By Nina Wu
Pono Home is a Honolulu-based startup offering to "green" your home, making it more energy- and water-efficient. It's an interesting idea. After all, many of us know what should be done, but how many of us get around to doing it?
Sometimes we just don't know where to start. Oftentimes we procrastinate.
Part of what Pono Home offers is the convenience as well as the expertise of knowing how to green your home. And they do it for you. (I would be perfectly happy to have someone else clean out the refrigerator condenser coils).
I'm a green columnist, so of all people, you would think I know how to green a home.
Getting a solar photovoltaic system was a big step in that direction. But having a solar PV system isn't an excuse to just hog up energy in your home, either. I don't know everything. And the water bill only seems to be going in one direction these days — up.
There are plenty of great resources on the web, as well as free workshops by Hawaii Energy. Even HECO gives you plenty of tips through guides like "101 Ways to Save" and "Cool Tips" as well as in its monthly newsletter. For a guide on what to look out for in household cleaners and beauty products, the Environmental Working Group publishes guides posted free online.
Here are a few tips I didn't know (from Pono Home's learning resources link for energy efficiency):
>> Did you know storing potatoes with an apple help reduce spoilage? Or that you should leave tomatoes at room temperature with the stem facing down?
>> Did you know that keeping the fridge and freezer two-thirds full results in a 5 to 10 percent reduction in electricity use? (from greenlivingideas.com)
>> It's best to turn off fans when not in the room. Fans only cool you, not the room.
Till the end of February, Pono Home, one of the startups selected by clean tech incubator Energy Excelerator has an indiegogo campaign that allows you to get the service while contributing $20 to an environmental non-profit of your choice, including SEEQS, the Blue Planet Foundation, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, and others.