Back to School Shopping AND Making a Difference

Across the country, and around the world, many of our children have already headed back to the classroom. In the United States and Canada, Labor Day – the first Monday of September – is traditionally the last day of summer vacation for many of our children.  As we start gathering our children’s school supplies  and back to school clothing, we begin by searching shelves and closets to see what supplies are left over from last year, what school clothes still fit, and what we may need to replace or find.  Our back to school travels often bring us to stores and malls, as we ready our children for their first day of the new school year.

Our friends and new partners at Generation 180 have a simple, yet powerful campaign called Keep it Cool, that we LOVE and which we know you and your kids will love too.  As Climate Mamas and Papas, we are always looking for ways to help our children learn that every step of the way,  we can make a difference. Lets help the businesses that we support and shop at – those that we already know have sustainability plans and climate solutions as part of their business models –  save money and save energy too just by remembering to shut their door; something we remind our kids to do every time we leave our own homes……Generation 180 gives us an easy way to help ALL stores and businesses do their part for our planet and for their bottom line.  Join us and  learn more about the Keep it Cool campaign.

Make a Difference While Back to School Shopping!

by Susan Klees

As kids head off to school, many of us are rushing to our local stores to stock up on supplies. This is the second-busiest shopping season of the year, and it is also the hottest time to shop. Along with big sales, many stores prop open their doors to lure in customers with refreshing air conditioning.

While the cool air may feel good, this practice harms the environment. The average store wastes some 4,200 kWh of energy, which generates 2.2 tons of pollutants such as carbon dioxide into the environment when keeping their doors propped open during the summer. That’s the same amount of CO2 emitted by a diesel semi-truck driving from New York to Miami.

But there is an easy way that you can make a difference and encourage local stores to close their doors while you are out on the town back-to-school shopping. Our non-profit Generation 180 has created a campaign that enables environmentally conscious consumers to take action. Through Keep It Cool, you can easily and anonymously urge stores to close their doors and reduce pollution in your own community.

A Simple Campaign

Participating in Keep It Cool is simple: Just use Facebook Messenger on your smartphone to send a pinned store location to Generation 180 (read directions here or watch this video) noting whether the store has its doors open or closed. We will then reach out to the stores to recognize those that ‘keep it cool’ with their doors closed and educate those who are allowing energy to escape. A national campaign map tracks all the stores identified by consumers with doors open or closed.

Consumers support this change. We surveyed 1,500 millennials and 62 percent think that this practice is wasteful. Up to 25 percent are less likely to shop at retailers that leave their doors open.

Just creating awareness could go a long way toward reducing carbon emissions. If U.S. retailers maintained closed-door policies all summer, they could reduce pollution equivalent to cars driving 830 million.

At a time when many of us are feeling powerless about climate change, one of the quickest and least-expensive ways to cut carbon emissions is for people to make simple changes in their everyday lives. And our Keep It Cool campaign gives retailers the opportunity to do the right thing and showcase their green values. It is good for business, the community and the environment.

So, when you are strolling down Main Street, take the time to notice stores with their doors open or closed and join the Keep It Cool campaign to make a difference.

Susan Klees is campaign director at Generation 180, a non-profit committed to advancing the transition to clean energy and supporting a cultural shift in energy awareness via original content, digitally enabled campaigns and an empowered volunteer network.

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