Living green with Karen Moore
1. Eco Home Resource is a great resource for eco-conscious home owners looking for quick tips and information. How did you start the website and how has the journey been so far?
Up until 2006, I found that I was searching all over the internet for information about how to reduce my electric bill, where to find products with organic ingredients and generally how to be healthier. And it seemed like “going green” was usually an expensive endeavor. At the time, I didn’t know of any one place that provided practical information for everyday folks like me, specifically focusing on ‘the home’. Of course, like many people with a “grand idea,” I was naïve and quickly realized I had a lot to learn about creating this kind of site. There was a lot of strategic planning, content & design discussions and, yes, quite a bit of trial and error that finally got the site launched in 2008. I started with what I wanted to know about, what information would be helpful to me and then took it from there. We did some consumer testing to better understand how to design the navigational tools to make the experience more user-friendly.
The site is “my baby” so it has its not-so-cute moments and its wonderfully rewarding ones. I continue to be proud of what we have created. Yet, the internet world moves very fast and it’s certainly something that needs constant attention to continue to grow it. I think there is a lot that we can and will do with the site with regards to the services we provide and the synergistic partnerships we will create. The best is yet to come, for sure! I’m excited for the future of EcoHomeResource.com!
2. Save Green Now seems like the perfect sister website for Eco Home Resource. Who doesn’t love a good deal! What type of deals can we expect to see more of in the next few months?
Thank you! I have a special love for SaveGreenNow.com. It is friendly, happy and welcoming. We really want this site to be a fun experience for everyone who visits. In the coming months, you can expect to see deals on fabulous organic food, green cleaning services, holistic services, and beauty products made with natural ingredients.
3. There is an intense interest in eco-friendly products, but the higher cost of some products makes it difficult for the average family to afford. For someone who is on a budget, what are your recommendations for getting good deals (in addition to your website, of course!)?
I completely agree! That is a frustrating point, even for my family. We stick to a tight budget and you have to make those critical buying decisions, sometimes between a healthier, more expensive item and the less expensive item. The good news is that costs are going down for our everyday products such as soaps, detergents, cleaners and beauty items. As the general public demands eco-friendly ingredients, more are being made, resulting in driving the cost down. You have to get creative… Go to Trader Joes instead of Whole Foods. Grow some of your own veggies, look up recipes to make your own face masks. To find stuff for your home, one of the best ways to be eco-friendly is to give new life to something…shop thrift stores, find creative ways to recycle and re-use something. Besides, it’s way cooler to go vintage and find that unique, “where did you find that?” conversation piece. Habitat for Humanity has over 800 home- improvement thrift stores (“ReStores”). You can find the nearest ReStore to you, by typing your zip code in the box at www.Habitat.org.
4. As a women entrepreneur who has responsibilities both at work and at home, how do you find a balance? What keeps you motivated to keep going?
Honestly…I’m tired a lot. I constantly have to work on the balance thing. It is actually really important to me and I achieve it sometimes. I have a full time job, an energetic 3-year-old and my 2 websites. And I still want to do the odd project, garden in the backyard and work on improving our house. It’s not always roses. I do get overwhelmed. But when that feeling passes (and it always does), I’m re-energized, excited about the possibilities and I connect with that creative side within me. I remind myself that it doesn’t have to happen all at once. I do try to surround myself with people and teachers who inspire me. And at the end of the day, I am blessed to be married to someone who respects me, believes in me and supports almost every crazy idea I come up with!
5. Can you share some of your favorite tips for leading an environmentally-conscious lifestyle?
If you’re new at it, pick just a couple of things you’re going to do at first and then slowly add items to your list. Set up a recycling can/bin in a convenient spot, begin to switch out your cleaners for ones with natural ingredients, read labels more often in the store (you’ll find that the healthier alternative is sitting right next to that item on the shelf), bring your own bags to the store, put a water filter on your faucet and buy a reusable water bottle, open your windows when you can, choose organic food when you can (helpful hint: since organic produce can tend to be more expensive, choose to go organic on the items with thinner skin. For example, go organic on blueberries and apples, but bananas wouldn’t be as critical). Start small and build. It will feel more manageable, less overwhelming, less expensive and very rewarding!