John Shegerian: This edition of the Impact Podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet and your privacy and is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity focused hardware destruction company in the United States and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit eridirect.com.
Hi, this is John Shegerian. I never could have imagined when we started the Green Is Good radio show back in 2006 that it would grow into a big podcast called The Green Is Good Podcast. Now, we’ve evolved that podcast to the Impact Podcast, which is more inclusive and more diverse than ever before. We did look back recently at some of our timeless Green Is Good interviews and decided to share some of them with you now. So enjoy one of our great Green Is Good episodes from our archives. Next week, I’ll be back with a fresh and new episode of the Impact Podcast. Thanks again for listening. I’m grateful to all of you. This is John Shegerian.
Voiceover: Welcome to Green Is Good. Raising awareness of each individual’s impact on the environment and helping to create a more beautiful and sustainable world. Now, here’s John Shegerian, Chairman and CEO of Electronic Recyclers International and Mike Brady.
John: Welcome to Green Is Good, Mike. It’s so great to be in studio with you today.
Mike Brady: It’s always a good time, John. I just can’t wait because we’re going to have so much fun in the next hour or so informing and entertaining and empowering our audience in a lot of ways that we can make simple changes to make our world a better place to live for our kids and future generations. At the same time, we’re in some very cool stuff technologically in a lot of ways so we can save ourselves a little bit of green in the bargain.
John: Yeah. Mike, this show today is really going to hit home for all our listeners. Sometimes, we tackle very big subjects. Sometimes, we tackle complex subjects. Today, we’re going to try to keep it as simple as possible.
Mike: It’s going to be as simple as your plumbing. When, really, you think about the mysteries of plumbing…
Mike: …when it comes right down to it, plumbing is actually pretty simple. We can make it very complex, but we’re going to talk about plumbing today and we’re also going to talk about lights in our homes.
John: That’s right. The other beauty is sometimes, we have these amazing iconic brands on the show, Ford and Molson Coors and all these wonderful great brands that were born here in the United States and are just now international brands, but we also love to have the entrepreneurs on. Today is that great balance also. Today, we have the amazing iconic brand, Roto-Rooter on the show.
Mike: We can sing the jingle together.
John: That we both grew up with, by the way.
Mike: There you go.
John: Then we have an entrepreneur who’s in the lighting. In this lighting specter, which we’ve covered before, but she has a new twist to this. She’ll be able to share some entrepreneurial vision plus also the lighting vision. Going back to complex and bigger issues and tying it back to Roto-Rooter, Mike. The simplicity of the Roto-Rooter story is going to be great. Tie it back to what we’re living through right now as a country and as a world. Again, we have potentially another Chernobyl on our hands with this oil leak or whatever is going on.
Mike: Yeah. If you’ve been following it all for the last month or so and when there was that just horrible explosion on a offshore oil drilling rig in the Gulf Coast and you just saw what happened to be almost biblical proportions in the oil spill that made the… It actually eclipsed the spill way back one of the Exxon Valdez up in Alaska. This is really something we have to pay attention to more than ever now.
John: Yeah. I didn’t realize, my wife was reading to me this weekend that in 1969, there was also a similarly big oil spill of at back in those days huge proportion off the coast of Santa Barbara.
Mike: I remember that growing up, I was in high school and volunteered to help go try and clean up. A lot of people just came together, just thinking about “we got to do something about this.”
John: Here we are again in poor Louisiana and that whole Gulf Coast, which was devastated years ago since a few years back by Hurricane Katrina. Now, potentially is going to be devastated again economically by again, the environmental harms that potentially we’ve done to ourselves.
Mike: Yeah, exactly. When people talk about getting fish oil in their diets, I don’t think this is what quite what they had in mind.
John: Amen, Mike. Again, there’s huge issues that we like to tackle out there, and one day, we’ll have some specialists from the oil industry on to talk about what’s going on right now. Much more beyond what Mike and I can cover just as laymen here, but we hope to bring you that story one day.
Today, we’re going to be talking about water and water conservation and the necessity for that with Roto-Rooter and how they’re going green. We’re also going to talk about the lighting issues in your home. We have our version of tool time today at Green Is Good. Come on back.
Voiceover: If a little green is good, more is even better. Now, back to Green Is Good with John Shegerian and Mike Brady.
John: Welcome back to Green Is Good, and we’re so honored today to have Paul Abrams who’s the public relations manager at the iconic Roto-Rooter Group, which is the largest provider of plumbing, repair and drain cleaning services in the US and Canada. Welcome, Paul, to Green Is Good.
Paul Abrams: Well, thank you, Mike and John, my pleasure to be here.
John: Well, Mike, we grew up with the great Roto-Rooter brand. It’s so wonderful to have Roto-Rooter on Green Is Good today.
Paul: Well, thanks. Thanks. It’s been an interesting journey for us for about a year designing the screen program. I’m more than happy to talk about it. I’m proud to talk about it.
