It is Easy and Fun to Be Green, Part II

Below is the text from the speech I gave at the St. Louis South County Toastmasters meeting this evening.  The speech went fabulous.  The other Toastmaster members voted me as the “Best Speaker” for the evening.  I talked about how weatherizing your home can save lots of money. It was a climate change speech aimed at an audience with a lot of skeptics of climate change. I spoke to my audience in a way they could relate resolving climate change. I sold them on how reducing your carbon footprint (without using that term) can save you cash (not to mention saving the planet).


Kermit the Frog was wrong: It is actually easy, as a matter of fact, very easy to be green.

Because in his own words: 
“people tend to pass you over 
’cause you’re Not standing out 
Like flashy sparkles in the water 
Or stars in the sky.”

I do not know if I mentioned this before: I LOVE THE COLOR GREEN.  Green is my all time favorite color.  I drive a green Honda civic. I use a green tooth brush, and favorite shorts sleep are even green.  My personal e-mail address is even  In the summer, I even get to wear green at work as a park ranger at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, where we even jokingly call ourselves ‘the green & gray.’

Often times when you hear people talking about conservation or environmental issues as “green issues.” This is because the color green reminds us a lush green forest or mountain meadow in nature.

Most people, they will tell that they try to be green by recycling, not littering, and paying attention to green issues.   However, it seems that people have a hard time taking actions beyond those basics.  They believe they have to buy a hybrid car, buy organic fruits and vegetables, or weatherize, which they consider to be too expensive.  Tonight we are going to talk about why MAKING CHANGES TO REDUCE YOUR HOME ENERGY COSTS IS GREEN..

The Bottom line is that: GREEEN IS $GREEN$
(In the long term it saves you hard earned cash)

I am going to show you here tonight that unlike Kermit the Frog It is Easy and Fun to be Green.  First of all, who here in the audience has switched their light bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL)?

Why did you do this?  Because switching your light bulbs save you a lot of money in the long run.  According to, CFL will use around 75% less electricity than an incandescent bulb with the same light output, while lasting about 10 times longer. Additionally, since CFLs produce less heat, they can help you save on cooling costs in the summer.  The bottom line though is that if you Replace 3 frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs and you could save around $60 per year.

Changing your light bulbs is just the tip of this green iceberg, for saving your hard earned green cash also.  Exactly one year ago, Consumer Reports had a cover story on 7 Ways to Slash Your Energy Bills.  Among their tips to helping you or the average America household to save green:

1. Adjust your TV mode from “retail mode” which enables TVs to have the best quality mode under bright showroom lights to “home mode,” which is fine for most types of viewing.  Average yearly savings around $45.

2. Pay a qualified heating and cooling pro to seal and insulate heating and cooling ducts that run through your home.  Average yearly savings around $400.

3. Unplug those voltage vampires, such as your DVD player, microwave oven, computer, TV, cell phone charger, and Hello Kitty toaster (which I know ___________ uses with pride very morning).  Average yearly savings around $125.

4. Stop pre-rinsing dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.  Believe it or not, your dishes come just as clean, and it is an unnecessary waste of time and energy.  Ultimately, the yearly savings is $75.

5. If you can wash your clothes in cold water.  If you are worried about removing tough stains, Consumer Reports recommends Tide 2X Ultra for Cold Water.  Even if this Tide detergent is twice as expensive as other detergents, Consumer Reports thinks you could receive an average yearly savings of $60.

6. Lower your water heater from 130 degrees to 120 degrees and insulating your hot-water pipes could save an average yearly savings of $15.

7. Insulate your attics, basements, and other key areas could save the average American household up to $191 a year.

If you add up all these costs of home improvements:
Adjusting your TV Mode                  $  45
     Pay a qualified expert to seal and insulate the heating and cooling ducts     
                              in your home               $ 400
Unplugging Voltage Vampires                 $ 125
Don’t rewash dishes going into the dishwasher          $  75
Wash clothes in cold water                  $  60
Lower your water heater temperature          $  15
Insulate your attic, basement, & other key areas.         $ 191
As well as just 
Replacing 3 incandescent to 3 compact fluorescent light bulbs   $  60

You could be saving roughly $971

Which could be your airfare for you and your significant other to: (Florida, Bahamas, Hawaii, or Cancun, Mexico)

And I have heard that it is a lot greener down there in January with all the palm trees than it is in St. Louis.

I know what you are thinking right now:  Brian, I do not have the time to make all those adjustments to my home to make it more energy efficient.   Your neighbor might be making these changes already.  I found an article this on May 13, 2011 on the, To Save Energy, Utilities Tap into Our Competitive Instincts by Nicole Heller.

The article reported that City of Palo Alto, Calif. recently began including Home Energy Reports in residential utility bills to empower their customers save energy and be greener. Each report compares a household’s energy use with their 100 closest neighbors in homes of similar sizes, and also provides targeted energy conservation tips.  The bill reported that the author, Nicole’s energy bill was “ranked as the 23rd-most-efficient household in the neighborhood, based on the previous month’s electricity and natural gas use.”  They were listed in the good, but not the great category.  Nicole and her husband wanted to be listed in the Great category, so they immediately dusted off the caulking gun that had been sitting for over two years.  This couple then spent the next two hours caulking the windows and weatherizing their home.  They then waited patiently for their next utility bill.  To their excitement, they were now classified as “Great,” having moved up in the standings to become the ninth-most-efficient house among their neighboring peers, and saving about $50 per month relative to the average household, or about $600 a year.

Just think if you decide not to weatherize, your neighbors might just thumb their nose at you. Tell you that you stink.  Or, even call you an energy hog.

And you know Howard, that GREEN IS $GREEN$.
Becoming more energy efficient can save you a lot of money.
Again, Kermit the Frog, for all of his cuteness has it wrong.
It is easy and fun to be green.

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  1. Pingback: How to teach a climate change continuing adult education class at your community college, Part II | Climate Change Comedian

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