Live Pono: free home eco-upgrades for teachers and  farmers! 

Teachers and farmers are keystone members of a thriving and livable society, and yet earn less than many careers that don’t contribute as much to our society. Our company has been fortunate enough to have the support of an energy conservation program in Hawaii that funds some of our work with lower income individuals, helping them save money on their utility bills every month. We’ve seen the power in this work–it helps create social equity and relieve financial stress from those who need help while also reducing greenhouse gas pollution and creating local self-reliance. We don’t think this type of work should be limited to cities and towns with progressive leadership, so we are pleased to announce the Live Pono Program.

How does it work?

Through our Patreon page, we collect money from supporters interested in helping fund home eco-upgrades for teachers and farmers in our community as a way of giving back. We pool these small recurring monthly donations and when we have enough to green a home, we contact the next teacher/farmer on the list.  We green the home, at no cost to the resident. We then spread some gratitude on social media (residents are welcome/encouraged, but not required, to also spread the love).

We provide 100% transparency on the flow of money. Our average invoice to green a home is less than $500, and for our paying customers, we guarantee it pays for itself quickly in terms of lower utility bills or they get a refund, so you know it’s an effective scope of work. Sustainability is not so difficult, but getting it into the homes of individuals that need it most is a major challenge without outside funding.

Who qualifies to get a free eco-upgrade?

Basically, if people embody the “Live Pono” mantra and give back through their efforts, we want to help. People qualify for this program based on what they do “full time”. An after-school math tutor would not qualify, but a 9th grade Biology teacher at a public school definitely would.

  1. Teachers. Anyone teaching at a K-12 school, no matter the subject, grade, or whether it’s public or private, is qualified to participate. We <3 teachers, and feel they simply don’t get thanked enough in our society.
  2. Farmers. These wonderful people are creating local food systems that feed people, rebuild soil (which removes carbon from the atmosphere), and create green jobs. Priority will be given to certified organic farmers.
Claire Fallon, a teacher, who lives at a farm and helps on the farm, received about $500 in free eco-upgrades thanks to our sponsors!

How do I sign up?

Simply fill out the form on the bottom of this page!

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Are there any “hidden fees” for the teachers/farmers?
    Absolutely not. We use the budget from our Patreon page to green the home, per the resident’s preferences (e.g., they get to pick from among our customized offerings and what will work best in their home, and we bill time and materials, the same way we do for our regular customers, except to the Patreon fund, and not to the resident. Once we’re “out of money” in the Patreon account, we will wait until we have enough in the fund to do the next teacher/farmer’s home.
  2. I’m interested in signing up to support this program. How will we know how the money is being spent? 
    100% transparency is provided! Each quarter, we’ll post information about this program into our newsletter. It will detail how much money is in the pool currently, the people we’ve served, the programs we did at their homes, and what our plans are going forward. Again, here’s our Patreon page. Thank you!
  3. Does everyone in the household have to qualify? 
    No. Just one adult member of the household. If you have one insurance salesperson and one teacher, you’re still good.
  4. What does the service include? 
    You can get a general sense of what we do here. Nothing is “required”. The resident participating in this program can pick and choose from among the offerings we have. If they want a particular LED or to get their window better insulated, great, if not, all good, we move on to the next item.
  5. How is the money spent? 
    We bill through time and materials. Our labor is billed at $60 per hour, and materials are installed at retail price. We’ll go through the customer’s home, give them some options, and they can pick what they like (including getting a chance to “test drive” some options to check on lighting quality, color, shower flow rates, etc.), and they get what they want, and nothing they don’t. Whatever is installed is billed at retail price, and labor is just tallied on a quarter-hour increment. Simple!
  6. Will priority be given, or will it be a first-come-first-served model?
    We reserve the right to exercise some discretion on this matter, but for the most part it will be first-come-first-served. There may be an occasion in which an incredibly deserving person signs up and has a bit of a time pressure (as in, they may default the following month if they can’t cut their utility bills, or they’re leaving for an overseas volunteer mission in a month and want to green their family’s home before they leave). In cases like that, we may choose to bump them to the top of the list, but if we do, like all things in this program, we’ll be 100% transparent about it.

Get on the list!