John: Before we go and talk about green, and by the way, for our listeners out there, Paul is a pro at this. He’s an ex TV reporter. We’re turning the mics on him today. Tell us a little bit about this. What is this Ghost Hunter stuff? What is Roto-Rooter doing with Ghost Hunters? What are you doing on television with them?
Paul: Oh gosh. This is the sixth season, I believe, for Ghost Hunters on this sci-fi channel. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are real life Roto-Rooter service technicians out of the Providence, Rhode Island branch. They approached us 6 years ago about the show and said, “Hey, this is something we do on the side, but the producers would like to incorporate our daily lives, our real-life jobs into the show, if you guys would be interested.” Of course, talking about paranormal stuff just scared the heck out of our senior management team, so they said no.
I said, “Oh gosh, you got to reconsider. I think this is a great move,” and they actually met Jay and Grant and said, “Gosh. Yeah, this seems harmless enough and they’re great guys and some of our best service technicians, so let’s do it.” We have, it’s been great for us.
John: Well, hats off to you guys. What a great tie-in for the amazing brand Roto-Rooter. Anyway, today, we’re going to be talking green. Mike and I, before we brought you on the air, we were on your great website. Mike’s going to talk about that in a little bit. We were talking about this amazing factoid that you have on your ROTOgreen website. For our listeners out there who want to see all the great stuff you’re doing at rotorooter.com, go to rotorooter.com and then click on to ROTOgreen button.
Let’s talk about the facts. By 2013, thirty-six states are expecting local, regional and statewide water shortages, even under non drought conditions, according to the US General Accounting Office. Paul Abrams, is there any doubt why Roto-Rooter went into this green program and why you’re starting all these green initiatives right now?
Paul: Well, not in my mind. I mean, I think it’s just the responsible thing to do. As you mentioned, we’re the largest plumbing repair and drain cleaning service in the US and Canada. What that means is that we’re in over 4,000 residential homes and commercial businesses every single day, and that’s about a million and a half places a year that we’re working on the plumbing. Because of that, we realize that we’re better positioned than just about anybody to make a real difference when it comes to water conservation.
John: Let’s talk about that. Explain to our listeners. What does that mean for them in their house if Roto-Rooter comes out and you tell them, “Make me green?” How does this whole thing work?
Paul: Well, what we do is first, we tried to design a program and thought, “Okay, we could do A, B, C, D, E, all the way through the letter Z,” but then we thought, “Let’s stick to our strength. Let’s, the old saying, keep it simple, stupid.” Then we realized that gosh, we work on a lot of toilets. We work on a lot of sinks. We work on a lot of bath tubs and showers, so let’s find easy ways to do this.
The first thing that we did is to say, okay, what kind of parts do they make these days that are better when it comes to water conservation than the parts we’ve been using for years and years? Once we looked around, we found a couple of obscure small companies that were making some really interesting parts. We just said, well, the simplest thing to do is, let’s change overnight to these parts, and even just by default, our customers will be greener than they were before.
John: Well, let’s just pretend for a second. You’re the Roto-Rooter guy and you’ve now come to the Brady household, Mike Brady’s home. Now, you’re walking in the front door, and Mike says, “Make me green and make my home green.” How is this going to work? Where are you going to look first? Where are you going to point out to Mike to do a retrofit on his house on your whole new ROTOgreen program?
Paul: Well, the first thing Roto-Rooter’s going to do is ask if they can do a quick inspection of your home or your business and look at the plumbing. We’ll take a look at areas that use the most water and will make recommendations from there. For instance, we’d look at your toilets and determine how old they are.
Paul: If they were made before 1993 or since 1993 rather, they would use 1.6 gallons of water with every single flush. What we would recommend is installing some dual flush converters inside the toilet tanks, along with a new more efficient fill valve that we’re using these days. The combination of those 2 parts is going to save you a whole lot of water because if you think about it, 4 out of 5 times that we flush a toilet is for liquid waste. We don’t need all 1.6 gallons of the flush power to clear the bowl of liquid waste. Instead, you’ll use about maybe eight tenths of a gallon or less.
Now, for solid waste, the user is going to want to select that button on the toilet that gets full flush power. If you push the buttons the right way, then 80% of the time, you’re going to be saving water with a dual flush toilet. We can convert it, and it’s going to cost a lot less to make that conversion than replacing your old toilet with a brand new one.
Mike: Now, let me ask you this, Paul. If you were coming out in as John suggested, you came to my house and you started doing this. You talked about the 1, 2 converter, if I said, “Geez, oh man, what a great idea. Can you install that right now?” I mean, would you be able to do it right then? Or will we have to make a future appointment in most cases?
Paul: No, we’d be able to do it right then. We actually stock these green parts on the trucks now. In almost every case, especially when it comes to a replacement parts, we could do it right then and there.
John: That’s called the dual flush retrofit?
Paul: It is. Yeah. Some Roto-Rooter locations in certain parts of the country might be using a different brand, but we’re partnering with a company called MJSI Incorporated. I like the company because the guy who founded the company is both a licensed plumber, a master plumber, in fact, and an engineer, so he’s got just the right qualifications to just design some really great stuff. He’s come up with a dual flush kit that is relatively easy for our guys to install. They can do it pretty quickly, and it just makes such a difference.
