If being an Eco-Hero is defined as someone who demonstrates a commitment to sustainability and/or healthy living, David Belyea certainly fits the bill. An adjuster at Crawford’s Canadian firm, which recently implemented the Eco-Hero program to recognize the sustainability efforts of its employees, David, who is based out of the Saint John office, previously operated a certified organic herb farm with his wife, Angela, and has been cultivating his passion for living “off-the-grid” since he was a teenager, a goal he is now just two years away from reaching.
Over the past five years David has watched his electricity bill incrementally drop by 20 percent annually. By using solar power, LED lighting, wood heating, passive solar heating and plain old conservation, he went from paying $250 per month to just over $25 in the span of 10 years. “I heat for free with deadfall wood from my wood lot,” says David, who highly recommends a sustainable lifestyle. “I raise some of my own food, have fresh trout if I like for supper and grow salad greens in my greenhouse until the first week of February.”
Fortunately David began with a house with good “bones.” Their 100-acre farm was built in 1976 and electrified in 1989. “Great insulation, an attached green house and the room to install solar panels makes one day living totally off-the-grid possible,” says David.
David and his wife have made other sensible accommodations to become self-sufficient. To reduce their garbage to one bag every two weeks, they buy products in compostable packaging. They reduced energy use by giving up satellite television and powering their computer using solar energy. They drive a four-cylinder car and purchase the highest efficiency appliances possible, often incurring additional up-front charges for long-term savings.
Crawford & Company has had sustainability programs in place for several years, from adding sustainability criteria into our purchasing policies, selecting vendors that offer eco-friendly solutions, to using fuel-efficient, lower emissions fleet vehicles. We have implemented programs to reduce energy consumption in our data centers and use audio and videoconferencing to reduce travel impacts. Every administrative and operational process is carefully reviewed to potentially reduce our carbon footprint.
Read more about Crawford’s sustainability efforts here. How are you living an eco-friendly lifestyle? What changes have you made to incorporate sustainability efforts? Do you have any tips for living green?