Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: World of Wonder: A Program on the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalism for Grades K-1

Taking It Home: Green Energy

Part of World of Wonder

Question: How do energy conscious people think about wind power? Answer: They're blown away! — United States Energy Information Administration

IN TODAY'S SESSION... we explored "green" energy, that is, energy that comes from sources that are cleaner, make less pollution, and will last forever such as sun, wind, and water. We learned that most of the energy we use comes from burning fuels like coal, gas, or oil, which are resources the earth will run out of someday, so one important way we can care for the interdependent web is to save energy. We heard a story about wind energy and collaborative problem solving on the Danish island of Samso and made our own pinwheel wind turbines.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... ways your family can conserve energy at home, work, or school. Do the home energy audit on the Code Green Houston website or explore "365 Ways to Save Energy" for more ideas. Do you have forms of green energy available to you? Are there ways you can develop cooperative partnerships concerning energy issues in the congregation, your child's school, or the local community? Find out if your state has an Interfaith Power and Light affiliate and meet some interfaith neighbors.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Learn... how solar energy can change lives around the world. Find out more about Solar Cookers International, a not for profit organization that "spreads solar cooking awareness and skills worldwide, particularly in areas with plentiful sunshine and diminishing sources of cooking fuel. Since its founding in 1987, SCI has enabled over 30,000 families in Africa to cook with the sun's energy, freeing women and children from the burdens of gathering firewood and carrying it for miles." View the inspiring video "A Liter of Light." Discuss: What other things can be accomplished with solar power?

A Family Adventure. Are there any wind turbines near where you live? Do you know anyone who has installed solar panels? Go see a green energy source in action.

Family Discovery. Try some of the experiments from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory website or this web page for kids from Alliant Energy.

Note: The Faith in Action activity for this session is a workshop to make a solar oven. Volunteer to help!

A Family Ritual. Try an "Energy Sabbath. Each year, on a Saturday evening in March, the world observes Earth Hour, when everyone is to turn out the lights as a symbolic gesture promoting our need to conserve energy and lower our carbon footprint. On a regular basis, try observing your own Earth Hour or an Energy Sabbath. For an hour or a morning or evening or even a full day, turn everything off and enjoy reflective solitude or spend time in conversation with others or take time to relish nature.