Workshop Trains Financial Counselors on How Families Can Save Green by Going Green

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Workshop participants discuss how families can save money by reducing their carbon footprint.

Last week, 11 community leaders who provide financial education and homeowner counseling spent two days in a “train-the-trainer” workshop learning how to incorporate CNT’s Equity Express Green Financial Education into their programs.

Once clients have defined their financial goals and begun to keep track of their expenses, the next step is to determine how they can save money on their limited income. One option is to make smarter consumer choices.

Equity Express is a six-session curriculum that focuses on ways people can save money in the areas of energy, transportation, telecom, and food, which together represent 40 percent of a typical family budget. By making smarter consumer choices, former Equity Express workshop participants have decreased monthly expenses from $20 to $200 per month.

Despite the popular belief that living green is only possible for upper-income households, CNT has consistently found in its research and programs that sustainable practices significantly decrease household expenditures on utility bills, telecommunications services, and transportation costs, to name a few. The money that households save from these practices can enable them to put money toward goals like homeownership and higher education, while simultaneously reducing their  environmental impact.

“Train-the-trainer” workshop participants included staff from Chicago Community Land Trust, Centers for New Horizons, Aunt Martha’s, Trinity United Church of Christ, Bethel New Life Church, and the YWCA. All the participating agencies committed to implementing the Equity Express curriculum in the next six months.

Moving forward, the participants will become part of the Equity Express Chicago Learning Network, a group of organizations that use Equity Express and  support each other as they implement the curriculum.

CNT will hold another training on November 17 and 18. To participate, contact Social Ventures Associate Adam Mays at (773) 269-4019 or amays@cnt.org.