Saving energy is not
just for grown-ups. As EPA’s Team ENERGY STAR has shown, lots of kids have
devoted to energy efficiency, too. They’re not shy about telling you
why, either. In fact, hundreds of kids have entered the Team’s Share Your Story
essay contest . Several of their posts are featured in
this special Team ENERGY STAR bloggers carnival. If you’re inspired by what
even the youngest children have learned about energy and climate change (and
who wouldn’t be?), why not ask your kids to enter the contest, too? The
deadline for submissions is September 17.
Anne at Flour Sack Mama reports, “When I gave my elementary-aged kid a chance to enter the
Team ENERGY STAR essay contest,
explaining that the focus was saving energy, she gravitated, on her own, to
telling how much she loves trees. Sure, she learned the connection from the
story of the Lorax. But I think she gets it, on a deeper level, because
she plays outdoors….Of course, the new Team ENERGY STAR initiative does a great job of
tying one family's household savings into the bigger picture. Less energy used
now means a brighter future for our kids and grandkids and for the place they
need to call home long after the rest of us are gone. At our house, it
truly is the little things that we focus on, like better habits of turning off
those light switches. We also made sure to purchase the Energy Star model
when we needed to replace our dishwasher.”
Shane at Environmental Booty proudly posted the amazing video her young daughter made. The video shows a
simulated conversation between two very “hip” sisters, one of whom has a lot to
learn when it comes to energy efficiency. “My daughter and I, and even her two sisters,
really had fun taking part in the Team Energy Star Share Your Story
contest. Sure, it took finding some time in our hectic lives that was
certainly hard to find. But it brought us all together to go green,
created some fun memories with my girls, and gave my Lexie one more reason to
feel good about herself.”
Wendy at My Green Side is homeschooling her nine-year-old daughter. When she suggested her daughter enter the contest as "homework," her daughter jumped at the chance. "I decided to look at our dryer in our laundry room. I found out there is not an Energy Star label for clothes dryers because most of them use about the same amount of energy. The Energy Star site had a tip to “air dry clothes whenever possible.” I decided we should get a clothesline to save electricity from drying our clothes. If the Lorax can save energy then I bet we can save energy too!" Make sure you read the entire post, and don't miss the great cartoon Wendy's daughter drew showing the Lorax helping hang the clothes to dry outside.
at The Green Grandma decided to let all the kids in the GG
community know about the contest. “The program is designed to recognize kids
for what they are doing to save energy, as well as inspiring other kids and
their families to get involved in energy efficiency.” Hana is also impressed
that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and DoSomething.org are running
their own Team ENERGY STAR Challenges. More than 150 Boys & Girls Clubs
have signed on to participate and win prizes donated by LG Electronics. “This
is a great opportunity for parents to learn a lot about what your kids know (or
don’t know)” about energy, she says.
Lynn and Corey at Celebrate Green ask a good question: “Is saving energy routine in your house or do you have to prod and
remind your kids to turn off the lights and shut the fridge door instead of
standing in front of it while making up their minds what to take for a snack?” Either way, they say, “you
can help improve their energy wasting behaviors and get them thinking by
suggesting they enter the EPA’s Energy Star contest.” Good point. Plus, they note, “Even if your child doesn’t win the contest, we’re
betting that the discussion alone will help your family save energy and money
as well as have fun!”
Moms Clean Air Force , Laura points out why energy efficiency matters. “By
using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs we help give our environment
a fighting chance. While small measures alone won’t solve our climate crisis,
they do make a measurable difference. Last year in America, with the help of
ENERGY STAR, the energy saved was enough to avoid
greenhouse gases equal to
the emissions of 41 million cars.” Wow! Savings like that go a long way to helping us reduce climate change and protect clean air.
Calley at The Eco Chic writes, “It’s no secret that my kids are
little eco-junkies just like their mama! I was so excited when my son
asked me to participate in the ENERGY STAR Share Your Story essay contest. When he found out
that he could do a photo or video essay I knew that he would have fun… Two
weeks ago before school started he took his sister on a tour of our home trying
to find all the ways that we
save energy every day. He
took photos as we turned off lights, turned up the A/C, and showed our ENERGY
STAR appliances. He really had a good time and it was cute to see
him working together with his sister (who’s only 3).”
at Accidentally Green quoted the Lorax, who
is Team Energy Star’s mascot and a favorite of her
children, as she urged her
readers to get their kids involved in the contest. “But now,” says the Once-ler, “now that
you're here, the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear. UNLESS someone like
you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.” –
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
“Before your children get buried in school work this fall,”
Calley recommends, “surprise them with a fun contest – it’s sort of like an
environmental pop quiz, and you just might be surprised by how much they know.