Mike: We know, so much easier too than having to swap out the entire toilet. I’m thinking about this. Now, tell me if this isn’t a great training aid. If you’re trying to teach your kids, you’re toilet training them, you go number one, number two, you can really put some teeth into it this way. I mean, this is going to make it a real learning experience, right?
Paul: Well, ironically, my own son is 3, and we just got him off of diapers in the last few months. He is doing exactly what you said. He’s pushing the small button for pee-pee and the big button for everything else, and it’s good. I try to raise my kids in an environment where they appreciate how much water is being used. We’ve got one of those big corner jacuzzi tubs in the house that we bought. Sometimes, they’ll want to use that, but I always tell them, “No, let’s use your bathtub. It uses so much less water.” I think when you raise them that way and teach them those sorts of green values from the start, then they appreciate that.
John: That’s so true, making it part of our DNA is such a great, great point, Paul. Let’s now move on from there. Now, first of all, Mike and I are sitting here and we think we hear a lot, we see a lot. We’ve never even heard of this. You’re the first company putting out this dual flush retrofit?
Paul: As a matter of fact, there are probably some small plumbers, regional, local plumbers around the country who just got the green thing going, who knows how far back who were…
Paul: Some guys were actually jury-rigging these things. As far as I know, as far as major plumbing companies, we are the first to actually make these things widely available. Roto-Rooter’s got a history. We are a pretty sizable company, and one of the things we can do is take some of these high-tech devices in some cases and obscure devices and bring them to the forefront and make them common. You’ll find in a Roto-Rooter, a guy, one of our service technicians, he’s going to have one of these high-tech fiber-optic cameras to inspect your plumbing. Whereas, maybe some small guy can’t afford to bring those products forth. We’re trying to do that with these green parts.
We’ve looked far and wide for some really good stuff that makes sense and is going to hold up. That’s just as important as anything. We’ve tried to just bring these parts to the forefront and make them widely available.
John: Before we continue our tour through the Brady household, like stay at the toilet for a second. Now, what people always want to know is pocketbook is how expensive is it and more important than that, what’s my return on investment? How quickly will the water savings then return the investment? Do you have any sort of ROI on that kind of dual flush retrofit that you could share with our listeners?
Paul: Yeah. Well, I can tell you what we’re doing. At Roto-Rooter, we’ve got 5 test families that we’re following on rotorooter.com under the ROTOgreen heading. We’ve got a single guy. We’ve got an empty nester couple. We have a family of four and we have a family of six. Plus we have an apartment building. I think it’s sixteen apartments in it. What we’re doing is we’ve made green changes to each of these family archetypes and we’re monitoring their water bills for a year.
We’ll show on the site, here’s what they paid in water and sewer cost in October 2009. Here’s what they’ll pay in October 2010. You can see a side-by-side comparison, and I’m actually working on better graphs that will provide more information that we’re going to be putting up on the site shortly. That shows some of the cost. It’s a little challenging to get the Apple’s[?] thing. The reason for that guys is that water and sewer costs are going up so quickly in some parts of the country. If you look at what they were paying last year in water and then you look at the savings, you might go, “Oh, gosh. Well, hey, that month, they only saved eight bucks on their bill. What’s the big deal?”
The larger story that sometimes an Excel graph doesn’t tell you is that, well, yeah, but if they had made these changes, their water bills would have cost them another $18 or $20 above what you’re seeing here because every year, I think we can safely say, from now on, the days of cheap water and sewer are behind us. It’s going to get higher and higher.
Here’s our goal, to answer your question, we’re working on this now. Right now, as of today, while you and I are speaking, we don’t have that completely nailed down. You’re going to pay a plumber charge, which is okay, here’s what it cost by the job. What I’m trying to do now is bundle things so that we can say, “Okay, here’s how much Roto-Rooter can save you in a year. What we’re trying to do is make it so that whatever the cost is, you’re going to make it back in a year in water and sewer savings. That’s our goal.
Is that there today? No, but I hope within the next couple of months, we’ll finally have that just worked out and put in place because let’s face it, if you’re looking at a return after eighteen or twenty-four months, you’re going to go, “Eh, I don’t know.” If I’m really a green-oriented person, I’m going to say, “Yeah, I’ll do that.” If I’m not, let’s face it, money talks. If we can give those folks a return on their investment to say a year, then I think we’re going to attract a lot more people. We’re working through that crunching numbers. Prices vary for Roto-Rooter market by market so it’s not the easiest thing in the world to work out, but we’re determined to do it.
Mike: Well, Paul, you’re talking about the return on the investment in a year’s time. One of the things that I think there’s really no arguing about, especially for those of us who live in the Central Valley here in California, water has been such a big issue, not only here in the Central Valley up and down the state, but there are other areas in the country, Georgia, for example, and parts of the South just suffering drought-like conditions for the last several years.
