How COVID19 Has Impacted Our Environment

Top Environmental Stories Of The Decade


By Dorothy York, President and CEO of North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)

Cities have seen dramatic improvements in air-quality as a direct result of the limitations placed on traveling, to prevent the COVID19 virus from spreading.  Los Angeles, which is notorious for its smog, had some of the cleanest air in the world, after people were ordered to stay home.  We will have a lot more reasons to celebrate on Earth Day, due to healthier air, energy conservation, and a cleaner environment, as a result of recent changes in consumer behavior.

Legislators have had to decide what measures should be taken to protect the environment, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. They may want to consider what steps can be taken to incentivize behaviors resulting in planet saving effects.

Companies, who had been under attack for their environmental policies, have taken a responsible role over the years to self-regulate.  Many have improved their reputations with corporate social responsibility awareness campaigns to inform people about what they have done to serve the public interest and have benefited from more forgiving media after showing how they have helped their communities, including offering helpful, earth-friendly, energy-saving advice to consumers.

To help our clients choose formats that are getting the best results, North American Precis Syndicate ranks the top feature news stories of the year by the highest number of placements in media outlets nationwide.  We have compiled the results to show the top feature news stories of the decade, those that have performed brilliantly, way above and beyond what is typically expected.

The most successful stories included attractive color photos or infographics, helpful advice from experts, celebrity spokespeople, the latest statistics, results from surveys, trends, time-saving tips, money saving ideas and other helpful information.  The stories targeted people across various demographic groups and related to safe, enjoyable and prosperous experiences, protecting the health, and assets, of the readers, their friends and family members.

We are passionate about working on the kinds of stories that help millions of people nationwide with the news that is potentially life saving or can improve the quality of their lives.  To name a few, here are examples of the top environmental stories of the decade related to energy saving ideas. These are from some of the best and brightest environmental communications professionals for some of the most demanding management teams at leading organizations:

1- FCA/Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram: “Contest Corner/ Create The Car Of Tomorrow To Win Prizes Today”

Thought provoking questions were raised about energy requirements of futuristic cars, such as “will it run on gasoline, batteries or fusion?” Readers were informed about a vehicle with new features, and the contest that helped inspire creativity in young minds and solicited people to participate in a crowdsourcing campaign to design futuristic vehicles for prizes.  This helped draw attention to expose young artists to the various career opportunities.  This was amplified by including information to drive readers to the Facebook, Twitter #DriveForDesign and Instagram pages for the updates.

2- General Motors: “Driving Smart Can Mean Significant Saving At The Gas Pump”

Readers were alerted, based on tests on identical cars on the same route, small changes to driver behavior and vehicle maintenance could save drivers up to $100 per month.  Ten common mistakes that drivers make were revealed by the test and expert tips from fuel economy engineers were offered to help drivers save.

3- Ford: “Automotive Trends/ All Charged Up Over Electric Vehicles”

Readers were advised by experts that communities are working hard to make driving electric cars easier and less expensive for their citizens.  Tips were offered for what communities can do to prepare and an awareness was created of the cutting edge technology offered that helped to ensure that drivers don’t have to sacrifice performance for efficiency.

4- Kia: “Car Corner/Driving Down Fuel Use”

Readers were informed about beautiful new hybrid vehicles that were great to drive, comfortable, fuel-efficient and better for the environment.  With an estimated 600 miles of driving range, the battery system was said to produce 60% more energy output than before and could deliver up tp 27 miles in electric-only mode.

5- Car Care Council: “Be Car Care Aware/ As Temperatures Drop, Check Tire Pressure More Often”

Expert advice was offered to drivers, indicating that tire pressure could help save gas mileage, as well as keep them safe and extend tire life, as part of a consumer awareness campaign, promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care.

6- Renewable Fuels Association: “Energy Matters/ Ethanol Is Good For America”

To show how much we can save at the gas pump, how much we can avoid pollution and combat climate change, and stand up well to other countries, readers were alerted about a successful government policy that should continue.  People were encouraged to use renewable fuels to make Americans better off economically, ecologically and politically. As the next generation of ethanol refineries was built, people were alerted that the industry will create job and generate revenue across the nation.

7- Royal Purple: “Car Care Corner/ Money Saving Tips For Car Owners”

To improve people’s fuel-efficiency and engine life, car owners were alerted about basic maintenance that could help them.  Tips were offered to protect one of the biggest investments people make, with a fuel system cleaner and stabilizer.

8- Osram Sylvania: “Car Corner/ Bright Ideas In Energy Efficiency”

Readers were alerted that automotive engineers had found a new way to increase vehicle fuel economy with a crucial vehicle element that is often overlooked: lighting.  Information was provided about how a special kind of bulb can keep your car on the road to safety and savings.

1- Fujitsu: “Home Energy Savings/ Be The Coolest Most Energy-Efficient Home On The Block This Summer”

Readers were alerted about discreet, wall mounted, ductless cooling systems that help save money and energy.  Stats were included from a report by National Association Of Home Builders, including that optimal energy efficiency is a home buyer’s top “Green Preference” and that energy expenses cost homeowners more than $11 billion per year. Tips were offered, including how to cut energy bills up to 25%.

2- Legrand: “Homeowners Want Elegant Electric Upgrades”

Results of a Harris Poll by Legrand were revealed, indicating that 82% of homeowners believe there are more stylish lighting control options that what came installed in their home. The top 5 key findings of the study were offered, including, the number one finding, about energy use and sustainability.  Readers were informed about a Motion Sensor Switch, which provided combination control, letting users letting users manually or automatically turn lights on and off when entering or leaving a room.