Maybe, just maybe, your son or daughter is already becoming a lot like the
Lori at Groovy Green Livin' rightly points out that "Climate change continues to be a very real concern and childhood illnesses, including asthma and cancer, are on the rise. Team ENERGY STAR is asking that we get our children involved and encourage them to save energy at home-because we all know the future is in their hands." Lori has taken the ENERGY STAR pledge and is urging her community to do the same. Why? "If every American household took the actions found in the Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR Pledge, we would save more than126 billion KWh/year of electricity and save $18 billion in annual energy costs. We would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 20 million cars."
Paige Wolfe, at Spit That Out the Book, urged her community to enter the contest, too,
because “Teaching the whole family to take small steps at home to save energy –
like turning off the lights when you leave the room, unplugging chargers from
the wall when devices are finished charging, programming your thermostat to
save energy when you’re away, and changing out incandescent light bulbs to
energy-efficient ones – add up to big energy savings.” Paige says that in her
house, “we’re pretty good about lights and water, but are still working on
unplugging those “ghost energy suckers!”
at EcoNewNetwork alerted
her readers to the contest, saying it’s important because “about 70 percent of the
electricity we use comes from power plants that burn fossil fuels. Fossil fuels
are extremely harmful to the environment, as they cause greenhouse gas emissions
contributing to climate change. This is one out of the many reasons why living
an energy efficient lifestyle is so important.
"What better way to get
the American youth involved than through a fun contest like this from Team
at That’s Amasian shares her own experiences growing up in an
immigrant household where nothing was wasted as she explains to her toddler the
importance of saving energy. “Early
on I found myself teaching my son what the word "waste" meant, as he
would do things that toddlers do–open the fridge when there was no need, turn
on the faucet just to play with it, fill his kiddie pool beyond what was
necessary. I found myself struggling with this explanation. After all, how do
you teach kids not to waste something when that "thing" is so
intangible? They can't see the reservoirs that hold our water, or the
consequences of an overly taxed energy grid.” She has found the Energy Star
program a great way to provide a framework not just for her son, but for her
and her husband, too.
For Grace at HapaMama,"Growing up with a dad who was an engineer and also a budget-conscious immigrant, watching our electric and gas usage was just part of life. Back then, it was sort of embarrassing that we would hang our clothes to dry in the backyard, or that we would turn down the thermostat and wear a sweater instead. But as I’m raising my own kids, I find myself doing some of the things that used to annoy me, such as air drying our laundry a sunny day or using compact florescent lights instead of regular bulbs." Grace has some great tips on her post for being mindful about how we use energy. And she points out some fascinating facts, too. "Just two shade trees, planted on the east and west sides of your home, can cut your energy bills by 30%," she says.
Harriet at ClimateMama wants us to remember that "amazing ideas flow out of the "mouths of babes."
"While we know that the kids in our lives often model and emulate what we do, why not give them the opportunity to “shine” on their own and showcase what they know about being "environmentally sound and climate conscious global citizens!” Show the kids in your life how they can share their stories, videos, and ideas with the EPA’s Team Energy Star. … When we help our family, our community, our place of worship, business or our school, we are setting an example of ways to help the world around us."
Cyndi at Reduce Footprints included information about Team Energy Star and the Energy Star quiz in her “Change the World Wednesday” post focusing on kids – how to protect them and how to empower them. Thanks
also to Asian Mommy, Keen for Green, Jenn, the Green
Parent and MNN, and
Ted at Environment Green for
inviting their readers to join Team Energy Star and enter the contest.
THERE'S STILL TIME TO ENTER:
It’s not too late to enter the Energy Star Share Your Story Essay Contest. You
have until September 17 before entries close. You can find all the details
WANT TO KNOW WHY OTHER MOMS THINK ENERGY STAR IS SO IMPORTANT?
Don’t miss the original launch
carnival hosted at Big Green Purse:
Disclosure: I am working as a paid consultant to help promote energy efficiency and to encourage kids to enter the Share Your Story contest. All opinions expressed on my blog are my own.
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