Background on Energy Trek and One Billion Bulbs
Energy Trek (www.energytrek.com) is about everyday people that want to make a difference by saving energy in their homes and in their communities. It's also about public figures such as entertainers and politicians saving energy in their homes.
A growing number of people are concerned about energy issues. Their concern may be about energy conservation and global warming or about energy independence from other countries or often about both of these issues. As a result, many people ask themselves "What can I do to make a difference?" There are three broad ways that Energy Trek is trying to help out people that want to make a difference.
First, we work with those that want to make a difference by saving energy in their home. We help them understand how to become what we call a "Basic Energy Trekker." Later, they can be an "Extreme Energy Trekker." People can begin with something as basic and easy as changing their incandescent light bulbs to more energy efficient bulbs. We have a lighting roadmap and a way (via the website "One Billion Bulbs") to register your light bulb changes for the public to see, inspiring yourself and others. For more comprehensive ways to save energy , we provide information on appliances, heating/cooling systems, transportation options such as hybrid cars, and alternative energy such as wind or solar. We also provide information about lightbulb legislation, products and solutions, and energy research. Our goal is to help people evolve from Basic to Intermediate, Advanced, and perhaps Extreme Trekking!
Second, we work with those people want to make a difference in saving energy not only in their home, but also in their community. Here, Energy Trek can help community "Energy Trek Leaders" with lots of ideas and information. We offer ways for people to register bulb changes as part of a "community" group, and also showcase community Energy Trek Leaders and their programs.
Finally, Energy Trek will feature entertainment and political figures. The emphasis is not on their movies or their policies, but rather what these public figures are doing to save energy in their own homes and communities. Their Energy Trek profiles can contain photos, videos, and the actions they have taken to save energy - from changing light bulbs to using solar.
One Billion Bulbs
The One Billion Bulbs program (www.onebillionbulbs.com) is taking place alongside Energy Trek. This initiative concentrates on simple actions that people can take such as changing out old inefficient bulbs for CFL or LED light bulbs. The program was created by Brian Huyser of Symmetric Technologies, a software development company in Boston. Brian's vision encompassed mobilizing people through a series of milestones to change a billion bulbs around the planet to more energy efficient ones.
Both One Billion Bulbs and Energy Trek provide mechanisms that allow a person or a group to register how they make a difference – by changing bulbs, creating or joining groups, and indicating other energy changes they have made in their home or in their personal transportation choices.
Energy Trek is part of Pajamas Media, a blog media company with headquarters in El Segundo, California. To fund these programs, Pajamas Media works with a variety of sponsors and corporations. A portion of the proceeds will be re-invested to further efforts in energy conservation and the use of renewable energy sources. The Program Manager for Energy Trek is Mark Anderson.
Some of the Energy Trek advisors include:
- Jim Woolsey, an “Advanced Energy Trekker,” and well known advocate of energy conservation, renewable energy and pluggable hybrids. Mr. Woolsey was Under Secretary of the Navy in the Carter administration and was Director of the CIA under the Clinton administration.
- Gary Kosman, an educational advisor and head of America Learns. He was named a Fellow by the Echoing Green Foundation, an international venture in philanthropy. The fellowship included two years of seed funding and technical assistance. As a result of his pioneering efforts, Gary and America Learns are highlighted in Bill Clinton's new book, Giving.
- Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, a lighting technology advisor and the founder of Light up the World, a non-profit organization focused on providing light for homes in developing countries by using solar panels with LED lights. He was the Reader's Digest Hero of the Year in 2004. He is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Calgary.
What were the key issues that Pajamas Media wanted to address in starting Energy Trek
1) With all the divisiveness in the country around different social and political issues, we wanted to find an issue that most people are concerned about. The issue we found was energy. Many people have commented that regardless of where they are on the political spectrum, they are in favor of energy conservation and alternative energy sources.
2) Citizen Involvement - a main foundation behind the blogosphere is that individual people want to make a statement - to make a difference - by creating a blog or commenting on other blogs.
On a broader scale, we sensed that people can be overwhelmed by the big issues of hurricane Katrina, terrorism, and concern about the environment and energy. What can an individual person do to make a difference?
The motivation behind our energy program is helping people make a difference in their energy use in their home and in their community in whatever size steps they want - small, medium or large.