UPDATE! Team ENERGY STAR is inviting students up to the age of 25 to enter an essay contest explaining why saving energy is important and describing how they do their part. The “essays” can be anything: written words, photo montages, slide shows, posters, cartoons, drawings, etc. The first 100 entrants receive a free DVD of the Lorax, and the winners have the chance to win energy-saving tvs, computer monitors, phones, etc, plus get their name in lights in New York’s Times Square. The deadline to enter is September 17. Here’s everything else you need to know.
The EPA instituted the ENERGY STAR program 20 years ago. It’s a measure to help us protect our environment by using energy-efficient products and practices. The ENERGY STAR program is an amazing resource because in today’s world with so many things bombarding us for attention, there are 65 products with the ENERGY STAR label; no searching, no questioning, no confusion. In order to carry the ENERGY STAR label, the product or service must be the leader in energy-efficiency and committed to continued improvement. The EPA sets these guidelines and eligibility for the label and it is awarded following third-party certification of the products.
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. If every single person in New York City drove a car, that wouldn’t even be half the amount of greenhouse gases saved last year. That said, the average home in the US, including my own, is responsible for the emission of 25,000 pounds of greenhouse gasses each year. That’s roughly twice the amount of emission from an average car!
In our homes, the vast majority of our electric comes from power plants that burn fossil fuels like oil and coal. Even with the beneficial addition of scrubbers on some of the power plants in recent years, we don’t need to add to the carbon pollution that we see impacting our environment and our health. If we can lessen carbon pollution, we will reduce the impacts of climate change. Already we have seen some of the impacts of climate change with a warmer than average winter and the “wait and see” approach will be too late.
- The immediate impact of the warmer winter for most people has been severe allergy and asthma symptoms from the increased growth of mold, weeds, grass and tree pollen.
- The changing climate will lead to the increase in pollution, allergies and infectious disease all of which place a considerable strain on our healthcare systems.
- Historically, extreme heat and cold, floods, storms, droughts and wildfires have been an important and often disastrous effect of climate change.
- Our children, the elderly, the poor and those in ill health are MOST impacted by pollution causing climate changes.
In the past two decades, we have saved almost 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with the help of ENERGY STAR. If every American household took the actions found in the Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR Pledge, we would save $18 billion in annual energy costs. We would also prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 20 million cars. Moms Clean Air Force is thrilled to support the challenge of the ENERGY STAR Pledge!
GIVEAWAY: One lucky reader will win an ENERGY STAR tote bag, plus “Turn me off”, “Set me right” and “Unplug me” post-its for light switches, thermostats and electronics . Two GE ENERGY STAR certified light bulbs , Lorax kids activity book and ENERGY STAR pen.
HOW TO WIN:
- Sign up for Moms Clean Air Force and leave a comment below.
- Be sure to include your name (first name and last initial are fine) and email where we can contact you if you win.
- You must have a North American shipping address – no PO boxes.
- The lucky winner will be drawn randomly via Random.org.