A really disturbing statistic is the one that I found on your site as well, the green portion of rotorooter.com that between 1900 and 1995, the rate of population growth raised twofold. Global water consumption grew sixfold. That is a harbinger of things to come when it comes to the water that we have to share and how we’ve got to be better stewards of it. You’re just right on the money with some of these retrofits and these green tips that people can put into everyday practice in their everyday living at home.
Paul: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Not only is water becoming scarce and therefore, more expensive, but on the flip side and that’s another one of the strengths we have at Roto-Rooter is you also pay for what goes back down into the sewer. If you’re saving money by putting a dual flush and/or a low-flow showerhead or what have you, then that’s less water down the drain. They don’t typically meter that, some markets do, but they don’t typically meter that every month like your water.
They’ll take 2 or 3 months out of the year and say, okay, from November to January, Mike used X number of thousands of gallons of water. So that’s how much we’re going to charge him on sewer. We’re going to determine that his sewer rate is this many gallons, so that’s what he’s going to pay for the next year. If you make these changes and your water going down the drain is cut back significantly, then you’re going to save a lot of money on the sewer side too.
John: That’s amazing. Now, I want to leave the toilet area and get the rest of Mike’s house done here. Before we leave the toilet area, for people who don’t want to do flush, who want the EPA WaterSense toilet, that’s right up your alley at Roto-Rooter, right?
Paul: Yeah, absolutely. We switch out a lot of toilets. Those new toilets are fantastic. You don’t have to make a choice like you do with the dual flush.
Paul: They just use 1.28 gallons of water with every flush. That’s a pretty significant savings.
John: That’s an option also when it comes to the toilet area.
Paul: It is. If you’ve got an older toilet, what we do is we say the WaterSense, toilets are great for our customers who have older toilets that require 3 and a half gallons of flush or 5 gallons of flush, some of them even up to 7 gallons of flush if they’re pretty old. The 1.28 gallon ultra efficient toilets make the most sense for those customers. Again, if you have a 1.6 gallon toilet, it’s probably a lot more cost effective to have Roto-Rooter rebuild your existing toilet with these green parts than to pay us to replace the entire toilet.
You’ll actually save more water over time with a dual flush than with a 1.28 gallon toilet because again, 80% of your flushes will use less than a gallon of water with a dual flush. That is the case. It’s also worth mentioning that we have retrofits for urinals and commercial flushometer style toilets that yield similar water savings for business customers.
John: Perfect. Well, Paul, we have about 5 minutes, and I want you to walk with the Bradys throughout the rest of the house and point out what else they could do in their bathroom, shower, their bathtubs and the other rooms in the house, the kitchens and the laundry so our listeners can get a little taste of how this really works.
Paul: Happy to do it. The shower is a major water waster. Most shower heads today use between 2.2 and 4 gallons of water every minute. Roto-Rooter standard replacement shower head now is one of these next generation low flow models that use only a gallon and a half of water per minute. Its flow is so good and so strong. I’ve got two in my house. You won’t even notice that you’re using a low-flow showerhead until you look at your water bill.
Imagine saving, say, 2 and a half gallons per minute over your old shower head. We know through our research that the average shower is about thirteen minutes. That’s a savings of 33 gallons of water with every shower. If you assume that a person takes a shower every day, then that’s an annual savings of about 12,043 gallons per person.
Mike: That’s amazing.
John: That’s amazing.
Paul: It is. If it’s a family of four, that’s 48,000 gallons of water a year.
John: As Mike and I always talk about, little things can add up to make big differences. Walk us through the sinks, faucets, the kitchens and the laundry room.
Paul: Okay. The older bathroom faucets will use about 3 and a half gallons of water a minute if the tap’s wide open. The EPA WaterSense program puts their stamp of approval on any faucet flowing at about 1 and a half gallons a minute or less. Roto-Rooter can replace your faucets with a WaterSense approved faucet, but let’s face it, faucets are expensive. If your faucet’s in good condition and it’s not leaking, we’ll swap out the aerator, that’s that little round screw on screen on the tip of your faucet, with a water saving version that will cut down your flow to a maximum of, say, a gallon a minute or even a half a gallon a minute.
You just don’t need all that extra water if you’re brushing your teeth or you’re shaving, so all that water is flowing down the drain. That’s not a difficult fix. If you’re a DIY kind of guy, go to the hardware store and find them and do them yourself. You don’t have to pay us to do it, but just do the right thing and get it done.
John: Right. Great point.
Paul: Some of the other things we’re working on. You’ve got sinks, faucets. You can do it with a kitchen sink, but let’s face it, you’re not usually running that so much unless you’re rinsing your dishes that way. We don’t typically cut down the flow as much on a kitchen sink. The other area we’re looking at, turning our attention to is water heaters.
Paul: Tankless water heaters, they’ve got these new efficient heaters that are hybrids that are just about as efficient as the tankless type. I think those make good sense. The solar water heating, some of our West Coast Roto-Rooter locations are doing that. We hope to take that nationwide. We’re not there yet. We’re crawling before we walk. We’re on our way there.
