This is Avery Hairston. He’s 15. When he was 13 he saw Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ slideshow and decided to do something about it. His question was always the same “Why aren’t people doing the simple things to help?”. One such simple thing was changing inefficient, short-lived normal light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). CFLs are more expensive, but they last 10 times as long, and use two thirds less energy.
Avery’s thought was that lots of people changing just one bulb would make a big impact. He lives in Manhattan and he knew that many people simply can’t afford CFL bulbs – so he founded a charity to buy CFL bulbs for the residents of New York’s housing projects. 8 of his friends said they’d help. The charity, RelightNY, has a vision, a business plan, a website and sponsors including JWT, Virgin Mobile, Rodale, LiveEarth and Philips. It’s now one month old.
This story was originally reported in Ad Age here. I’ve written about it here for 3 reasons:
1. It’s inspirational
2. It shows how one person can make a difference. Some of the issues surrounding the environment are so big that they seem distant from our everyday lives. Initiatives like this bring them closer to everyone.
3. Why aren’t any brands taking this as their cause?