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Helping the Planet, One House at a Time

Did you know that for the many uses we have for freshwater, and for the billions of people living on Earth, that we can only use 0.01% of all the water on Earth? Are you aware that the leaky toilet in your bathroom might be wasting 200 gallons of water daily? How about this: Energy Star rated CFL lightbulbs (the curly ones) use 75% less energy than incandescent lightbulbs because rather than produce heat to make light, they rely on a chemical reaction that takes far less energy to create.

No, I didn't look these startling facts up online. I learned them today, among dozens of others, during training as an Energy Specialist for California Youth Energy Services, a program of the non-profit organization Rising Sun Energy Center. CYES provides free home energy & water consultations (Green House Calls) to increase the energy and water efficiency of homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, thus saving residents money on their utility bills.

Founded in 2000, California Youth Energy Services has 12 sites in the Bay Area this summer. Over the past eleven years, it has trained more than 550 young people and served over 12,000 homes. CYES provides this free service to PG&E customers who are interested in doing their part for the earth and saving money on utility bills. The program employs youth from the community and trains them on conducting green energy audits and replacing lightbulbs and showerheads with energy-efficient ones, among other basic services, all for free!

This if the first year that CYES has come to my city, and I'm so excited to be part of it! I'm being trained this week on how to replace showerheads and faucet aerators; how to install a retractable clothesline; how to insulate water heater pipes; and how to assess a person's home on its energy efficiency, offer homeowners and renters suggestions for further energy and water saving solutions, and be able to educate residents in my city on climate change, why this program is valuable not only to the earth, but also to their wallets, and why being conscious of environmental impact behaviors is important. I definitely have to say that this job is the most fitting job for Green Gal that could ever exist! I especially like the fact that this job isn't furthering the consumeristic, "buy-buy-buy" mindset that is plaguing our society. In fact, it's in some ways trying to reverse this by beginning with at-home resource conservation and efficiency behaviors, which can lead to more eco-educated and conscious consumers and citizens.

If you happen to live in the Bay Area and want to learn more or sign up for a Green House Call, please visit the Rising Sun Energy website here:

(Just a note: The opinions represented in this post and throughout the Green Gal blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of California Youth Energy Services or Rising Sun Energy Center. I'm not representing CYES or Rising Sun Energy Center in this post, just sharing information and hoping to spread the word about this awesome program!)

Thanks for reading!
Green Gal


"Welcome, O life! I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race."
-- James Joyce


  1. Melissa, I love your blog! You may also be interested in (a local blogger into the green scene).


  2. Thanks Melissa! This is great!

  3. Wow, Green Gal ... that is fabulous! Congratulations! So many times people live a green life at home but can't bring those values to work. Rarely do folks have the dedication to choose a "green" job ... most of us choose something that merely pays the bills and if it, by chance, is environmentally friendly then yay ... but typically we don't go hunting for the job that embodies our green goals. You are totally an inspiration. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this new chapter of your life!

  4. Yay, what a great job! Up here in Oregon, PGE sent out free lightbulbs and showerheads to those who requested them, but I love the idea of a green house call--makes it FAR more likely the jobs will get done.

  5. I live in Utah - are their any programs like yours in this area. I broker energy in California and it would be fun to refer your company to our clients. Do you have any flyers I could share?


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