This October, Conway Corporation celebrated Energy Awareness Month and Public Power Week by encouraging local students to show their energy smarts and participate in an essay contest. Students in 5-12 grade were asked to write about “Every Watt Counts” and first, second and third place prizes were awarded in two age categories, 5-7 grade and 8-12 grade.
“Every Watt Counts!” by Conway High School junior Matthew Sweere won first place. “Saving America One Watt at a Time” by CHS sophomore Jillian Tang received second place, and “Every Watt Counts for Green” by Conway Junior High School eighth grader Isabel Powers received third place.
In the 5-7 grade category, Samuel Chesshir won first place for his essay “Every Watt Does Count.” Madeline Whitfield won second place for her “Be the One” essay, and Jennasis Whisenant won third place for her “Every Watt Counts” essay. Chesshir and Whisenant are sixth graders at Bob Courtway Middle School. Whitfield is a sixth grader at Carl Stuart Middle School.
Below are excerpts from Sweere’s and Chesshir’s winning essays.
Sweere: “American businessman Kenneth Lay once said, ‘Humans can’t do without electricity, but they can do with less.’ This statement sums up the wise philosophy behind Conway Corporation’s encouragement of their customers conserving energy. Electricity is an integral part of modern life. Humans rely on this key energy source for lighting, cooking, cooling, heating, entertainment, work, social groups and almost every aspect of life. Since the American life revolves around electricity, we need to be wise consumers about its use. Conserving energy and ensuring that every watt counts can have positive effect ecologically, financially and personally.
By saving every watt, we as consumers are protecting our environment since the world will not be able to depend on nonrenewable resources forever. While electricity allows humans to live comfortable lives by powering our modern day conveniences, it also depletes our natural gas, coal and oil reserves. Energy resources can be extended by conservation. We must take efforts to use only what is need in everything we do. Americans can make each watt count by curtailing energy use, cutting back or overhauling the way we use electricity.
Americans can become more financially efficient by using energy saving appliances, energy efficient light bulbs and by insulating your house. Most of the money that is spent on energy is wasted through the use of inefficient appliances, electronics that are left on standby and the production and use of resources and materials that are not necessary. We can take steps to save watts as well as increase our financial fitness.
The act of conservation increases a person’s awareness of the effect of their energy use on the environment. The negative aspect of our use of electricity have to be weighed against the benefits and a balance must be kept not just for our lives but for future generations. The overuse of electricity has impacts and thus must be kept under control. Energy is one of the most fundamental parts of our lives and thus must be used wisely if we are going to protect the world we live in as well as the world that will become.”
Chesshir: “Just imagine if every person on this earth saved one watt. Every boy and girl here on this planet. That would be more than 7 billion watts! There are tons of things we could do with that many watts. And when we use less energy now, we have more energy to use in the future.
One big thing you can do is turn off all lights and unplug all appliances when you are not using them. Also, replacing outdated appliances with energy-efficient models helps to conserve energy. Lower your thermostat during the summer instead of turning down the temperature. Wash your clothes with warm or cool water instead of using hot water, and take short, warm showers instead of long hot ones to help conserve energy used by your hot water heater.
Another great way to conserve energy is to replace your old light bulbs with energy efficient lights to use less energy. Open your blinds, shades and curtains that cover your windows to let in sunlight so you don’t have to turn on a light. Using microwaves and toaster oven to cook or warm leftovers is a great alternative to using a traditional oven. Only use your washing machine when you have a full load to wash.
You just need to think. Do I really need to turn on all of these lights? Is it really necessary to use that appliance? Most of the time, when people make good choices about if they really need to do or use something, it ends up benefiting them as well as others in the world.
As you can see, every watt does count. Every time you save energy, you have more energy to use yourself. It also provides more energy for others. All of this just goes to show that even just turn off a light switch helps.”
Congratulations to all the winners of the 2014 Energy Smart Essay Contest, and thank you to all students who submitted an entry. Conway Corporation is proud of these students who continue to encourage us all to conserve energy in our everyday lives.