From Wine to Worms

A Boy's Quest to Save Energy

Children are the future. Coincidentally, so is sustainability. As one boy observes his family wasting energy throughout the day, he has some rather imaginative suggestions on what his mom and dad can do to help save the planet, the air, the trees — and a few empty calories.

There was once a boy who learned in school saving energy is the right thing to do. It's good for the planet, the air and the trees, and good for his family, too.

He watched his mom and watched his dad through a regular day's routine. He thought of many things his family could change, to be a little more green.

The morning begins by brushing teeth with an electric toothbrush machine. We could use sandpaper instead, he thought, to keep our pearly whites clean.

Mommy makes her frizzy hair go straight with a plugged-in, hot iron tool. We could shave our heads instead, he thought. Saving electricity is cool!

Daddy takes the elevator at work from the first to the second floor. Better to take the stairs instead, he thought. Daddy could stand to lose a pound — or four.

Mommy loads the dishwasher with just a plate. And turns it up to full power. Maybe that's not such a great idea, he thought. Why not make it a twofer? Bring the dishes into the shower!

Daddy waits for lunch from the car at a greasy fast-food drive-thru. Dad should bring a salad to work, he thought. It'll save time, energy and — like, seriously — he could afford to lose a few.

Mommy drinks water all day long from plastic bottles she buys at the store. Mommy could drink from her wine glass instead, he thought. She seems to like that much more.

Daddy comes home from a long day of work and sits down to watch TV. At least he's saving his own energy, he thought. But I wish he'd spend more time with me.

Mommy makes dinner every night. The stove and oven are powered by gas. Why not use the microwave instead? he thought. After all, her meatloaf always tastes like ...worms.

The boy heads up to bed and waits to get tucked in. He is ready to start counting his sheep, but before Mommy leaves, he decides to pipe up: "The toothbrush, the hair straightener, the elevator, the water bottle, the car, the washer, the TV, the oven — how do you people sleep?!"

Mommy remembers the planet, the air and the trees. She turns and says through the doorway: "You're right, honey. We use a ton of energy. Tomorrow we'll do things your way."