Category Archives: Philanthropy

Share the Spirit: Give to Those Who Give Back to the Earth!

The PNS Energy team is committed to leaving the planet a better place than we found it.   Part of what we considering doing our part as responsible citizens is to promote those nonprofits working to better understand what is happening to our planet and to help preserve it.

Dr. Cook in action with the Green Learning Adventure!

We have two local favorites:   California Center for Sustainable Energy’s Green Learning Adventure and the Surfrider Foundation.   In 2011 we shared our some of resources with both of these wonderful organizations.  As you look for yearend donations, we ask you to consider giving to organizations that support our planet!  For all you Southern California residents, help us support and promote these great, grassroots organizations.

If you are looking for a national organization working to support the Earth through intelligent, measurable means we put together a list (below) and noted their mission statements.

Union of Concerned Scientists

The Union of Concerned Scientists is a nonprofit partnership of scientists and citizens combining rigorous scientific analysis, innovative policy development, and effective citizen advocacy to achieve practical environmental solutions.

Sierra Club

Sierra Club’s mission is to explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

NRDC’s mission is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals and the natural systems on which all life depends. unites an international movement around the climate solutions that science and justice demand.

Rainforest Action Network (RAN)

Rainforest Action Network’s mission is to want those who come after us to inherit a world where the wild is still alive.

Climate Protection Campaign

The Climate Protection Campaign mission is to create a positive future for our children and all life by inspiring action in response to the climate crisis. They advance practical, science-based solutions for achieving significant greenhouse gas reductions.

Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity believes that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in the world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, they work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. They do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

ClimateWorks Foundation

ClimateWorks is an international philanthropic network dedicated to achieving low-carbon prosperity.

Acterra: Action for a Sustainable Earth

To bring people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet.


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Filed under Beach clean-up, Carbon Footprint, Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Philanthropy, San Diego, Surfrider Foundation, Sustainable Businiess

Introducing Plug ‘N Save’s Discussion Forum

Do you like to express your opinion via the internet? Do you want to be involved in conversations discussing the important issues affecting the state of renewable energy? Do you want to have a place to ask your questions? Well then it is my pleasure to introduce to you the Plug ‘N Save Discussion Forum!

Join the discussion by visiting our Home page and clicking the Forum button on the top menu bar or through the link below. We currently have two discussion topics up, one about how buying responsibly can lead to a more sustainable life and the other about the future of renewable energy industries after the end of government stimulus. Voice your thoughts or start a new topic!

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Filed under Carbon Footprint, Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Environment, Free Trade, Green Technology, Innovation, Philanthropy, Recycled Materials, Renewable Energy, Responsible Materials, Solar, Supply Chain Management, Surfing, Sustainable Businiess, Tax Incentives, Uncategorized, Weatherization, Window Coverings

A Green Thumb

After being recruited to write a quick blog about our experiences last Friday volunteering for the Green Learning Adventure (GLA) I decided to use this opportunity to join Dan in coming up with new ways to lead a more sustainable, environmentally conscious life.

First, a little recap of the GLA. I met up with Bennet after he and Dan educated Sea World employees, we then headed out to a community recreation center that was holding a small Earth Day celebration for elementary and middle school children. There were a handful of environmental education booths for the kids to visit – each kid was required to visit every booth and learn what each had to offer. For some incentive they could enter a raffle at the end to win some cool prizes, including surf lessons. After we spoke to each and gave them a spin on Pedal Power (the human-powered energy bike that demonstrates how much electricity it takes to run lighting and other household items), we would give them a sticker moving them one step closer to the raffle. Each booth would then do the same making for a great day of education.

It was a blast showing the kids the energy differences in the older incandescent light bulbs and the newer more energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s use about 75% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and lasts up to 10 times longer – I was also amazed at some of the knowledge these children already had – some were even educating ME on what they knew about “vampire loads” and energy efficient light bulbs that their families were already using. We later learned that the community rec center runs programs about energy efficiency and renewable energy.

All in all it was a great experience and I look forward to helping the GLA in the future, it is important to educate the next generation about living sustainably.

As for our next initiative in this project we wanted to move onto a slightly different topic – horticulture. Our recent blog posts have opened us up to new energy and water saving tips and our next step will involve using good ole’ Mother Nature in order to make our everyday lives healthier and happier. We have already started a very nice backyard garden including different varieties of tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, peas, strawberries, and a small citrus tree. Our two green thumbs behind the operation, Dan and Colin, have made some great strides towards harvesting farm fresh, organic produce in the backyard.

In the next few days I want to bring some greenery inside in order to freshen up the house. Using house plants as decoration will not only look nice but they will also help improve the air quality. According to NASA recently released a study that ranks the top plants for reducing indoor air pollutants. I will be sure to look at some of these for ideas on selecting plants. By doing this, we will make our rooms brighter and more inviting and make us feel more connected to nature.

