We often refer to appliance efficiency standards as one of the best environmental policies you’ve never heard of it -- and it’s true. Appliance efficiency standards can make a meaningful impact on our planet and our health by reducing energy and water waste and lowering harmful emissions. Unfortunately, they often get lost in the mix of more well-known policy options such as solar and wind energy.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. Right now, Massachusetts is considering updating its appliance efficiency standards -- a move that could bring attention to energy efficiency’s great virtues. The proposal is bundled together with others in a big climate package being hammered out by a conference committee of three state senators and three representatives. These members will ultimately decide if appliance standards are included in a final climate bill during this legislative session.
Embracing efficient appliances is an incredibly simple and cost-effective way for our leaders to not only protect our environment but also reduce our utility bills. Despite their common-sense appeal, we can’t take for granted that Massachusetts lawmakers will act to strengthen these standards.
But the hard part is getting people to pay attention to a great policy that may seem obscure. To win on this issue, as many people as possible need to contact the conference committee and their state legislators to let them know that they care about this important policy and want to see it enacted.
So how do we get people excited about appliance efficiency standards in Massachusetts?
Well, you do it by getting creative. That’s what my digital organizing colleague, Graham Marema, I and my volunteers are setting out to do.
One of the tools that we have crafted to generate buzz around the benefits of appliance standards is an appliance standards flip book. This eye-catching, colorful and easy-to-read flip book breaks down the benefits of stronger Massachusetts appliance efficiency regulations into bite-size and easily-digestible chunks, which are pleasing to the eye. Each page in the flip book can stand on its own or as a part of the larger story.
How you can put the appliance standards flip book to work:
Share the flip book on social media.
You can spread the word about appliance standards to your friends, family and other members of the public by sharing the flip book on social media. The flip book comes in two shapes: horizontal and square. You can share the horizontal graphics on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as an album or even use them to change your cover photo. You can use the square graphics as an Instagram post or make them pop even more with some text and GIFs on your Instagram story.
While the graphics are attention-grabbing, your caption will be the key to generating action on appliance standards. Make sure to include this link that will allow your followers to email their state legislators, so they can also take action to push the policy forward.
Also, don’t forget to tag your elected officials and Environment Massachusetts. You can find us on Twitter at @EnvironmentMA or on Facebook at @EnvironmentMassachusetts. You can connect with us on Instagram via our national account at @EnvAm.
Send the graphics to friends and family.
In addition to sharing the benefits of appliance standards with your social media followers, you can send the book directly to friends and family. If they haven’t heard about appliance standards or don’t know about the Massachusetts bill, the flip book will show them why this policy is so important. As with social media, don’t forget to include this link when you send out the book, so your friends and family can email their legislators in support of appliance standards.
Share the flip book with your state legislators.
You can make double the impact when you send the flip book images to your state legislators. Not only will you voice your support for appliance standards, but you will also do so in a unique and memorable way.
Our elected officials are constantly bombarded with information about various bills. By sharing this fun, compelling and educational flip book you’ll stand out from the crowd that sends policy memos or fact sheets.
You can find the email address for your state senator here.
You can find the email address for your state representative here.
Don’t know who your state legislators are? Fill in your address here to find out.
Print the graphics out and make them into a series of signs.
The Massachusetts flip book doesn’t have to be confined to the digital world. You can print out the graphics and use them as signs, flyers or posters. Put them outside your door; pin them on the wall behind you during a Zoom meeting (better yet, make one your Zoom background); or tack them to the bulletin board at town hall or a local coffee shop. The possibilities are endless!
When we work together on appliance standards, we can take the best environmental policy you’ve never heard of and transform it into one that everyone is excited about.