Happy Frog has power to change

A HIGH-profile local business is adding up its contribution to helping the environment.

One year after the Happy Frog in Park Avenue installed solar panels its sustainability report card is impressive.

Its 12kW, 48-panel rooftop solar system has significantly cut daytime electricity costs and reduced the health food cafe's carbon dioxide emissions by a staggering 19.15 tonnes.

Owner Kim Towner said the switch to renewable energy continued to make good business sense.

"We've saved around $7000 dollars on energy bills in the last year," Kim said.

"But it's when we look at some comparisons about emissions that we all feel good."

Kim said using the example of a 2013 Hyundai Elantra emitting 158g of carbon dioxide per kilometre put the environmental impact into startling perspective. "The Happy Frog savings of 19.15 tonnes of CO2 per year would equal a road trip of 121,202km for this car, which would take you three times around the globe," Kim said.

The Happy Frog has now launched its "Preserve our Pond" program, which encourages more sustainable operations. It features a "free (really useful) stuff" trolley at the front of store loaded down with cans, buckets, hessian sacks and allsorts donated to the public for recycling projects.

The outlet also sends its food scraps to the Coffs Community Garden's worm farm, which in turn nourishes various guinea pigs, rabbits and chooks. That strategy has cut the Happy Frog's contribution to landfill by 30% in the past 12 months.

"It's an ongoing process. We are always looking for improvements," Kim said.

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