Shaping Our Future

Written by: Clarissa Drouillard

I have heard many people say that children are the future of this planet. Going along with that philosophy, I am glad that I had the chance to educate a group of bright middle school students on energy and water conservation. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we began our presentation, but the students quickly became engaged and jumped to offer answers to our questions.

We went over phantom power in the home, and how it can be prevented by using power strips and unplugging devices that have lights and clock displays that are being powered even when the devices are off. We offered our best tips on saving energy in the home during both summer and winter. But my favorite part of the presentation was the interactive activities that we asked students to participate in, such as deciding if certain items can be recycled and choosing the more water efficient option between two appliances or habits. Maybe some of the students would have been less inclined to participate if we had not offered candy as a reward for answers, but the optimist in me prefers to believe that they genuinely were interested in learning how to conserve water and energy and protect our environment.

This presentation was the first that Walnut Creek Saves has done for middle school students, but it is not the last. One of the main goals of our program is to educate the community, so having these conversations and spreading our knowledge about conservation is just as important as our free, in-home consultations. Hopefully, these students will take their new knowledge and flyers home to share with their families so that we may reach even more people; small changes in daily habits and home upgrades can make a huge difference over time, and light bulbs, powerstrips, and showerheads are the easiest fix.

Spreading awareness of our impact on the environment is vital, even if changes are happening one light bulb at a time. I would love the chance to speak to students again because they really are the future of our society and our planet. What we teach them now could influence them for a long time, so let’s get started with teaching the right habits and mindset. Our beautiful planet will thank us later.


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