US DOE understands benefits of engaging youth

Recycling programs grew from almost nothing to a major environmental achievement in not much more than a decade due in major part to the engagement of young people. Kids learned about recycling, the benefits and the tools, in school and took their learning home to their parents. In many Canadian communities more than 80% of homes with street level garbage collection are now involved in separating recyclables and putting them out for separate collection.

Now the US Department of Energy is hoping to achieve the same kind of success with home energy efficiency. In launching America’s Home Energy Education Challenge last week, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu said “Energy efficiency is all about helping families save money by saving energy. America’s Home Energy Education Challenge leverages the passion and curiosity of students to encourage families across the country to reduce energy waste in their homes while inspiring the next generation of America’s energy leaders.”

The Challenge is not the only way DOE encourages schools to educate students about energy efficiency but it certainly seems to be a very worthwhile addition to other programs through which DOE supports schools in energy and energy efficiency education.

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