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April 15, 2009 > It IS easy being green

It IS easy being green

By Amisha Gandhi

Are you more concerned about global warming or the economy? You don't have to sacrifice one for the other. Here's an Earth Day offer that helps residents save the environment and money.

Trade in your old floor lamp that uses energy-hungry halogen bulbs for a free fluorescent-light floor lamp at the California Youth Energy Services (CYES) booth at Fremont's Earth Day Fair (see story on front page). The original lamp must use a 300-watt or greater halogen bulb and you must bring a PG&E bill showing you are a resident of Alameda County. The Earth Day Fair is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at the Teen Center in Central Park, 39770 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont.

You can also sign up for a free "green house call" which provides education about sustainability and personalized recommendations for energy-saving measures. Free energy and water conservation equipment is also installed during the visit, available to any Bay Area PG&E customer.

CYES trains and employs youth aged 15-22 to provide these money- and energy-saving benefits. Its summer program operates from nine Bay Area cities, with one week of intensive training and six weeks of field work.

Since 2000, CYES has employed more than 400 youth and served over 9,000 homes. The 2008 program alone eliminated 5,400 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the air-cleansing work of 122,000 trees over a decade. It will save participants an estimated $1 million over the lifetime of the measures installed.

"Green house calls" begin June 30 and run through August 7. Schedule one by visiting or calling (510) 665-1501 ext. 10.

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