Statewide Energy Game Inspires Community Climate Competition

COURTESY PHOTO

Albany Community School students celebrate their 2014 win of the statewide Energy Game with the Vermontivate Teddy Bear.

BURLINGTON, VT -- Vermontivate, an on-line/real-world game, brings fun and creativity to the serious and important work of tackling climate change. Players from around the state will spend six weeks, March 23 to May 2, racking up points on a wide range of challenges ranging from installing energy efficient light bulbs and starting composting piles to establishing community solar CSAs, test driving electric vehicles, and inventing hybrid modes of transportation.

"Climate change is one of the most significant issues we face as a society,"says Vermontivate co-founder Kathryn Blume, "and most people don't know what they can do to make a difference. Vermontivate is an entertaining, educational, and competitive way of taking meaningful action and building strong communities. Plus, we celebrate the end of the game with a Ben & Jerry's ice cream party on the State House lawn in May. Climate action doesn't get much better than that!"

From global warming newbies to well-educated sustainability mavens, people of all ages and experience levels are invited to play. People who don't live in Vermont can also register to play on behalf of their favorite Vermont team.

Last year, the Albany Community School won in the school's division.

The game, now in its fourth year, has kicked it up for 2015. Thanks to increased funding from a wide range of donors, foundations, and state agencies, they've built an entirely new website that looks like a quirky, old-fashioned board game. Challenges have been created to align with Vermont's highest-level climate goals, and are designed for maximum real world impact. The game will also feature a video contest, team challenges, and the chance to win a wide range of prizes including gift certificates from local restaurants and free pints of ice cream.

"There are a lot of great energy saving games out there,"says Blume, "but Vermontivate is one of the few gamification strategies that tackles full spectrum sustainability. The core challenges are around energy, transportation and food, but we also play with everything from waste reduction and water conservation to Gross National Happiness and the sharing economy."

"We have something for everyone," says game co-founder and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation consultant Nick Lange. "As we say to our players: Play Well, Do Good, Be Great!" For more information and to get on the registration mailing list, visit vermontivate.com.

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