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!
Stuffed With Love
During the winter holidays, families grow closer and a sense of cheerfulness is in the air. On the other hand, for some families, it is a stressful time because they cannot afford to give each other gifts. My Girl Scout troop decided to create an event, which we called “Stuffed with Love Boutique.” How it works is that we collect gently used items from our family and friends and put them into categories such as Stuffed Animals, Games, Toys, Books & Movies, Lotions & Potions, and miscellaneous items that make great gifts for adults. Once we finish sorting the items, we bring them to ICAN (Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods) -- an organization that provides free after school care to low-income children in an effort to keep them from joining gangs. We also bring the boutique to Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, which gives foster care to over 80 children on their site in Mesa, Arizona. During our boutique, children are given free tickets to “purchase” a few gifts for their family members and one for themselves. Then they wrap their gifts with the help of our families and other volunteers we recruit. Both boutiques combined provide over 220 children over 1,000 gifts. The kids absolutely loved the boutique the first time we did it three years ago with our troop. The last two years, we have recruited other troops in our Girl Scout neighborhood to help us. Our Stuffed With Love Boutique is now an annual Girl Scout neighborhood event that we hope will continue for many years to come.
My photo is of me inventorying our stuffed animal category before one of our boutiques. This project is a green environmental one because we reuse items instead of throwing them away. Some of our gifts are “new” because they were gifts that sat in closets and were never used. Those gifts were donated to our boutique to be “recycled.” After our boutiques are over, the items that were not selected by the children go to other drives, Good Will, and some are left at Sunshine Acres to use or pass on to other charities. That way, every item that is “stuffed with love” can be reused so the love can spread to many more families throughout the year.
Ditch the Foam
My way of Making an Impact is to stop using Polystyrene (commonly referred to as Styrofoam) cups at work here in La Porte. I have submitted a cost saving and environmental impact reduction to our plant management to remove the non-biodegradable cups and lids from our facility and encourage the use of reusable mugs. My plan would use some of the money saved to purchase each employee a reusable travel mug and the balance can be funneled to employee recognition or local environmental or charity contributions.
Matt Gowin, Alcoa Power and Propulsion, Alcoa Howmet, La Porte, IN
Feed Me Paper
There are a number of actions that our family is taking to Save the Planet. These activities include plastic bag recycling, use of CFL bulbs, curb-side recycling, and paper “drop-off” recycling, which is the subject of our photo. As part of a family of five, the paper flow can be overwhelming between mail, school papers, magazines, newspapers, and cardboard food packaging (which our bins also accept). Our city of Strongsville, OH has installed a number of recycling bins, which we “feed” with 2-3 bags of paper and cardboard weekly. We are pleased to be able to help keep the Earth green through our efforts and to pass down the value of conservation to our children.
Time to Save
We decided to replace our can ceiling lights with our newly purchased CFLs, which is going to reduce our energy costs and reduce emissions. The approximate cost for one CFL light for 10,000 watt hours is 230 x $.12 = $27.60 vs. incandescent: 1,000 x $.12 = $120.00. Since we have 12 ceiling lights in our kitchen, that amounts to great savings not only in dollars but more important, to the environment! It’s really just a matter of going shopping and doing it!
Buy Recycled Materials
I like to encourage recycling anytime it's feasible. By supporting the purchase of materials manufactured using recycled materials is my way to hopefully assist the market and encourage the continuation of the recycling loop. My backpack and my camera bag are manufactured with recycled plastic materials and the bags look great and are durable!
Nikki Tanzer, Environmental Engineer, Hampton Howmet Castings
Nature to Nature
A 100 gallon old barrel is modified to be used in my backyard to collect rain water from the gutter. The natural water is then used to water my vegetable garden. The garden produces many “green” natural organic vegetables to feed the family. We are so happy to see the cycle- the water ending up in our vegetable garden by growing more and more natural products.
Wayne Sun, Alcoa Howmet - Hampton
It's So Simple!
I save my cans, newpapers, cardboard and plastic. We received our recycle containers from the CLV Works plant. It's so simple to save your recyclables to leave for your curbside collection in your communities, or for your local communities recycle centers. I have my neighbors saving their plastics and cardboard to take to our community recycle center. Together we can all make a difference, because it is so simple.
MIchele Mandrak, Independence, OH
No More Plastic
No more plastic bags for us. I'm Michelle Pilliod and the ever so cute picture is my grandson Russell Alexander Thomas. We call him Xander. Xander and I use our Make an Impact bag to transport his toys and, when he isn't using it for his things, I use the bag for CVS, food stores, anything that we used plastic bags for. As a matter of fact, I use the bag for a purse which easily fits in the basket of my bike. That way, when I buy anything at the stores I just use the bag instead of plastic, hop on my bike and head home. No car, no plastic bags. My hope is that Xander will see these practices and consider them the normal way to do things. As Xander gets older I will pass along other ways to Make an Impact.
Pictured: Xander Thomas
Michelle Pilliod works with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
Use Less Oil
We use a wood pellet stove burning approximately 3 tons of wood pellets per heating season for our 2800 square foot home in Connecticut, saving approx $1500 per year in heating costs versus our 3 zone oil heat.
Ann Ormrod, Controller, Alcoa Howmet - Branford
Reuse Rain Water
We capture rainwater in two 40 gallon rain barrels which we are using to water our vegetable garden.
Ann Ormrod, Controller, Alcoa Howmet - Branford