John: Hey, Paul, we’re down to the last 2 minutes. We also have so many of our listeners in the Sun Belt and here in California. How about the outside water conservation? Are there some tricks? Are there some great hints that you can give to our listeners using Roto-Rooter or just them themselves can do to help conserve water on their outside usage?
Paul: Yeah. Well, watering is such a- oh, boy. They’ve got heads now that are directed and they’re much better than the early waterheads that used to be on home watering system. They’re directed, they’ll use less. If they’re missing, you don’t want that kind because they will evaporate. A lot of that water evaporates. It’s just wasted. Timers, my goodness, the timers change everything, and there’s really a lot of water savings to be had if you use the timers.
John: Got it. Last few comments on Roto-Rooter and what you’re doing with ROTOgreen. Any other few things you want to tell our listeners in the last minute?
Paul: Well, I’d say this. Are we perfect? No, we’re not. We’ve got little ways to go and we’re happy to take suggestions from people on ways that we can improve. This is our first. We spent about a year designing this program and we’re determined to see it through and to keep coming up with new ways to save water and help our customers. I think that’s just the only attitude you can have. It’s not a big business thing for us. We’re determined that we’re going to do it. If going green and saving water falls out of fashion next year, we’re going to keep it up.
John: Well, Paul, Mike Brady and I are really appreciative and thankful for your time today. This is great to see an iconic, wonderful, great brand like Roto-Rooter, which was invented and started in 1935 go green now. It’s such an honor and so great to share with our listeners. We just want to say thank you very much. We want to send our listeners to your great website, rotorooter.com and click on the ROTOgreen button. Paul Abrams, you are truly living proof that green is good.
Voiceover: If a little green is good, more is even better. Now, back to Green Is Good with John Shegerian and Mike Brady.
John: Welcome back to Green Is Good. Mike, we have the second half of tool time today at Green Is Good. We’re going to be having a wonderful story about an entrepreneur who has some great lighting technology, but I just want to look back a little bit. I thought that Roto-Rooter story just really was inspiring and I think you and I were both amazed a lot of what Paul was sharing with us.
Mike: I’m really inspired. I really love the whole idea because as you know, John, my wife Marina and I bought an older home last fall and it was a property that had been flipped by some investors. One of the toilets needed to be replaced, period. It was replaced with a low-flow toilet, but the other one was in good shape and it’s standard. The water folks came out and did a water audit and they said, “Okay. Well, this really ought to be replaced.” Haven’t gotten quite around to getting that toilet replaced, I’m thinking now about the 1, 2, the flush option.
John: The dual flush option.
Mike: Dual flush makes a lot of sense.
John: You see how an iconic brand like Roto-Rooter can reinvent themselves and go green and help really all of us join in the Green Revolution, which is you say, Mike, all the time, the little things, if we all just take little steps in our house, in our work, in our daily driving habits, we can make massive changes together as a country and as a world that can really help the environment but also help us live better, cleaner. I think the Roto-Rooter story’s just a great one.
Now, in the second half of the show, Mike, we have the second half of tool time. We’re going to be talking about lighting and a little surprise, also little towels. Our great spokesperson, Annette Hunter, who’s coming on to talk about the Ionic Bulb that she has and that she sells, which helps clean up our air in our house but also reduce the energy that we spend to light our houses. She also has a new towel that she’s going to be sort of whispering to us about. That’s high-performance towels, which potentially can help us also in our household living. This is a totally tool time show.
Mike: There’s some really cool stuff, and I’m looking forward to the towel because it’s a microfiber that you can use the towels more frequently between the times that you have to wash them.
John: Which is fascinating, which means less water.
Mike: Less water, absolutely less energy used to do the laundry.
John: Good point.
Mike: I’m thinking, I wonder if they make sweat socks out of this stuff.
John: And other things that we all want to use. I think our listeners should come on back and hear Annette Hunter at Green Is Good.
Voiceover: If a little green is good, more is even better. Now, back to Green Is Good with John Shegerian and Mike Brady.
John: Welcome back to Green Is Good. We’re so honored to have Annette Hunter on with us today. Annette is what we call a green entrepreneur, which makes her a green ecopreneur. Annette, welcome to Green Is Good.
Annette Hunter: Oh, thank you guys for having me. I’m so happy to be here.
John: Well, we’re so honored to have you because you are truly the reason why Mike and I started this show because we are so lucky to have these wonderful great brands on with us all the time, these iconic brands. We truly love when we have eco and entrepreneurs like you who are out there sourcing these new items that can totally change the world. We want you to talk about your new light bulb, the ionic light bulb today.
Annette: Oh, thank you so much. Well, the neat thing about the… Well, I have the Ionic Bulb. That’s the name of the product.
John: Ionic Bulb, sorry.
Annette: Yes. Well, let me ask you guys a question. What if somebody told you that cleaning the air in your home was as simple as changing a light bulb?
John: I’d be there in a New York minute.
Annette: Let me tell you, with the new Ionic Bulb, it really is that simple. The Ionic Bulb combines 2 high-tech solutions into one. First, it’s a powerful air purifier that cleans the air in your home or office completely. Second, it’s an energy-saving CFL light bulb.
