Energy education and conservation are abuzz again some 30 years after the first Earth Day. Today, we can see the efforts of the past have paid off in numerous ways, including the comeback of many species from near extinction, limits on fishing and hunting of our food resources, cleaner air due to stricter emissions standards, cleaner water due to bans on chemicals and pesticides, cleaner burning fuels as well as the burgeoning sector of alternative energy sources. Awareness is out there but action is often inhibited by attitudes that the problems we have with the environment are too big for one individual to tackle.
However, we have a chance to revive the environmental movement the way seat belt safety of the 1960’s and speed limit reductions of the 1970’s revolutionized automobile death and injury rates. It all starts with an enthusiastic, motivated young teens, those high school students who are ready to take on the world and make a positive impact there. This is where Eco-Stewards® shines over all other programs. It is not just energy efficiency and resource conservation content. It is a hands-on exploration of what we can do, how we can change our behavior, and where we can start to make a difference— environmental stewardship in action. Eco-Stewards has made a way to connect mere awareness with action and pledges to improve… and it begins in school, just like “Buckle Up for Safety” did in the 60’s.
Students will complete an online energy, water, transportation, and conservation assessment of their home’s structure, appliances, and behaviors. It can be used as a homework or even a lab assignment. After the information is gathered, the inputs into the online HomeEnergyCalculatorTM reports the findings in both chart and graphic terms with recommendations for low- and no-cost and more long-term energy and resource conservation for the entire family to use. The lesson of actions resulting in costs is quite real, and what a great lesson to teach the next generation of energy and resource consumers!