While I sometimes *blush* struggle to remember to recycle (well, who wants to spend ages cleaning out a gloopy peanut butter jar when for about 30 years of my life it was fine to just chuck it?), my children have been much better trained. They turn off running taps, snap light switches and make sure the telly isn’t left on standby. But they could get greener still – we all could – and a good way to get inspired is to watch the Channel 4 show, Home of the Future. Sponsored by E.ON, one of its unique features is a crowdsourcing initiative called E.ON Innovation. Its aim is to let us all come up with the next big energy-saving idea – smart, huh? And it’s energy-saving too.
The Home of the Future series focuses on one of five different areas each week, and the one I most want to get involved with is Food. Can we prepare food in a way which uses less energy (I know I sometimes forget to turn down the gas when a pan is boiling)? Could we grow our own food (I tried this last year with strawberries and got, er, four, so this one is maybe not for me – but for you perhaps?)? Could you have a go at making your family’s dinner tonight in a way which is gentler on the planet? These questions are not just idle musings, as E.ON is offering a home energy make-over worth up to £2,000 for the best idea in each of the five categories, with one overall winner getting a makeover worth up to £10,000. The prize-winning ideas themselves won’t be wasted either – they will be taken into production by E.ON, as long as they are both commercial and do-able.
I like the idea of crowdsourcing – it seems an inclusive, positive and hopeful way to get things done, by pooling a combination of experience and lightbulb moments (energy-saving lightbulbs, of course), and there will be proper recognition for those whose ideas really spark something off. You’ll need to get your thoughts submitted before 9th April 2012, and keep checking the Channel 4 show to make sure you’re not duplicating anything they’ve already done. Follow the conversation on Twitter – @talkingenergy – and look out for the hashtag #eoninnov.
Hmm, I quite fancy the thought of a lovely green home makeover. Perhaps it’ll include self-cleaning peanut butter jars? Now there’s a thought …… right, I’m off to enter my idea. Don’t forget to put yours forward!