John: Wait a second. You’re taking 2 environmental issues and solving it with 1 solution?
Annette: Exactly. Right in a light bulb. It’s actually that simple.
John: When Mike sent me this, when he got the email about what you were up to and he sent it to me and said, “Hey, let’s talk about this one. This sounds amazing,” our jaws opened. We had never heard of anything like this before. Had anything like this ever been out in the marketplace before?
Annette: No. What you really have is you have those huge bulky air purifiers that cost like $200, $300, $400, sometimes, even more than that.
Annette: Those air purifiers, they make a lot of noise and they don’t really work that well. I mean, you have to clean out the filter and sometimes, you have to buy a brand new filter as well. What we were able to do is since microchip technology has grown exponentially, microchips now are able to filter the air. We were able to put that microchip right on a light bulb. The moment that you put your light switch on and your light bulb turns on, the microchip works immediately. What that microchip does, it emits negative ions into the air that attach themselves to pollutants. Then it eliminates them entirely. It leaves the air in your home or office crisp, clean and completely fresh.
John: Okay. What should we be worried about as a homeowner as all of us are living in some form of dwelling, all of our listeners? What should they be concerned about that that is in the air in their home that this bulb would help remove from the air?
Annette: Well, first off, just regular dust. This will eliminate the dust. It eliminates air pollen.
Annette: If you have pets, pet dander. It gets rid of the odors of your pets as well as regular odors that we exude. It gets rid of allergens. It also gets rid of smoke. I don’t know if you guys are cigar smokers, but being green, I’m sure you’re incredibly healthy and you would never do something like that.
John: You’re absolutely right. Wait a second. We love having people like you, Annette, on because we’re fascinated by both 2 things, your product and your entrepreneurial vision here. How did you stumble across or find this light bulb? How do you know for sure it works? How much area does one lightbulb cover? How many do we need for our home or condo or apartment?
Annette: Oh my goodness.
John: A lot of questions.
Annette: Let me get the last two first.
Annette: It can do a whole 100-foot radius, one bulb itself. It’s scientifically proven. We have all the certificates for that.
John: Got you.
Annette: It’s absolutely guaranteed to work. Why don’t I do a little bit of the science with that and why… I can explain to you why something like this would work.
John: We want to hear the science, but first of all, where did you get this vision or epiphany to find this bulb?
Annette: Well, I’m actually an investor and I look around for interesting products. I saw this actually on the internet and I saw that they weren’t doing a good job of selling it. Then I talked to the gentleman that had the bulb. We got in a conversation, and I said, “You know what? Why don’t I take a job at this?” Then they were able to introduce me to the scientists, and I was able to combine it in a certain way that worked better. Also, I was hoping to just give it a voice. It didn’t have a voice before, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.
John: Revolutionary products that just are existing a void on never going to see the marketplace and they can never go and help change the world. You saw the opportunity.
Annette: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, I don’t know, an artist that has no audience. So trying to bring it to the audience.
John: Okay. We love it. Now, tell us about the science.
Annette: When you turn the light bulb on and a microchip starts working, it releases negative ions into the air that attach themselves to the pollutants. Now, this kind of tech, nature has done this since the beginning of time. If you’re next to a large waterfall or the air after a big rain storm, it’s incredibly clean and crisp and it smells lovely. Now, a lot of people assume that it’s the water effect of washing away the dirt or airborne particles, that it’s just the water washing everything away. Actually, what happens is that it’s the negative ions that are released from the lack of stabilization in the air.
When ions are released into the air and they attach themselves to the pollutants, that actually is what’s happening that cleans the air all over the world. We’re able to do that in your own home with this bulb, with this microchip.
John: Your Ionic Bulb has the same effect as like a wonderful rain shower in our home or something.
John: Wow. For our listeners who want to go right on now while Annette’s talking about her great bulb, you could go on to newionicbulb.com and you could order the bulbs right now as you’re listening or you could at least go and see what’s going on. Keep going with the science, Annette.
Annette: Another effect. I mean, we’re not selling it as this, but the neat thing about this when after you have a huge rainstorm and the air is beautiful right afterwards, it’s been scientifically proven that humans, animal life and also plant life get a calming, soothing feeling, an effect after such an event. They’ve scientifically proven that that really, really does happen. Not only does it clean your air, the negative ions do like some music within your body that cleans. Or I’m not exactly sure, but it resonates within the body itself and calms you as well. It has many, many different layers to what this does. It’s again, capturing nature and putting it within this 1 product.
Mike: You know what’s really cool in that? I love dichotomy, and in this case, negative really becomes a positive.
Mike: I’m thinking exactly, I knew a friend about ten or fifteen years ago that did a lot of travel. He was on the road. He was an entrepreneur, as a matter of fact, but he had this little device in his cigarette lighter plugged in in his car. We went to lunch one day. I was looking around and said, “Hey dude, did somebody rip off the cord to your phone charger?” He said, “What are you talking about?” I [inaudible]. Well, isn’t that a phone charger? He says, “Oh no, don’t you realize? Don’t you notice how when you sit in this car, you just feel really good?” I said, “Well, actually, yeah, why does it smell so good in here?” He said it’s a negative ionizer. He had one that he kept in his car and he had one that also plugged into his hotel room. This guy was the most positive negative guy I ever knew.
