In 3 Words
Make an Impact, a program to help you save energy, save money, and save the planet, is coming to an area near you! We'd love your help to kick things off by showing what individuals in the community are doing to live sustainably and conserve energy.
Take a fun photo or video of yourself (or with your friends, family, pets, anyone!) making a positive environmental impact and send it to MakeAnImpact@c2es.org. We’ll email you back to confirm your details and get your permission to use your submission.
The photo should feature a white page with three words that help tell your story. Be creative!
Plant More Trees
I come from Australia where the spread of salinity is a real threat to wildlife and human habitat. Mass deforestation from early settlers has meant that once fertile land is now baron and dry due to the rising groundwater. This concerns me hugely. Australia is a massive country yet most of it is inhabitable and the stretch of dry land continues to grow displacing farmers and indigenous communities. But there is much that can be done to combat this issue starting with planting more trees such as the maluka which is a salt resistant tree or even saltbush which livestock can eat.
I am totally inspired by the Green Belt Movement in Kenya to plant more trees created by Wangari Maathai. As a child the Karura Forest was a full and thriving forest but into her adult years the trees were in fast decline due to logging. She took a stand to make a positive change. Her idea was simple plant more trees. With the help of many hands she has overseen the planting of over 30 million trees!
So what do I do to make a change? As city folk it’s hard to be out planting trees on a daily basis but I support a charity that with a monthly donation plants trees on my behalf at 10 a month. That’s 120 new trees each year so hopefully if I live a long life then I would have helped over 5000 tress be planted. My very own forest!
Reija Johnson, London
Conserve to Save
Senior Engineer, Fossil Operations - Plant Support
Certified RESNet Home Energy Rater
New Orleans, LA
As an energy efficiency specialist, my interest in reducing my personal environmental impact has grown to influence the decisions I make both at work and at home and has benefited my family by reducing our monthly utilities. At home, our front-loading Energy Star clothes washer has reduced water usage by 60%, cut detergent, bleach, and fabric softener use by almost half, and reduced drying time. We cut our gas bill 50% with more efficient tankless and condensing water heaters. Our HVAC efficiency and Indoor Air Quality was also improved by sealing the ductwork, installing a high-efficiency HVAC filter, and growing pollution-absorbing indoor plants.
In the yard we’re reducing waste and water use by producing compost from yard waste and using rain barrels to store rainwater. We enlarged our compost bins using neighborhood wood fencing blown down from Katrina. The compost helps our plants grow and saves us money on supplies.
At work, my ECI team is reducing paper usage with 2-sided default printer settings.
Over the years I’ve volunteered for various community energy efficiency events and my wife has been an active Master Gardener. We enjoy finding new ways to save energy and reduce waste in our work and at home.
Reduce Community Emissions
Senior Staff Analyst, Transmission Compliance
Entergy New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
Taking steps to improve the environment is important to me. That’s why both at home and in my community, I try to take action to reduce my carbon footprint. I have minimized my overall energy use at home by converting my lighting to compact fluorescents, washing only full loads of laundry or dishes, and being aware of peak hour usage of air conditioning when I am not at home. I have also reduced the amount I drive by consolidating errands, walking or biking.
In my community, I am working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through volunteering with Groundwork New Orleans to ensure the ongoing maintenance and management of a series of raingardens on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in New Orleans, and by promoting new installations throughout the city of New Orleans. These raingardens divert rainwater from stormdrains, where the water is pumped into Lake Pontchartrain. Stormwater pumping contributes 40% of the total municipal greenhouse gas emissions of the city of New Orleans. The raingardens reduce the need for pumping, recharge groundwater tables to reduce subsidence, and provide urban ecology that sequesters carbon emissions.
Weatherize, Update & Save
Jerry “Bubba” Grubb
Senior Outage Scheduler
Waterford 3 Nuclear Plant
Our house in Kenner was built in 1978. It’s an all electric home with 3 bedrooms and an attached garage. When we purchased the property in 1997, it still had the original windows and doors that were installed during construction. In the summer you couldn’t help but feel the heat coming off of the panes. And in the winter, we were treated to cold floors and feet because of the drafts coming in and around the old doors and windows. Our electric bill averaged almost $300 in the summer and the air conditioner would run almost all day just to keep the house below 80 degrees.
A few months ago, we finally purchased new energy efficient replacement windows and doors. We ordered a total of 10 windows and 2 entrance doors for a cost of $3,000. The old windows were removed and replaced with dual-paned, double hung, argon filled, low ‘E’ models in about 3 hours; complete with insulating caulking and clean up.
We added another layer of insulation in the attic for an additional $400 and what a difference! The house is much cooler and quieter (an added benefit of the double insulated windows). The electric bill dropped almost 40% the first month alone. Add to that a 2009 Tax Credit of 30% ($1020) available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 and these improvements will pay for themselves in less then 2 years.
Grow Backyard Produce
Senior Staff Accountant, Accounting & Policy Research
Entergy New Orleans
New Orleans, LA
I have always enjoyed gardening. Observing the diversity of plant life and plants' life cycles fills me with awe, joy, and hope. I love the way that small seeds grow into mature plants that bear fruit and leave behind seeds that restart the process. In our family's backyard vegetable garden we are growing lettuce, sugar snap peas, bush beans, tomatoes, basil, parsley, coriander, banana peppers and butternut squash. These vegetables supplement our family meals. Garden and yard waste is composted. The composted soil is added back to our vegetable and flower gardens. We employ organic gardening methods and strive to avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Our home grown vegetables provide fresh food and reduce our trips to the grocery produce department. I like to think that in some small way our home gardening and other conservation practices make an impact by reducing our consumption of natural resources and environmental pollution.