By Sam Ressin, NFTY-MAR Social Action Vice President
The National Day of Unplugging (March 4-5, 2016) is fast approaching, and an environmentally-minded NFTYite, such as myself, could not be more excited. Unplugging does more than encourage family connections and outside play–it also helps the environment. Furthermore, unplugging is a great introduction toward understanding the Climate Resolution passed at Veida, NFTY’s biennial business meeting, over President’s Day weekend – a resolution that commits NFTY to being champions in the fight against Climate Change.
Here are five ways unplugging helps the earth and its inhabitants:
- A large majority of the energy that powers our homes comes from fossil fuels, so unplugging (as in taking a break from electronic devices) reduces your energy demand and carbon emissions.
- Watch out for those vampires! (No, not the blood-sucking kind) The vampire effect is the electricity consumed by your devices when they are plugged in but not in use. So, unplug those devices to reduce your energy use!
- Yet another reason to stop those vampires: the average home is infested with 20 vampires, which not only hurts the environment, but adds around $200 to your energy bill according to Cornell University.
- If (like me) going around to unplug every device is too tedious, don’t fear! Use power strips to unplug multiple devices at the same time.
- Lastly, buy energy efficient appliances with the Energy Star label. According to their website, in 2010 Energy Star helped save enough energy to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 33 million cars and has saved nearly $18 billion on utility bills.
National Day of Unplugging is a great break for your mental health and for our environmental health. And it doesn’t have to be hard! Won’t you join me in Unplugging?
NFTY is joining in this year’s National Day of Unplugging, March 4th-5th. The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period – running from sundown to sundown – and starts on the first Friday in March.
Are you ready to #unplug?
With only a few days until the National Day of Unplugging it is still not too late to sign the pledge and unplug for 24 hours (or for as long as you can!)
How can your community/youth group unplug?
- Ask your community to take the unplug pledge.
- Take I UNPLUG TO ______ photos leading up to the National Day of Unplugging and feature them on your Facebook and Twitter pages. (Ah, the irony!)
- Download the Friday App to help you unwind before the weekend – Available free in the App Store
- Purchase a Cell Phone Sleeping Bag!
- Share this article, “23 Things to Do While Unplugged”
- Create a dinner experience for Friday night complete with Sabbath Manifesto conversation cards.
- Create an unplugged space in your community where people can drop in and play games, hang out, craft and more!
- Download the unplug kit for families. It’s chock-filled with ideas for programs and an all-around good time.
Sam Ressin is currently the NFTY MAR Social Action Vice President for the 2015-16 year. He enjoys discussing environmental issues with his region and hopes to take his passion for the environment to college and beyond.