Annette: It’s the yin yang.
Mike: There you go.
John: That is so funny. Okay. The science really works, and the bulb is really what you say it is. Your website’s a great, great website. Now, what we talk about a lot of times, Annette, with entrepreneurs and people that have great new emerging brands is as the Green Revolution evolves here, people want to know A, how much it cost, and how soon is my return on the investment?
Let’s first talk about A and then we’ll come back a little bit and talk about the second half of your great bulb. Not only does it clean the air, but then we’ll talk about the energy-saving. Talk about the cost. How expensive is it? For this new amazing revolutionary technology, is it very expensive compared to the other bulbs out there?
Annette: No. We have an incredible offer. The reason why we’re doing this is because we do want people to go out and buy it. It’s a crazy price. We are offering 4 Ionic Bulbs for $20. Actually, it’s 19.99.
Annette: That’s 1 bulb is less than five dollars. If you go to the market right now, 1 CFL bulb, the average price is about $9.99. We’re almost half of that, and it’s got the air purifier as well.
John: All of our listeners can find this on your great website, newionicbulb.com.
Annette: Yes, new ionicbulb.com. You get 4 new Ionic Bulbs for 19.99. That is less than regular CFL light bulbs, and it’s about the same price as these old light bulbs that no one wants to use anymore anyway.
John: You’re saying that each bulb can cover about 100 square feet in a house or an apartment or a condo?
John: How many bulbs are in an average household? I don’t know that number. Do you know that number?
Annette: Yeah, the average household actually is about fifteen to twenty bulbs.
John: Wow. Okay.
Annette: Fifteen to twenty bulbs.
John: This can make a huge difference. If people buy your bulbs, it can make a huge difference in the air quality that they breathe. Number one.
Annette: Number one, absolutely.
John: Now, let’s talk about the other issue, the energy issue. Mike and I have had all these great energy company, solar companies and all these fascinating guests. Energy is a very complex issue. How we approach it in that here is that we all can take simple steps that can lead to a big difference. Here, your bulb is one of those classic and new simple steps that our listeners can take to help make a difference with regards to the energy problems that we have right now.
Annette: Oh, it’s incredible.
John: Talk about that.
Annette: One, 1 Ionic Bulb, 1 one Ionic Bulb eliminates the equivalent to the emissions created by 1 million cars. That’s 1 bulb.
Mike: I’m just sitting here trying to wrap my head around that. A million cars. Holy smoke.
Annette: Yes. One bulb is the equivalent to one, eliminating 1 million cars, the emissions created by 1 million cars.
Mike: Well, Annette, not only from an emissions savings standpoint, but from an energy-saving standpoint. My wife and I just bought a home last fall. We had been renting before, but in the time that we were renting, I really got the CFL bug in a big way. I got tired of replacing bulbs. Well, we moved all the CFLs with us into our new home, and I probably won’t be replacing those for some time. When I do, I want to do the Ionic Bulb. I just think about the energy savings with an Ionic Bulb right now. Using CFL that is clearly the way to go right now, but also being able to clean the air in the home and not have to be tied down to one of those air purifiers. We’ve tried [crosstalk].
Annette: [inaudible] air purifiers, and they’re so incredibly noisy. They have this constant hum. The Ionic Bulb works silently. You will have no idea that it’s working, except that the air in your home will smell good. Oh, it doesn’t have any of those air fresheners, those awful smells. If you have flowers in your house, you smell the flowers, but you’re not going to have an allergic reaction to them.
Annette: You don’t have to have potpourri or anything like that because it cleans the air naturally as well as saving energy. One of these bulbs lasts as long as ten ordinary bulbs, so that’s why I completely understand you taking one of your CFL light bulbs and bringing them with you. That lasts as long as 7 years. One of these bulbs lasts 7 years.
Mike: It really is amazing.
John: That is amazing. Besides your great website, where soon to be can our listeners, Annette, buy this amazing light bulb?
Annette: Well, okay, so we do have the website, newionicbulb.com.
Annette: I have a toll-free number and I can give that to you now or later.
John: Yeah, of course. Give it to us now. Go on.
Annette: We have a toll-free number. It’s 1-800-220-2652. That’s 1-800-220-2652. That’s also newionicbulb.com.
Annette: Late August, early September, we will be on the shelves of CVS and Walmart, and we have a lot of other stores that we’re in talks with that definitely starting up.
John: That is incredible. Now, put your ecopreneur’s hat back on for our listeners [inaudible] lots of budding ecopreneurs that listen to the show across the country and the world actually on the Apple iTunes network, besides the United States. How do you now, 1 great young lady with a light bulb in hand, go convince the people down in Bentonville, Arkansas or at CVS to carry this on their shelves? How’d you do that?
Annette: It’s really quite simple. First, it’s cost-effective.
John: Okay, fair enough.
