What can I do, what difference can I make? I hear that a lot from busy parents, who want to help fight against climate change, but aren’t sure where to begin. As the saying goes, “there is no time like the present.” So, grab the kids in your life, your home is a great place to start and Energy Star makes it pretty easy to begin! As summer approaches and your family discusses summer plans, vacations, day trips to the beach, mountains, or the shore: consider a family climate change plan. As you decide if your kids are ready for sleep away camp, day camp, or would rather just “hang out;” and even when you consider which books to buy off the summer reading list (yours and your kids): consider a summer climate change plan too! Grab the kids in your life right now and make “fighting climate change” part of your summer by joining “Team Energy Star” today. Energy Star makes it easy and fun.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency: “an average home contributes twice the amount of greenhouse gases to the environment as an average car!” When we use electricity in our homes, chances are a power plant somewhere is burning fossil fuels (like coal, oil, or natural gas) to produce that power. This creates greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, a real and urgent challenge affecting people, and the environment, worldwide. In fact, the “world” is meeting in Rio, Brazil later this month at Rio+20, to try to figure out how we can work together on climate change and sustainability issues so we can get the future we want and need for our children and for ourselves.
So, while most of us may not have immediate plans to put solar panels up or a windmill in our back yard (although we may be working towards this!…) we can put plans into place very easily that reduce the amount of energy we use through conservation actions. These actions can help us make a difference on climate change and at the same time help us save money too!! So add, “helping to save the climate” as part of your family’s summer list of activities.
Conserving energy, cutting down your overall greenhouse gas emissions, and saving money, all go hand in hand. The EPA’s ENERGY STAR Kids program makes saving energy a fun, family affair! The EPA offers many tools to help you use less energy at home, which means less greenhouse gas emissions. Learn how to assess your home and improve its overall efficiency. This year, the EPA has a great new program, made especially for the kids in your life, Team Energy Star, joining is easy. Get your kids involved. Sign up as a family and get your kids to help you track your “savings” on your energy bills. Why not create a family “pot of gold?” Translate those energy savings and put them in a family vacation “energy” savings pot!!
Check out Climate Mama and her CFL friend “Sam.” Recently, Climate Mama and her fellow “Green Team” members got to help their community learn more about energy conservation at a local town fair. Look for your town’s Green Team volunteers at your local fair or farmers market this summer. Many communities now have active volunteer groups that are working to help their town, city and neighborhood become more sustainable. Considering joining in and finding out more about what you can do to help your family AND your community save energy and “fight the good fight” on climate change!
If you Tweet, consider joining Energy Star at a Twitter Party on June 12th as well. Tune in 2-3pm ET, hashtag #TeamENERGYSTAR.
See you there!