Climate Ambassador

Climate for Action: Save Energy, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Some Cash by Switching Your Light Bulbs

Do you have ENEGRY STAR light bulbs in your home? ENERGY STAR light bulbs are light bulbs that conserve energy and wear a label that says ENERGY STAR on them. Compared to an incandescent light bulb, an ENERGY STAR light bulb uses up to 75% less energy. These light bulbs conserve energy and therefore reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use. In fact, by replacing just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR light bulb you can save 400 pounds of greenhouse gases from entering into the atmosphere! So, let’s make an impact by using ENERGY STAR light bulbs in our homes, not only will we be helping the environment, but these light bulbs will also save our families some money. Some ENERGY STAR light bulbs last ten times longer than incandescent light bulbs and will save $30 over the course of their lifetimes. Therefore, by using ENERGY STAR light bulbs, we are able to save energy, greenhouse gas emissions from entering into the atmosphere and some cash! Encourage your friends and family to use ENERGY STAR light bulbs so that they can also be a part of these savings. Let them know that by acting together we can make a difference. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, if every American replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR light bulb, we would save enough energy to light three million homes for a year, we would save more than $600 million in energy costs in a year, and we would reduce greenhouse gases emissions equivalent to taking 800,000 cars off the road. Who knew that such a simple task like replacing a light bulb could make such a difference! Become a climate ambassador in your community and take the ENERGY STAR pledge today! . Do you have any products in your home that help conserve energy? If so what are they and how do they help benefit our environment?

About the author: Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Students for Climate Action: Reduce More Than Half Your Waste by Composting

In 2007, 245.1 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated in the United States. Of that waste, organic materials—yard trimmings, food scraps, and paper products—made up more than two-thirds of our solid waste stream. Even though organic waste makes up most of our waste stream, it is something that we can reduce. Composting can turn our organic wastes into valuable compost which can be used for landscaping and gardening purposes. By composting we can also reduce methane, a greenhouse gas with 21 times the heating potential of carbon dioxide which is largely produced from the organic wastes in our landfills.

There are many types of composting options to choose from. At the end of the composting process you will end up with a great, free product for greening lawns and producing strong, healthy garden plants.

So here’s how you can start. Look at your options. Some include vermicomposting, compost bins, or installing a composter in the sink like a garbage disposal. Discuss with your caregiver or principal which option works easiest and best for your home or school. Then work on making successful compost by watching what you put into the composter. EPA’s web site has great information for creating a compost pile right in your own backyard.

So take action against producing so much waste and reduce green house gas emissions. By composting you can eliminate the threats to climate change, water quality and pollution by transforming your waste into a product that will benefit your lawn and garden. Talk to your friends and family about how they can start a composting project at home. You can also become a climate ambassador by starting a composting program at your school. You will find that it can be fun, especially if you like to garden! Be sure to tell us your composting plans. Let us know which option works best for you, how much waste you will be reducing and what you plan to do with your compost.

About the Author: Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Climate for Action: Start a Paper Recycling Program at Your School

About the Author: Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

image of children dumping bins of paper into a mixed paper recycling collection bin.There are many successful paper recycling programs that schools start every year and their efforts certainly make a big difference. For example, 28 schools in Central Virginia started a paper recycling program in 2007 and have been able to collect more than 156 tons of paper to date. The 156 tons of paper that they recycled have saved more than 2,000 trees, 823,000 gallons of water, and 411 yards of landfill space.

Why not become a climate ambassador and educate your classmates about the benefits of paper recycling? By recycling your schools used paper, you can save water, energy, landfill space and you can reduce the impacts of deforestation and global climate change.

If you are interested in starting a paper recycling program at your school, here’s a guide for you to follow to help make your program successful:

  • Talk to your principal about setting up a collection for paper waste and finding a local paper recycler.
  • Educate your school about the importance of paper recycling and what bins to recycle their used paper in.
  • Organize a club to help make sure that the bins are being used properly.

You can make a big difference by starting a paper recycling program at your school. With every ton of paper that your school recycles, the EPA estimates that you can help save 7,000 gallons of water, 3.3 yards of landfill space and reduce one ton of carbon from entering into the atmosphere. So, become involved in helping your school protect the environment – start a paper recycling program and educate others on the importance of recycling. Be sure to let us know if you plan on starting a paper recycling program and why.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Climate for Action: Becoming a Climate Ambassador

About the author: Loreal Crumbley, a senior at George Mason University, is an intern with EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education through EPA’s Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

image of Climate for Action logoAcross the globe, climate change has become a major subject of concern. A significant change in the Earth’s climate has caused the average temperature on the Earth’s surface to increase. This has become one of the most important issues of the twenty first century; and as young people, we play a major part in the fight against climate change. We are the future leaders of the world and the most threatened by climate change. Now is our time to take action and become leaders in this crisis by becoming Climate Ambassadors. You can become leaders and stand up to polluters by spreading awareness about climate change and how to reduce energy use and waste. Becoming a Climate Ambassador allows middle school and high school students to take charge on this important issue and inspire others to address climate change and children’s health.

It is easy to become a Climate Ambassador. Visit these sites and find out what issues you are passionate about, then you can play a more effective role in reducing climate change. Some examples of things you can do are:

  • Motivating students to give presentations on climate change and children’s health to their schools, youth organization or other students. This will help spread information on climate change and motivate others to become active. EPA has created a presentation that students can use to increase climate change and children’s health awareness.
  • Getting people in your community, your school or school district involved in ENERGY STAR pledges and challenges. The pledges and challenges encourage conservation throughout homes and schools.
  • Recruit a leader from your community, school, or other organization to issue a climate change and children’s health proclamation. This proclamation will encourage youth to take action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving energy, and creating a new climate for action! Check out EPA’s sample proclamation.

Since we are all contributors to climate change, we can all work together in creating a new climate for action! I think it is important for all us to come together and work towards creating a healthier environment. Because as you know, we are the future leaders and the future of our world lies in our hands. As young people, we will be the most affected; we need to step up and take a stand in creating a better world. Become a Climate Ambassador and motivate others to do their part for climate change and children’s health!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.