Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Youth pivotal part of wing’s “Energy Solutions

by Monica Mendoza

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

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Children at the R.P. Lee Youth Center- offer ideas on how they can help save energy during a March 26 visit by the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron mascot “Pete Light.” Some children at the center have formed a “Don’t Trash the Planet” club and are sharing ideas about recycling and energy conservation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Larry Hulst)

Children at the R.P. Lee Youth Center- offer ideas on how they can help save energy during a March 26 visit by the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron mascot “Pete Light.” Some children at the center have formed a “Don’t Trash the Planet” club and are sharing ideas about recycling and energy conservation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Larry Hulst)

“Turn off the lights when you leave the room.”

“Turn off the computer when you are not using it.”

“Don’t stand in front of the refrigerator with the door wide open trying to decide what to eat,” were some of the ideas children came up with when asked how they could help save energy.

It’s the little things that help save energy and ideas are coming from Peterson’s littlest residents, said Randy Pieper, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron resource efficiency manager.

Children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade in the youth center’s 4-H club have been talking about how they can help save energy, said Dixie Lambert, youth counselor. On March 26, the 21st CES mascot “Pete Light” met with children to help shed light on the subject.

Pete Light, a seven-foot walking, talking energy efficient light bulb, encouraged children to ask their parents if they use compact fluorescent lamps, also known in kid-speak as “curly light bulbs” in the house.

“We save energy,” he told the children. One CFL spiral-type lamp, like him, could save $15 in electricity costs over the life of that one lamp.

Pete Light was created in 2008 and his job is to spread the word on energy efficiency. This year, Pete Light will be talking up the 2010 Air Force-wide energy savings plan, “Energy Solutions, Fueling the Mission.” The plan calls for the Air Force to reduce its energy costs, increase its use of renewable energy sources – including using wind turbines and solar panels – and change its culture or attitude about energy conservation.

Peterson children in the 4-H club said they can help. They are talking about conservation, waste management and they listed five things that they can recycle, said Charity Weaver, youth counselor. They shared some of their ideas with Pete Light. Walk instead of drive. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Recycle. “Oh yah, recycling paper saves trees,” said one five-year-old.

It’s all great stuff, Pete Light told the children. He will be back to check on their progress during Earth Day activities on April 22.

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