A few days ago, a fellow Conservation Coach and I worked an outreach event in front of the Ygnacio Valley Library in Walnut Creek. Our goal for the afternoon was to receive sign-ups for our free, in-home energy and water consultations, and explain Walnut Creek Saves to every passer-by.
We were working a short shift so we had to maximize efficiency to reach a larger number of people. In our time spent outside the library, we saw many young children, adults, and avid readers constantly walking in and out of the library. We stopped a large amount of people to promote Walnut Creek Saves, and show the advantages of living a more efficient life through water and energy saving techniques.
Our program information is targeted at adults who own or rent homes in Walnut Creek, so there were many instances where we had kids wanting quick fun and entertainment. To satisfy this request, we had a recycling game at our booth. The game was simple– kids needed to put all items that can be recycled in a household in the recycling bin, and leave out all other materials. For example, we had pictures of cardboard, light bulbs, batteries, take-out food containers, and bottles for the kids to sort through.
We received great feedback from the game as child after child came to the booth to play. I was very impressed with the kids and was interested to see their problem solving strategies at work. Whenever a child was stuck or made a mistake, I would give them hints as to what items are recyclable. By the end of each game, each kid walked away with new knowledge and a piece of candy for playing.
In all, the outreach event was a major success, we interacted with young children and taught them about recycling, and we spoke to many adults. Hopefully, our discussion at the library will help people save money and reduce our carbon footprint!