This was written for Moms Clean Air Force by Diane MacEachern, Founder & CEO of the Big Green Purse:
Summer brings many great experiences and memories for families—barbecues, swimming, hot nights and summer movies. It also brings a familiar and unpleasant sight for many communities—a smoggy skyline and poor air quality that can make it tough for kids to breathe.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert on smog to be able to explain that one way to clear the air is by shifting to cleaner sources of energy like solar and wind. It’s even easier to explain that using energy more efficiently – using less energy to do the same job – is something that everyone can do at home. Plus, using energy more efficiently helps reduce the gases that cause climate change.
Did you know that:
- The average house is responsible for more than 20,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, about twice as much as the average car.
- Electricity demand for U.S. homes is expected to climb by as much as 22 percent by 2035.
- The typical household spends more than $2,000 per year on energy bills.
Where to begin?
If your kids are anything like mine, once you explain the cause of something, they’ll want to know the solution. You’ve probably already talked to them about walking or biking rather than driving, turning off the lights, TV and the computer when not in use, and maybe washing full loads of dishes or clothes. But reminding kids to do those things can be a hassle – for you and for them.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to make it more fun, by offering games, contests and educational resources through their kids engagement program, Team ENERGY STAR.
The program is particularly unique because it empowers kids to help protect the climate and our air through easy-to-implement, money-saving actions. It also provides them an outlet for sharing their passion for preserving our environment.
Kids who sign up for Team ENERGY STAR and share their story will be entered into a contest for best story; winners will receive ENERGY STAR certified LG electronics, including cell phones, TVs and MP3 docking stations. And, they’ll get their name and photo up in lights, being showcased on LG’s Times Square billboard in New York City.
What’s in it for you?
As fun as Team ENERGY STAR makes saving energy for kids, you’ll benefit, too.
- Using ENERGY STAR appliances can save you over one-third, or more than $760, on your household energy bills.
- If every American household took the actions found in the ENERGY STAR Pledge, we would save more than130 billion KWh/year of electricity and save $23 billion in annual energy costs. We would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 21 million cars.
Download educational materials for your kids here. If they’re inspired to save energy, capture their story on camera or have them write it down and submit it through the website. If they win, it could have a lasting impact on their commitment to protecting the health of this planet into the future.