The Ngewana family, from left to right, is father, Zwelethu, Unam, the niece, Thulisa, the daughter, Lutholuthle, the son, and Bulelwa, their mother.click to enlarge
"Many consumers understand the importance of leaving a lighter environmental footprint and they're interested in the 'how, what and when' of taking action," says Ryan McManus, Executive Creative Director of NATIVE VML. "My Green Home campaign is a practical demonstration of what's possible and an overview of the various products, and systems available, which should inspire real behavioural change and adoption of more efficient technologies."
The campaign will follow, track and measure the Ngewana family as they change habits and upgrade their home. Their goals are to reduce their overall energy consumption by 40%, water use by 20% and to recycle 75% of their waste. They start with "no cost" behaviour change, and move to "low cost" and "invest-to-save" interventions.
"It documents the real-life journey of this family as they green their home and their lives," explains McManus. "It is great to be part of a campaign that 'lives in people's lives' and is meaningful to us and our customers."
'Going green' is a rising trend both locally and internationally, and South Africa's commercial property sector is steadily progressing with designing and construction of Green Star rated buildings. In the residential space, many home owners want to make certain environmentally sound changes, with the main focus on saving money on utility bills. The middle to higher income homes are where most consumption happens and therefore has the most potential for change.
"The green industry is relatively new, and consumers are looking for honest advice on which technologies are appropriate for their homes, and what the features, benefits and costs of these technologies are," says McManus.
The primary focus will be energy efficiency, but it will also include: water efficiency, waste management, 'green' home products (e.g. less harmful cleaning products) and possibly efficient transport (e.g. use of electric vehicles).
"By following the Ngewana family's journey, the My Green Home campaign will demonstrate what's possible, and encourage people to take up the challenge in their own homes," says Sarah Rushmere, Special Projects Manager at GBCSA. "April was mostly about education and exploring no-cost interventions. In May we retrofitted the family home and from then until August we'll be monitoring the impact on their utility bills and total waste production."
Ten webisodes of about four minutes each will document the Ngewana family's experience. The webisodes will be featured on Youtube, Vimeo and GBCSA's new 'My Green Home' website Internet Files\Content.Outlook\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\OV9AMRDF\www.mygreenhome.org.za www.mygreenhome.org.za
, which will be home to other rich and interactive content such as interactive polls and discussions and user-friendly, downloadable useful resources. During the entire process, NATIVE VML will drive the social media aspects of the campaign via Twitter.