Cool the Earth: Global Warming Education
You may refer to it as nagging, but we like to call it parent prodding, tenacious tweens or persistent progeny. To-may-to/to-mah-to—call it what you like, but the kids are the drivers of this low-emission, high-mileage program.
Cool The Earth is a program for elementary and middle school students and their families that educates about global warming and motivates them to take simple actions to reduce carbon emissions.
The cornerstone of the program is the Action Coupon booklet given to every student when the program is introduced in their school, typically through an assembly. These coupons contain simple, energy-saving tips- easy steps families can take to help fight global warming on their own time.
Coupons show how many pounds of carbon are reduced by each action taken. When a student completes an energy-saving action they fill out the information on the coupon and turn it in at school where they receive Cool the Earth trading cards. These original cards are great, environmentally-friendly incentives that can be collected, traded, and used to play a fun Cool the Earth game, Cranky Carbon.
On a monthly basis, the program encourages schools to create Action Spotlights where everyone in the program aims for the same goal. Spotlights include updating lightbulbs to compact fluorescent, stopping junk mail and creating waste-free lunches.
The coolest thing about the Cool The Earth program? It has to be the online tally of the impact of the program. Although it may seem like the actions we each take don’t amount to much, the carbon ‘scoreboard’ on the program’s website begs to differ. As of October 2008, the program had already racked up close to 13,000 actions, 10.3 million pounds of carbon saved from 12,160 students at 25 schools.