Green Business Case Study: Silly Jilly the Clown
Silly Jilly the Clown

Silly Jilly

Jill Schmidt’s home-office business has entertained children for over 17 years. Performances take place in clients’ homes and party venues, featuring clowning, balloon artistry and face painting. Her home energy-efficiency investments are keeping bills low.

Green Measures at Work in this Business:
  • Installed a second heating/cooling zone in her Webster Groves home four years ago to reduce utility expenses and environmental impacts associated with power consumption.
    • Schmidt’s second-floor office zone most heavily uses her home’s HVAC resources, so she can comfortably heat or cool her workspace and minimize energy use for whole-house climate control.
  • Installed and uses programmable thermostats.
  • Switched to CFL light bulbs—reducing energy use and her home’s cooling load.
  • Drives a 36 mpg car for cost-savings in a driving-intensive business.
  • Only buys and uses balloons made in USA.
  • Uses “Seventh Generation” brand household cleaners to minimize toxic chemicals from cleaning products in her energy-tight workplace and home.
  • Carries her refillable water bottle to all performances—and tells her clients why she doesn’t drink bottled water if they ask.

This Business Has More Green Plans:
  • Planning to buy an electric vehicle in 2012, probably a Chevy Volt, and has already installed EV charging station at home—for home and business use!

Green Ideas Your Business Can Use:
  • Use or upgrade to HVAC system zones to save energy by heating or cooling building areas where work is taking place—especially if workspace use varies.
  • Install ENERGY STAR ceiling fans in working areas and set summer thermostats several degrees higher to save on cooling costs.
    • Fan breezes efficiently help your employees feel cooler, using less energy than AC. True at home too!
  • Compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and produce almost no waste heat.
    • Up to 90 percent of the energy used by incandescent/halogen bulbs is wasted as heat—adding to air conditioning costs during St. Louis summers!
  • Invest in fuel-efficient (or alternative-fueled) vehicles to cut your travel costs—especially for businesses with short trips and local travel. Check into renting or leasing efficient vehicles—they are increasingly mainstays of rental fleets.
  • Educate your customers about the Green measures at work in your business, especially if they ask about your practices. You can help your customers save money and boost your company’s marketing profile!

Member of Webster-Shrewsbury Chamber of Commerce.

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