Annette: It’s so much cheaper to buy one of these bulbs than it is to buy any other light bulb. No matter where you are, you do want clean air. Let’s say we’re in West Virginia and you’re living in a coal mining town. The dust, it’s so difficult. People have so many allergies there and respiratory problems.
John: You’re right.
Annette: Something like this will actually clean the air in their home or office. They can go to a respite, their home can be a respite, a clean haven.
John: That’s really important because Mike and I, we tape the show and we broadcast it from Fresno, California, which just the last 5 years or so, Mike, right, has one of the worst air qualities in all the United States.
Mike: Yeah. Unfortunately, in that day, the recent reports have come out again, and we got a failing grade when it came to air quality. It’s really not good. I’m thinking of something else too. As you mentioned it and you gave a real visual about the dust and the allergens. I’m thinking from a purely housekeeping standpoint. This would make dusting a lot easier as well, right? You wouldn’t have to dust your furniture nearly as frequently?
Annette: No. No, you wouldn’t because the moment this light is on, it’s eliminating the dust particles. Then in the spring, it depends on where you live, if you’re living in the Northeast where I live right now, you get a lot of pollen and this will eliminate it from your home as well.
John: Got it. It saves energy and cleans up the air in the environment. Come this fall, come September and this fall, our listeners cannot only buy it on your great website, they can go to CVS or Walmart and buy your light bulbs there.
Annette: Yeah. I’m quite confident that it’ll be in many, many, many, many more stores.
John: Is there an industrial version of your light bulb? Will you eventually also not only create home versions, but will there also be office versions for offices?
Annette: Yes, absolutely. We’re capable of making any sort of bulb.
John: Speak about making, are these products made in the United States or are they made somewhere else? How does your production [crosstalk].
Annette: These bulbs are made in China.
John: In China? Okay.
Annette: Yes, and they’re shipped over here.
John: With your specific technology, patented technology and things of access?
Annette: Patented technology and the energy star quality. The quality is the best you can get.
John: Was the inventor from this country or from a different country?
Annette: South Korea.
John: South Korea?
Annette: Yeah, there’s a huge intellectual scientific class that is dominating South Korea right now. Science is really what they’re teaching greatly in the colleges and high schools there.
John: Well, Annette, I didn’t share this with you earlier, but I’ve been to Korea numerous times, maybe a dozen times in the last year. One of my investors is the–
Annette: I see you didn’t go to jail, did you?
John: No. Oh my gosh, she found out, Mike.
Mike: Jig’s up now.
Annette: No, he’s here. He’s okay.
John: Jig’s up. He’s on the radio with me. Go get him. No, but what you’re saying is absolutely true. It’s fascinating that South Korea’s a small little country, 50 million people. Just think about the brands they’ve created, the LG brand, the Samsung brand, the Hyundai brand. Those brands are some of the most dominated international brands in the world right now.
Annette: Yeah. Their prices are pretty decent, but I have to tell you, the quality is pretty much the best there is as well.
John: That’s right. You actually got it from a South Korean inventor. You then now have become the spokesperson, the ecopreneur visionary and the marketing person behind bringing this to market here in the United States and beyond.
John: That is so fascinating. That’s so encouraging for all of our listeners who want to reinvent themselves and leave the job they’re in right now or go become a green entrepreneur out of college and things like that. That is so amazing. Talk about some of the challenges. When did you actually discover this light bulb? Take us from when you discovered it and met the entrepreneur and today. We have about 3 or 4 minutes left. Why don’t you share a little bit of that journey with our listeners? People always like to hear the journey.
Annette: Well, I would say that I was introduced to this lightbulb about 2 years ago, but I thought that they were doing a good job. Sometimes, there is a language barrier too that makes it a little difficult. I mean, when you’re dealing with scientists, they have a certain type of understanding of the world that makes it a little difficult for them to go out to the public and really verbalize what their great discovery is. It was a little bit difficult for them to get an audience like I said earlier.
About a year ago, I would say about now, May last year, I said, “Oh, gosh, maybe I can help you. Let me help.” He said, “Yes, please help me.” Since then, I was able to really just find out how to market it, how to brand it, how to get it to the public and to talk to you guys.
John: Annette, we’re down to the last minute or so. Do you have some final thoughts or pearls of wisdom for our listeners out there?
Annette: Oh my goodness. You know what, the world is getting incredibly small, and we have to take care of this world. We absolutely have to take care of it and we have the opportunity to do that. Through technology and through wisdom and through knowledge, we can do this. It’s as simple as changing a light bulb.
John: Well, there you go. Annette, after you get into CVS and Walmart, Mike and I are going to have you back to talk about how the journey’s going and how the scaling of your great company’s going. For all listeners who want to buy Annette’s amazing Ionic Bulb, go to newionicbulb.com or call 1-800-220-2652. Annette Hunter, you are truly living proof that green is good.
Annette: You guys are making me blush.
Voiceover: This program will be available for downloading in a couple of days from our station’s website. Keyword podcast. Thanks for listening, and join us again next week at the same time for another edition of Green Is Good.
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