Volunteering Green

Movements that are successful in transforming sentiment to actionpersonally, professionally or politically, require organizing leadershipandvolunteer support. Community volunteers from all walks of life areessential for a culture of continuing environmental improvements toevolve.Explore the realms of how to act locally and how to both motivate othersand stay motivated yourself.

Whether you want basic advice on the range of ways individuals andgroupscan volunteer and make a difference for a sustainable future, or you'reinterested in learning how to become a full-fledged political activist,Carolyn Chase can answer your questions.

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Be a Bright Light - Any Old Earth Day ...
by Carolyn Chase

Can you change a light bulb? ... then you can help change the world...

Thousands of children and their families rallied to the idea - and commitment - of doing their part.

Thirty years later, the Earth Day Network is coordinating Clean Energy-related education and activism as a coalition effort that encompasses strategic partners, affiliated organizations and individual Earth Day organizers representing every cross section of America. Around the world, thousands of groups and millions of individuals are doing their parts.

Earth Day aims to spark public demand for a clean energy future. Activities and events in the United States are promoting an ambitious Clean Energy Agenda, a blueprint that outlines fundamental policy shifts to clean, renewable energy and increased energy efficiency at all levels of our economy. Earth Day 2000 will focus national attention on the connections between our outdated, dirty energy system, its impacts and solutions.

That's where we come in. What is the most important form of clean energy there is? Well-directed people energy! That is the key requirement to making a clean energy future actually happen.

At the core of Earth Day activities is volunteerism. Earth Day doesn't happen because of commercial investment, but because of the commitment and dedication of millions of individuals working through their families and community groups of all kinds - to look around them and discover what they can do - and then inspiring themselves and others - to do it. And then to keep learning and doing things each and every earth day.

Whether your thing is education or activism or something in between, one of the best new volunteer activities for Earth Day this year is the "Bright Lights" Energy Saver program. The Energy Saver "Bright Lights" program hopes to deploy thousands of CFLs - compact fluorescent light bulbs -- the energy efficient and environmentally responsible alternative to standard (incandescent) lighting. You can participate in this program to raise money for your school or non-profit group, lower electricity bills, educate students, and help the environment. Lighting is a requirement of modern life, and CFLs provide it efficiently, effectively and with less damage to the environment. People and money are necessary parts of making a difference. By putting them together, this program can make a long-term contribution to solving a real-life environmental problem.

CFLs use about a quarter of the electricity to provide the same light, so they significantly lower the pollution and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that result when fossil fuels are burned to make electricity. Over time, the energy savings pay for the cost of the bulb.

Much like traditional fundraisers, volunteers take orders from their families and friends, collect checks and turn orders into their Bright Lights coordinator. The products are ordered by and delivered to the school or group for the order-takers to distribute.

Your school or group gets $3 for every bulb sold. There is no advance purchase necessary which means that you only pay for what you need.

The theme for Earth Day 2000 is energy. What better way to ring in the millennium than to be a part of the Clean Energy campaign and have an immediate impact on this very pressing environmental problem? This program can boost US energy savings -- practically overnight -- very similar to the manner in which kids helped to dramatically increase recycling following the 20th anniversary of Earth Day.

Read the instructions. Print out the introduction letter and order form - and you're ready to go!

Any classroom or group that sells 100 or more bulbs can qualify individuallyto be nationally recognized as an Earth Day "Bright Light." All Bright Lights will be listed in an Earth Day Letter of Commendation that will be sent to the US Secretary of Energy and the President of the United States.

While this program is designed for the U.S.A. - since we are the biggest energy hogs - look in your area for how to improve your energy future.

Whether you use this particular program as a way to make a difference, find your way.

Become aware of your energy. There are millions of ways to be a "bright light." Around the world, Earth Day awakens the spirit of the human soul to make and difference and improve the world - every other day of the year. For more ideas and to search for contacts and events wordwide, visit www.earthday.net

Carolyn Chase, San Diego, California
aka Earth Day MomOur daily work is our love and spirit made visible.

BACK TO VOLUNTEERING GREEN MAIN PAGE


Written by: Carolyn Chase.
To send your questions to Carolyn, e-mail earthday@earthdayweb.org

Passionately committed to integrating environmental awareness into dailydecision-making at all levels, personal, professional and public,Carolynhas donated morethan 5,000 hours of volunteer service work on a variety of projects andhelped recruit and manage more than 3,000 first-time volunteers forenvironmental service work.

In 1990, she founded San Diego Earth Day, now known as San DiegoEarthWorks, a volunteer-based California non-profit corporation. In1995,she help found the Earth Day Network linking together local organizersacross the United States and around the world. Carolyn manages andmoderates severalcomputer email lists on sustainability, conservation, and Earth Dayorganizing.She has also served as the Chapter Chair for the San Diego/ImperialCountySierra Club and is currently national Chair of the Sierra Club GlobalWarming Program Committee, member of the Board of the San Diego LeagueofConservation Voters and Chair of the City of SanDiego's Waste Management Advisory Board.


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