The Sustainability InstituteThe Sustainability Institute

By Katherine Richards

Mabel Graham

Upon entering her house, you can feel nothing but welcomed as a menagerie of colorful art and memories greets you in the decorated den. And of course the homeowner herself, Mabel, was no different. As the first homeowner to be interviewed by the Sustainability Institute, Mabel graciously sat down with us to tell her story. As told through the colors of Mabel’s roots seen throughout the den, Jamaica was her original home address. As the world-traveler that she is, her life’s work as a nurse eventually brought her to London where she met her husband, a Charleston native. In 1968, Mabel and her husband moved to Charleston and bought their first house. With three bedrooms and almost 50 years of memories, that house has been a home ever since.

While she had not heard of the Sustainability Institute prior to a friend from a local Baptist church recommending the Energy Conservation Corps, Mabel has been nothing but pleased with the work that the ECC members have done thus far. Her warm smile tells it all. In the week that they have been there, they have been working on insulating the roof and exposed areas such as windows and doors. Keeping Mabel in the loop with what they are working on, she has nothing but good things to say about them; “good manners and good men, a 10/10 job”. Excited and grateful to the members of the ECC, Mabel looks forward to her newly insulated home where she plans to continue adding to her years of memories.

About krichards
Katherine Westmoreland Richards holds a dual-degree for International Business and Management and published an acclaimed research thesis on energy in the Netherlands. Katherine's passion for energy continued as she worked in Ecuador to help create sustainable business solutions for a reserve in the rainforest. Katherine now works on development at The Sustainability Institute and uses her experience and passion to continue to develop a sustainable Charleston.