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Shedding Light on Energy Efficiency

Humans have come a long way in the last decade, mostly for the better. And it’s a good thing, because our planet seems to be in a vulnerable position with natural disasters seemingly around every corner and resources becoming critically limited. I’ve personally become more aware of my actions in the last few years, and I’m a strong believer that the more we can do every day to become more socially responsible, the more we should.

Which brings me to this article I read from CNBC’s Kellie Grant about Industry City Distillery’s sugar beet vodka. Reading the article, “Brooklyn nerds make an energy-efficient vodka,” I had a revelation. As an experimental consumer, and an employee for a company who cares about minimizing their environmental impact, and as an account manager for several sophisticated energy-focused clients, I’m uber-cognizant of how my behavior impacts our world.

That being said, I don’t really like a whole lot of change as far as my day-to-day lifestyle is concerned. I’ve always considered myself the ideal customer for a brand — I get excited about new things, I’ll try anything at least once and I’ll tell everyone I know how awesome something is (as long as it’s awesome).

I prefer, though, to live my life without too much interruption — so if a product doesn’t quite fit comfortably into my routine, I likely won’t adapt to it for good. Which means that in order for me to be socially responsible, I try to use products from brands and companies that are doing energy efficiency and sustainability really, really well. Without causing too much of a stir in my cushy day-to-day routine. Traditionally, this has meant finding eco-friendly and ENERGY STAR® products that work just as well as their not-so-environmentally-friendly counterparts.

We know about ENERGY STAR — they make choosing energy-efficient homes, housewares and technology easy. And most of us know about eco-friendly products — those products that have reduced, minimal, or no harm upon ecosystems or the environment (thank you, Wikipedia). But, what about all the other things we interact with every day? Like beverages. Or food. Personal care products. Activities. Until I learned about Industry City Distillery, I never thought about energy-efficient consumer goods. All the other stuff that I use in my everyday life that could be swapped out for something more socially responsible. Energy efficiency can be taken to a whole new level that many of us have not ever considered.

I already use High-Efficiency laundry soap, but let’s escalate that to another level. I want energy-efficient hamburgers, nail polish, shampoo, toothpaste. I want an energy-efficient gym membership and to run an energy-efficient marathon. I’d like to listen to energy-efficient music while drinking energy-efficient beer (actually, there are quite a few energy-efficient beers I already enjoy).

Here’s the thing — there’s probably a very small difference between eco-friendly, sustainable, and energy-efficient. But it’s one that we shouldn’t ignore. So, let’s shed some energy-efficient light on new ways to lessen our footprint and make an even bigger difference. As responsible consumers, let’s start demanding from our favorite brands a smarter, more energy-efficient lifestyle beyond ENERGY STAR, organic foods and eco-friendly products.

By Kelly Russell, Account Supervisor