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Imparting energy smarts to young consumers

A California nonprofit, Zilowatt, is teaching K-12 schoolchildren to conserve energy by turning off light bulbs. It is working in several school districts around San Francisco, and this fall will expand its educational efforts to the Palo Alto schools. Zilowatt supplies kits designed by volunteer graphic artists to teach conservation concepts through superheroes like Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce. TIO, the group’s mascot, reinforces the “Turn It Off” message.

Students up to grade 12 receive the kits, but Zilowatt has had best results with students below 3rd grade. The group offers the kits to any interested school district, subject only to two conditions: a sponsor must be recruited to pay their cost, so the materials are free to all schools; and each school must find someone willing to oversee and promote the program, so the kits don’t just sit on a shelf. GR

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