Letter: A light-bulb moment

Did you know that at 2:45 p.m. on Earth Day, April 22, all the lights went out in Aspen Elementary School? That’s right! The staff and students observed a five-minute “lights off” to build awareness that energy conservation saves money and natural resources.

Jane Wilch, climate outreach coordinator for the city of Aspen Canary Initiative, and Sarah Gruen, energy programs specialist for the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, provided a schoolwide educational energy project intended to inspire behavior changes that save energy in our schools, homes and community. It included the materials and motivation that resulted in an all-out effort by teachers and students, kindergarten through fourth-grade, to learn about ways they can conserve energy in their school and in their homes.

The weeklong effort began with a checklist of activities. Classes could decide which ones to participate in. They learned the difference between energy conservation and energy efficiency and why saving energy is important for our community and for the planet. During Energy Week, students turned classroom lights off, audited energy consumption around the school and in their homes, and became advocates for conserving our energy resources through their persuasive writing. Just think how much energy could be saved if all Aspenites would join the Aspen Energy Challenge and pledge to turn off lights when they leave a room, turn the TV off when they aren’t watching it, shut down computers when not in use, and not keep the refrigerator door open too long.

Thank you, Jane and Sarah, for helping Aspen Elementary School teachers create a lasting impact on their students, one that will hopefully result in sustainable, energy conservative behaviors in the school, the home and the community.

Aspen Elementary School teachers