Energy camp puts kids on power patrol

Energy camp puts kids on power patrol
Energy efficiency educator Connie Vanzile used interesting demos to keep kids' attention, like showing the difference between a regular light bulb and an energy efficient one. (Photo source: WLOX)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Kids attending a summer camp at Harrison Central Elementary School got a little bit wiser Friday regarding how to respect the environment and save money.

In the heat of the summer, nearly everyone could use a few energy saving tips. The folks at Mississippi Power gave a few pointers to kids, like Mackenzie Saucier.

"If you leave lamps on or doors open, that wastes air and electricity," said Mackenzie.

Energy efficiency educator Connie Vanzile used interesting demos to keep kids' attention, like showing the difference between a regular light bulb and an energy efficient one.

"When you use the round light bulbs, that makes the meter spin faster, and then when you have the curly ones, it makes it spin slower," Mackenzie said. 

"The light bulb display that we have actually shows the difference between an incandescent bulb, which is an old fashioned bulb, and the CFL bulb, which uses a lot less electricity," said Tamara Proctor, with Mississippi Power.

Proctor said she gets feedback from parents saying the kids do retain what they learned, helping their family's pocket books.

 "I always get parents coming up to me saying, 'My child came home, and they told me that we need to do this,'" Proctor said.

It's a phenomenon Vanzile says is turning these kids into their household "power patrol."

Collin Lyons, an energy camper said, "You have to take a shower instead of a bath, because it takes up too much hot water."

"If they leave the light on, I would say, 'I'll go turn the light on, but next time you leave, turn the light off to make sure we don't waste electricity,'" Mackenzie said.

"In saving energy, they're helping us to save the environment. They're helping their family to save money, and so it's a win-win," said Vanzile. 

Now, the kids will hopefully be ready to use and share what they learned, helping their parents' bottom line.

Mississippi Power recommends keeping the thermostat at 78 degrees in the extreme heat and washing clothes in cold water to further cut energy costs.

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