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Future leaders address energy conservation

By JASA SANTOS
Star-Tribune staff writer

[oas:casperstartribune.net/news/casper:Middle1]
A group of Casper teenagers had a full day of lessons on energy conservation on Wednesday, thanks to a New York-based leadership group.

DoRight Enterprises is a youth-run consulting firm that consists of a curriculum, Leadership Corp and Advisory Teams. Students in grades 7-12 are trained to be sustainability consultants, and offer to perform free energy audits on local businesses.

Members of the group offered a leadership training this week for students interested in learning more about energy and conservation.

"I think young people are really involved in movements like this because it will impact their future," said Madeleine Skaller, a member of the group.

Madeleine is a 10th-grader from Brewster, N.Y. She joined Scott Beall, DoRight's founder, in Casper this week to provide training to students.

Madeleine performed her first sustainability audit on a local hospital when she was in seventh grade. The hospital's director seemed condescending until Madeleine explained how harmful some of the hospital's cleaning materials were.

"He was so surprised, and so thrilled, and so intrigued with my recommendations," Madeleine said.

Beall said DoRight does more than teach kids about the environment. It helps them build confidence in public speaking, professionalism and offers practical work experience.

"It gives kids a powerful voice and a way to gain respect in from the adult community," he said. "Kids are capable of more than adults think."

Ted Huss, 16, said he took the training to learn more about energy conservation. The training had a lot of useful information, and Ted said he thinks everyone should be aware of conserving energy.

"I usually walk to school, and walk to places," he said. "They need to know it's something that needs to be done."

Reach education reporter Jasa Santos at (307) 266-0593 or at Jasa.Santos@trib.com. Read her blog at my.trib.com/jasasantos.

What you can do

The DoRight Leadership Corp offers free sustainability audits to local businesses. While Casper's group isn't offering audits yet, here are some tips from the training on how to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint:

* Leave your thermostat at 68 degrees during the winter

* Turn water heaters down to 120 degrees, and consider buying a special, thermal blanket for the heater* Buy local produce when available

* Consider using recycled products