“Energy Free” Starter Kit

My name is Lauren Pham and I am a senior at Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. For my Catalyst project as part of the Global Online Academy Course “Energy,” instructed by Ms. Mila Tewell, I have created this guide called the “Energy Free Starter Kit.”

The goal of this guide is to give students around the globe the resources and organization to create a campaign or program in their own schools meant to raise awareness on energy access, energy poverty, and energy options. The guide includes:

  • The Campaign Supplies. Different forms of media used to inform communities on energy access, energy poverty, and energy options including posters and videos that individuals can post and share to their communities
  • The Challenge Guide. Challenges that students can encourage other members of their communities to engage in, ranging in different commitment levels
  • Do It Yourself! (And With These Pro Tips). Information gathered from the resources in my own metro-Detroit community and tips on how individuals can learn more about and live more by energy efficiency

The Campaign Supplies

View or download the full folder – The Campaign Supplies

The videos below are supplements to your Campaign. Display them on monitors through your school, in school broadcasts, by starting an online campaign by spreading the links online (try having people add hashtags like #energyfree #energyaccess #energypoverty), or in whatever way you think can help your campaign succeed.

“Globally, around 1.1 billion people still do not have access to electricity. About 2.9 billion use solid fuels—wood, charcoal, coal, and dung—for cooking and heating. There are many reasons for energy poverty—ranging from remote populations; untapped renewable energy; inefficient utilities; perceived investment risks; unhealthy cookstoves. The World Bank Group is working with countries to help overcome these challenges. #EndEnergyPoverty.” To learn more, visit:


Check out the discussion of “Access to energy” by and some of the actions this organizations has taken to increase access to energy around the world.


Energy access is not only a struggle in developing nations. Check out these interviews from Duke University’s 2017 Winter Forum, “Power to the People – Tackling Energy Inequality through Clean Energy Solutions,” to learn some “Domestic Energy Access Stories.”

Campaign materials – use as posters, flyers, or pamphlets! View full quality in Campaign Materials folder (link above).


The Challenge Guide

Can you last a day without energy?

In this guide, you will find challenges at varying levels of difficulty. For example, Level 1 will challenge you to go for a few hours without your phone, a day without your laptop or the television, or an evening without driving your car. Level 3 will push you further by challenging you to eat food that has only travelled within a 25 mile radius for one meal each week or to take public transportation for a week.

Some of us will find some of these challenges easier or harder to complete based on where we live – what we have access to – and who we are or what we do – student or adult.

The hope of the campaign Energy Free is to help each of us as individuals gain an understanding of how we use energy – where it comes from and what we use it for – as well as to raise awareness of all alternatives of energy and how these alternatives impact our environment, our economy, our global relationships, and our individual lives.

View or download the full document – The Challenge Guide


Do It Yourself! (And With These Pro Tips).

View or download the full document – Do It Yourself! (And With These Pro Tips).

Take up the torch!

The most exciting thing about campaigns is that they are not meant to be static or stay in one place. They are meant to encourage a contagious energy for activism and awareness, and they diffuse through different methods of education and action based on the demographics of each community. I created the “Energy Free Starter Kit” as a shell and guide for you to follow on your way to take up the torch and lead through efforts of activism and awareness, but I also encourage you to add your own ideas to it and improve upon it based on your experiences so that it may have the greatest impact on your community!

The Catalyst Conference is an exceptional place for this to happen because we can share our ideas and our progress with others, to support and inspire each other. Please leave comments in the section below if you have any suggestions for the Starter Kit or if you are successful and want to share how the Starter Kit has been helpful to you and what specific measures helped you achieve success in your community.

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