04/21/14 :

Two Causes Connect: Energy Efficiency on Earth Day

The theme for Earth Day 2014 is "Green Cities"

Each year on April 22nd, events are held worldwide in celebration of Earth Day, the movement established by the Earth Day Network in 1970. Although it has occurred every year since, each Earth Day presents a new opportunity to bring awareness to different “green” issues through a global theme. For 2014, the theme “Green Cities” has been selected, emphasizing the importance of smart investments in sustainable technology and forward thinking public policy at the city level.

There has always been a connection between energy efficiency and the environmental concerns raised by the Earth Day Network. We save money when we use less energy, but we also live more sustainably and have a smaller impact on limited natural resources. That being said, the 2014 Green Cities theme draws an even stronger connection between the two causes. The Alliance’s Energy 2030 On the Road campaign is working at the city level, encouraging state and local officials to endorse goal to double our nation’s energy productivity by the year 2030. Just like the Earth Day Network, we believe promoting change at the city level is incredibly effective and leads to national and even global results.  

So what will you be doing tomorrow for Earth Day? If you’re looking for ideas, there are a few energy saving challenges happening right now, and participating in either one would be a great way to celebrate. The first is the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) “SelfEE Challenge” on Facebook. The idea is to “put a human face on energy efficiency” by encouraging people to have fun and be creative in showcasing energy efficient lifestyles. The contest ends tomorrow, so be sure to submit your entry or vote for your favorite photo before then. Prizes include an efficient washing machine, a smart thermostat, and more.

As one challenge ends, another begins. The Earth Day Network and WattzOn, a personal energy engagement platform, have created a web app with tools to help users manage, track, and reduce energy use. Tomorrow, the organizations will officially launch the 20% Challenge for families to reduce energy consumption by – you guessed it – 20 percent. The campaign emphasizes the connection between saving energy, saving money, and helping the environment.

We believe campaigns such as Energy 2030 On the Road, SelfEE, and 20% encourage policy and lifestyle changes that have a long term impact. Earth Day is a great opportunity to reassess how you are using energy and to think about what measures you can take to reduce your impact on the environment.