Community events offer a golden opportunity for showcasing energy efficiency. Whether it’s a mid-summer barbecue, or a Christmas Fair, there are plenty of chances to get the energy message across – and many ways to do it.
Unfortunately, although they make a big contribution to energy savings, most of the normal things you can do to village halls to make them more energy efficient, such as lowering the thermostats, changing energy suppliers and replacing appliances aren’t really very obvious. However, you don’t have to let that make you miss the opportunity to let everyone know. Whatever energy efficient steps have been implemented at the event – from changing to low-energy bulbs to using sustainably sourced charcoal on the barbecue – make sure they feature on the publicity and don’t forget to tell the local press.
Leading By Example
There aren’t many better ways of making your point than showing someone, so when it comes to any community event, it’s worth trying to see from the outset if you can find a way to slip a bit of practical energy saving into the proceedings. For most community venues, there’s likely to be a few opportunities – especially if you’re prepared to think about things a bit differently. From changing the light-bulbs round Santa’s grotto to energy saving ones to seeing if the school sports’ day loudspeaker system can be run from renewable energy, the more obvious you can make it, the better.
For outdoor events a small display can prove a very effective draw – few people ever get to see wind turbines or photovoltaic cells up close, so you might want to see if you can get some of the manufacturers or suppliers to bring a few along.
Make It Fun
Depending on the kind of event you’re holding, there may be space for a game or two – perhaps an energy efficiency quiz, or even a straightforward tombola – with useful energy saving prizes. It’s worth getting in contact with your local energy suppliers and renewable energy companies to see if they have anything they’d be prepared to provide you with to give away – low energy light bulbs make good prizes and there are some great solar powered toys too.
This kind of thing is obviously particularly popular with children, so if there’s a primary school in the area, it can often be useful to make contact with the teachers ahead of the event so everyone gets the most benefit out of the occasion. When it comes to pushing the whole issue of saving energy, there’s no more persuasive nor persistent a pressure group than small children – at least where their parents are concerned!
Another less direct approach to incorporating energy efficiency at community events is to organise an energy efficiency advice stand. Ideally it needs to have someone on hand to talk to people, but even if you can only manage a small display with some leaflets and hand outs, it’s a way of getting the idea across. Again it’s something local power companies may be able to help you with, either by providing information packs or even possibly sending someone along to answer questions.
Alternatively, many local councils have good resources on energy efficiency – and some even have a road-show on the topic which you might be able to persuade them to bring along. As with all these things, it costs nothing to ask and you might be surprised how willing people can be to help.
Making energy saving visible at community events can call for some thought, but to paraphrase that old saying about justice – energy efficiency must not only be done, it must be seen to be done!