Energy Efficiency, Climate Hope & Our Kids

By: Guest Blogger, Harriet Shugarman

We all wear so many “hats” and labels in our lives. I have been called: economist, ski instructor, policy analyst, orchard worker, educator, blogger, reporter, daughter, sister, wife and mother. The last one, however – mother – is the one that I feel best identifies me; it is all encompassing, and surpasses everything else. For the last 8 years, after training with the Climate Reality Project, I have been working full time on climate change education and advocacy, something that is uniquely and forever tied to being a mother as it directly impacts my hopes, fears, dreams and wants for my children.

My Mantra: Tell the Truth, Actions Speak Louder than Words, and Don’t be Afraid. None of these things are easy when it comes to climate change, but all are equally important and are important life lessons to teach our children.

  1. Tell the truth: The science is clear – climate change is real, here and now, and we humans are THE major drivers of our climate crisis. We mustn’t get bogged down in debating the facts, but instead we must get busy working on solutions and creating climate hope.
  2. Actions speak louder than words: EPA’s ENERGY STAR offers a great starting place to turn our hopes into actions—and it can do the same for the kids in our lives. If we start in our own homes to be more efficient, and thoughtful with our energy use, we can make big strides quickly that can be replicated in our friend’s homes, our children’s schools, our houses of worship and our businesses. “If you tell two friends, and so on and so on!” The great thing about ENERGY STAR is that it makes saving energy simple—and oftentimes low cost and easy to do.
  3. Don’t be Afraid: Climate change seems so big and hard to get our arms around. But we need to take it in bite size pieces. A great first step is to check out EPA’s My ENERGY STAR. It is a hub of energy saving tips, expert advice and tools that will help you make a difference in fighting climate change with your everyday activities. You can even create your own dashboard to help you keep track of your energy saving accomplishments and future to dos. As a busy woman with more “hats” than I can count, it’s great to have a little help in doing something that is so pivotal to the protection of our environment. Check it out and let me know what you think.


About the Author: Harriet Shugarman is the Founder and Executive Director of ClimateMama, and mother to Elliot and Alana who are her inspiration. To learn more about her work in fighting back against climate change, check out her website.

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