Monday, March 30, 2009
Have you ever wondered just how much of an impact changing one daily habit would have on the environment? Well, National Grid has the answers for you, via a polar bear named Floe.
Floe is the star of an interactive web site National Grid introduced last year to educate people about how their lives effect the environment. At the site, visitors are presented with Floe standing on an iceberg.
They can choose different habits to change — such as taking a shower instead of a bath, replacing five light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones, or eating locally — and Floe’s iceberg will grow, while a counter in the corner of the screen indicates how much carbon has been saved.
This month, National Grid took Floe on a tour of New York state, traveling in a clean, natural gas-powered van and visiting locations upstate, on Long Island and in the city. Some of the stops in Brooklyn were Kings Plaza, a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast at city hall, a green fair at Families’ First, and National Grid’s own MetroTech Center.
Employees of the power company set up a table at the different locations, “giving out information about not only being more energy-efficient at home, but also how to save money,” said National Grid spokesperson Elizabeth Margulies.
The tour supported the www.thinksmartthinkgreen.com campaign and web site, which customers can visit to find out about energy efficiency programs and incentives available to them.
Hundreds of people visited the National Grid tables, picking up informative brochures, energy rebate forms and green giveaways, and checking out Floe’s web site, www.nationalgrid.com/floe. “The kids really enjoyed it,” Margulies noted.
She said that since the web site launched last year, visitors have pledged to save more than 52 million pounds of carbon, which would be like taking approximately 4,200 cars off the road for a year or recycling nearly 411,000,000 soda cans.
Photo courtesy of National Grid