.