Stay tuned for the results and a little bit more on connecting our built environment with the natural landscape that surrounds us.

-T. Ufferman

Alley Garden - Adding something fresh to the back alley.


Filed under 30 ways in 30 days, Buy Local, Carbon Footprint, Conservation, Environment, Gardening, Philanthropy, Uncategorized

Unplug and Shamu?

I hope everyone had a great Earth Day. I am ready to get back in to the swing of things. I plan on giving a breakdown of whats been going on, and what the future plan is tomorrow.

On Friday, a few of us from Plug ‘N Save were able to volunteer our time with the California Center for Sustainable Energy’s Green Learning Adventure. We traveled to two locations; the first stop was at SeaWorld. My coworker Bennet had been scheduled to go, and I managed to wiggle my way in to the trip. I was able to spend some time working with employees sharing general electricity management tips.

After all the things we discussed at the event, I realized I needed to step my game up. I had talked about all the things you can do to reduce you bill, and then I thought if I did these things myself. Needless to say I had a lot of room for improvement. When I spent a minute thinking about all the things that use energy even when they are not powering something, and compared that to the things I knew I had plugged in, I saw an easy fix. After the event, I decided to walk around SeaWorld and see what it was all about. It was my first trip, so I went to see Shamu!

mini Shamu doing a little helicopter spin

It was awesome. I sat in the ‘soak zone’ and, well, got soaked. I felt like a little kid, but it was awesome. During the show they really do an amazing job incorporating conservation and preservation awareness. During some points I got chills. It was inspiring, what can I say. They do what they do, and they do it well.

But back to electricity. I started getting the cords organized in my room; I consolidated the cords to two places and in power strips, one for my desk and the other at my entertainment center. This will not only save me some pennies, but it cleaned up the spaces. I wanted to do this at work too. We use a lot more electrical appliances and tools, so I wanted to see what I could get in to a power strip. I decided to start with my desk.

Custom power strip, snazzy set up.

I got all of my computer and phone components plugged in to one power strip. Todd and I share a desk, so I got a few things of his to fit in there too, it worked out well. When i leave work, i can just reach under my desk and flip the switch.

Now, I’m going to spout off some of the general info we were discussing at the SeaWorld event.

The typical American home has about 50  appliances that consume power all day, which represents between five to eight percent of a household’s total electricity use per year. This is approximately 65 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists ( This lost energy represents the electricity generated in the U.S. by about 35 power plants, or 95 billion pounds of carbon dioxide released into the air.

By turning off power strips hooked up to computers, internet modems, and copiers, each household could save around $100 a year . Turning off your computer monitor during the day, even with your computer still on, can save much more energy than a screensaver and remember to unplug telephone, toothbrush, PDA, and portable tool chargers from the wall when not in use (

I mentioned that there were two stops. I stayed at SeaWorld, and Bennet moved on with the Green Learning Adventure to pick up Todd. They headed inland to an event at a recreation center. I’m going to have Todd write a quick bit about what they did… because I don’t really know.

I got some ideas from a few college friends recently too, and with the graduation season coming up,we will be looking at ways to celebrate with our theme in mind.

-Dan Conroy, Colin Johnson

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Filed under 30 ways in 30 days, Carbon Footprint, Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency, Philanthropy

Having Fun…Giving Back

Our commitment to giving back does not stop when we leave the office each night. Just recently, we found some alternative ways to donate time to a good cause.

Being new to the San Diego area gave us a good excuse to get out and explore. Our love for the outdoors led us to Mission Trails Regional Park, only 8 miles from downtown San Diego it has become one of the largest urban parks in the United States. Within minutes of entering the visitor center, fellow Plug ‘N Save employee Dan Conroy and I were talking with the visitor center director about volunteer opportunities and he had us signed up in no time!

Two weeks later, our first day as volunteer patrol led us on an 11.9 km hike through the mountains of Mission Trails. Our job that day included surveying the trail, interacting with park patrons, and taking GPS readings of specific trail markers. Apart from asking a few hikers to leash their dog (California State law…) the day went smoothly as the four of us soaked in the California sun and the amazing views of the park.

This trek gave me a new perspective on how diverse the Southern Californian environment is; in just 5 short hours we hiked through cool river valleys, up arid desert hills, and over rocky mountain peaks. Then to top it off, we got in the car and drove 20 minutes back to the beach.

For fun ways to spend a weekend like that, check out Mission Trails Regional Park online. Or if you would like to donate some time…volunteer!

The Old Mission Dam at MTRP


-Todd U.

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Filed under Environment, Hiking, Outdoor Adventure, Parks, Philanthropy