Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cultivating conscious consumers in kids with Team ENERGY STAR

Why? It's the question that plagues all parents of toddlers and preschoolers. Kids are endlessly curious about  literally everything under the sun and beyond. I once found myself cornered when I could no longer explain Libyan foreign policy after my 4 year old overheard an NPR story.

When we don't have the answers, especially on important issues that affect us all, and that we all can act on (ahem, climate change), I'm grateful for resources for parents, like Team ENERGY STAR. It's an education program that motivates kids and their parents to make energy conservation a fun, family activity. And, it's created by the U.S. EPA so you know that it's backed by accurate information and honest intentions.

This year, Team ENERGY STAR is incorporating themes from the new summer blockbuster EPIC, which is about a young girl who is transported to a magical natural world, and embarks on a classic battle between good and evil. The movie sets up kids as environmental heroes, which is a great message to empower little ones to do their own part to save energy, protect the climate and save their parents some money in the process.

The EPA wants to capture those inspired actions, and reward kids for doing the right thing, which is why they've partnered with LG Electronics USA to get kids to share their stories through the Team ENERGY STAR website, www.energystar.gov/team. Winning entries will get some sweet ENERGY STAR certified electronics from LG, and their names and photos up in lights on LG's Times Square billboard.

So if your kid asks you why the summer is hot, or how the fridge makes food cold, encourage them to answer the question themselves, and catch their stories on your camera, or get your kid to write it down if they're older. If your kid wins, it'll do wonders to solidify their standing as a future conservationist and conscious consumer.

Here are some reasons why taking steps to save energy at home is so important. 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. With ENERGY STAR, you can save 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.

Find out more at www.energystar.gov/team

I found out about Team ENERGY STAR because I am a paid consultant for the U.S. EPA, however I was not compensated to write this post. I support the program and because I believe it is important to educate the public about energy efficiency and climate change.