By: Brittney Gordon-Williams

Every time I brush my teeth, I still remember the first environmental lesson that I learned at school. I don’t remember who said it or when I heard it, but “don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth,” is etched in my memory.  Because of that lesson, wasting water has always been a no-no during my morning routine. Memories like this one make it easy for me to understand the power of educating young people about protecting the world we live in. Needless to say, I was incredibly excited to work on the launch of EPA’s Team ENERGY STAR this year.

Team ENERGY STAR is a new component of the Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR campaign, focused on teaching young people about protecting our climate by saving energy. EPA launched the Team ENERGY STAR section on our website this summer, allowing families to join the team and download educational (and fun) tools to help their kids learn about energy efficiency. We asked young people to come back to the website after they started helping their families save energy to share their story. The best stories were showcased on the ENERGY STAR Facebook page, with our social media audience picking the top story as the “People’s Choice.” Families could even go one step further and also join the and LG Electronics Team ENERGY STAR Challenge.

Team ENERGY STAR was a great success with thousands of families joining the team and learning more about saving energy in their homes. Hundreds of Boys and Girls Clubs (with the support of ENERGY STAR partner Samsung) across the country joined in by spreading the word about energy efficiency in their communities. It was inspiring to see so many young people making climate protection an important part of their everyday lives.

Check out the Team ENERGY STAR photo album on ENERGY STAR’s Facebook page to see all of the top stories. Congrats to the “People’s Choice” top vote getter, Alexandra S.! Alexandra was also one of five top picks in the and LG Electronics challenge, along with Bryce P., Caleigh G., Imelia G. and Renee L!

Reading the energy-saving success stories from these kids showed me once again that young people can truly change the world. Are you interested in hearing more stories of young people making a difference? Check out our first-ever live Facebook broadcast on Tuesday, October 23, at 1:15pm CDT where we will have young people and adults from across the country sharing their stories live! Hope to see you there!

Brittney Gordon-Williams works on the communications team for EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.

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