Written by: Anna Meehan
As of February, I’ve had the privilege of being a Conservation Coach for the Walnut Creek Saves program. Our mission is to help Walnut Creek Residents save electricity, water and natural gas, in hopes of ultimately saving residents money. There are many facets to the job that are enjoyable, and I’m here to tell you the ways Walnut Creek Saves has changed my perspective on the environment and my work with conservation.
The first place you will see Walnut Creek Saves is at our numerous outreach events. We set up a booth with a prize wheel at many farmers markets in the Walnut Creek area. We want people to have face-to-face interactions with us. These outreach events have helped me build communication skills and work to be persuasive. I was very shy going into the program, but Walnut Creek Saves has boosted my confidence and allowed me the opportunity to speak in public.
We provide residents with free home consultations where we evaluate their electricity, gas, and water usage in attempt to help them conserve. We offer tips such as when to use air conditioning, what light bulbs are most efficient, and if they should replace appliances. I learned new facts and applications that I can share with residents. These consultations not only build my confidence, but teach me important information I can use around my house. Since becoming a Consultation Coach, I have informed my family of many ways to save around our home.
In addition to helping me communicate effectively, Walnut Creek Saves has strengthened my interest in environmental studies. As a (now) senior in high school, I must decide my major and my career path. Walnut Creek Saves has made me consider a path in environmental sciences. Whether that includes an environmental activist, lawyer, or more, I have yet to decide, but I now have more options.
This has been an amazing opportunity and I am looking forward to the journey as a Conservation Coach. I can see an increase in my confidence, communication abilities, and I am more conscientious of my impact on the environment.