So imagine if you will that you have a new coloring book. Remember as a child how exciting it was to get that new book and the brand new box of crayons. It really didn’t matter that you had dozens of “used” crayons and many coloring books with some or most of the pages untouched, there was something magical about having them new. Now, since we are all grown ups – hopefully – this coloring book is going to be used for more than our joy of adding color to the page or the challenge of staying within the lines. This book is going to – dare I say it – teach us something.
Open to Page one – What is Green? What is Sustainability? If you think that you already know the answer to this, feel free to go ahead and break out that first favorite color crayon. Basically, you are coloring the earth, the water on the earth, and the atmosphere that surrounds the earth. If we don’t learn how to take better care of our planet, our beautiful blues and browns and greens that we are using to color our picture will just be all browns and grays. We will need a new brown crayon. Way big picture.
Going green and being sustainable are just ways that humans need to figure out how to keep the earth healthy. How to manage its resources, both natural – ie, earth, air, and water – and living – humans, plants, animals – while adding the resource of economics to the picture. As much as I love living in a polyanna world, economics – money – is still a very valid part of that world. The good news is that it now makes economic sense to become a “green” consumer.
Page two - Let’s start with the light bulb. Get out that white crayon, and start coloring in that swirl. Yes, a swirly bulb is the shape we need to adapt to, no longer the pear. Start by changing a few light bulbs. It is one of the best things you can do for the environment—and your budget. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use at least two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent bulbs to provide the same amount of light, and they last up to 10 times longer. Compact fluorescent light bulbs also generate 70 percent less heat, so they are safer to operate and can also reduce energy costs associated with cooling homes and offices. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs are actually beneficial to the environment. If every home replaced one bulb with a CFL, it would be equivalent to taking one million cars off the road. Replacing standard bulbs in areas where lights are used frequently and left on for a long time, such as family rooms, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and porches, is a good place to start. So, now it’s on your “to do list”. Change out light bulbs and give the swirly guy a try.
Congratulations, you have just finished your first two pages in your coloring book. You have managed to not only stay in the lines and drawn what is truly one of the easiest things that you can do to “go green”, you have hopefully learned the bigger picture of that decision – keeping the color in your planet.
Now your homework assignment. As you are changing out that one or dozen light bulbs, be thinking about what you want to learn next. Email us – we may not know the answer, but we can spend our “spare time” seeing if it is in the coloring book and if we have the right color crayons. This is about all of us learning and engaging.