WASHINGTON (2/11/09)--President Barack Obama is “moving full steam ahead on energy efficiency, not despite but because of the fragile state of the economy,” said Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan in a press release. Efficient and clean use of energy benefits consumers, the environment, and the economy. “Youth want to help create this new clean energy economy. They’re the ones who will be living with it,” said Rena Crispin, managing editor of Credit Union National Association’s Googolplex
. Crispin said that you can channel this youthful enthusiasm by challenging children to take action to help cut energy costs and create a clean energy economy with simple steps:
* Take lunch to school. Make food choices that minimize the “food footprint,” or the land to grow the food, land for the animals to graze, and energy to transport the food. Buy big bags of snacks and break them up to make small daily servings, and use reusable containers for lunch items. Organize friends to take action together through Kids For a Clean Environment at kidsface.org/index.html. * Ride a bike or walk. Don’t drive unless necessary--it’s good for the body and good for the planet. Bike or walk instead of burning gasoline on short trips. International Walk to School Month is every October. Find out how to participate at iwalktoschool.org/index.htm. * Buy and donate used items. Buy clothes on sale or from a discount store. Teenagers can find brand-name clothes in good condition at second-hand stores. And don’t stop there--donate old clothes in good condition. Check out Teens for Jeans, a national campaign that encourages teenagers to collect jeans for homeless peers at dosomething.org/teensforjeans/home. * Research and learn. The good news about tough economic times is that young people are passionate to do something about the problem. The federal government is a good place to get more information and ideas online. Visit kids.gov/k_5/k_5_science_earth.shtml.