3- Osram Sylvania: “Five Tips To Help You Save Year Round”

Reader were shown the light about how a few simple DIY changes to their home could help decrease monthly costs and reduce the need for upkeep.  Five tips were offered to help increase energy-efficiency and save on home expenses year-round.  One tip was to swap out traditional incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, which can save 50 to 70 percent and last up to 10 years. Another was to use smart connective lighting that can be turned off wherever you are, via a mobile device, in case people forget to do it at home.

4- WaterFurnace: “Energy Saving Ideas/ Comfortable, Healthy and Quiet — The Geothermal Environment”

Readers were informed about geothermal systems that take advantage of free solar energy stored just below the surface of the earth, providing precise distribution of air, eliminating hot and cold spots throughout the home and reducing heating and cooling bills by as much as 70 percent, and with the added benefit of improving indoor air-quality.

5- Johnson Controls/ Luxaire: “Preparing Your Heating System For Winter”

To increase comfort and save cold cash, reader were informed by company experts, and the EPA, about steps they could take to winterize their homes, including installing a programmable thermostat and buying an energy-efficient gas furnace with a high fuel efficiency rating or a heat pump with a high heat season performance factor.

6- LG Electronics: “Hints For Homeowners/ Five Hints To Help You Save Energy And Money”

To help improve the environment, save energy and money, while helping to save the planet, readers were encouraged to conserve energy to fight climate change, as indicated by the EPA.
Five energy saving ideas were offered, including investing in an ENERGY STAR certified appliance such as the EcoHybrid Heat Pump Dryer, which recycles heat to use less than half as much energy as the conventional electric dryer.  The appliance was recognized with  the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award, which is for appliances that significantly reduce  energy usage and LG Electronics was recognized with the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award for continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy-efficient home electronics and home appliance products.

7- Mitsubishi Electric: “Energy Saving Ideas/ A More Efficient Approach To Cooling And Heating”

Compelling stats were offered from the EPA, indicating that 50 percent of a home’s energy bill can be linked directly to a home’s heating and cooling costs, which amount to about $1,100 per year, depending on location.  A new line of heating and cooling systems was introduced, including information on how it can significantly help save on utility costs.  The seasonal energy efficiency ratio was included and stats indicated that these systems use up to 40 percent less energy per room than a traditional central air system.

8- Whirlpool: “Hints For Homeowners/ Why It’s Smart To Connect With Your Appliances”

Readers were informed about how smart appliances can help get things done the fastest, most energy-efficient and easiest way.  Tips were offered for what a connected home could do, including a washer and dryer that can integrate with the Nest Learning Thermostat and the dryer could switch into a more energy-efficient cycle.

9- Lutron: “Hints For Homeowners/ Putting Your Home On An Energy Diet”

To help homeowners when budgets are tight and they feel squeezed by higher electric bills, a simple solution was offered, putting a home on an energy “diet.” Tips were offered, including information from the U. S. Department of Energy, about ENERGY STAR approved LED bulbs, controlling temperature, using proper window treatments, and information from the company expert about installing an occupancy/vacancy sensing switch in bathrooms, children’s rooms, laundry rooms and garages.

10- Hearth & Home Technologies: “Hints For Homeowners/ Fireplace Inserts Save Energy And Money”

For an idea that many homeowners may greet warmly, keeping hot air inside when it’s cold out, readers were alerted about the solution to the problem of lost heat from open-masonry fireplaces.  Stats were included from the U. S. Department of energy, indicating that for every minute those burn, as much as 300 cubic feet of heated indoor air can be exhausted outside a home.  A company expert was quoted about a practical upgrade, an efficient gas fireplace insert, that radiates 25% more heat than traditional fireboxes and has an intermittent pilot system that conserves energy.

Here are several tips to help you boost results on your next environment feature story:
1. Photos: Use beautiful, eye-catching photos, infographics, informative charts and graphs.
2. Statistics: Include compelling statistics from a credible source such as a trade association, industry expert or the government.
3. Website: Direct readers to a website for more helpful information.
4. Phone: Include a toll-free number for people to call for more information.
5. Technology: Inform readers about recent developments in technology that can help them protect the environment more soundly and efficiently.
6. Problem Solving: Give advice on how readers can act responsibly to solve their environmental problems and safeguard resources in new and surprising ways.
7. Water Quality: Alert readers on how they can recognize a potential problem in their homes and offer to have your expert available to suggest the best course of action to correct the problem, to protect their health and their assets.
8. Going Green: Give tips to concerned readers to help them adopt habits to reduce their carbon footprints, suggesting small steps they can take in their everyday lives to benefit their health, the economy and the environment, and to live greener.
9. Energy Savings: Create an awareness of the ways that readers can protect the environment, be more energy efficient and eco friendly, and how that will be good for energy independence, their homes, their families and their bottom lines.
10. Water Waste: Encourage readers to spend 10 minutes to check for leaks in their homes, give information to indicate their potential for savings, and alert them on how they can get expert help in their communities to fix the problems.
11. Jobs: Offer advice to parents on easy and enjoyable ways they can encourage their children to consider a career that will help them to protect the environment.
12. Forest Conservation: Alert readers to the urgency of the problem and suggest a collaborative program to protect and restore ecosystems, ensuring the future of the beloved forests and the species that make their homes there.
13. Recycling: Show readers how they can save energy and conserve vital natural resources with recycling systems, reducing the amount of waste going to landfills, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and lessening the impact of household waste.
14. Competition: Inform readers about opportunities to compete for awards and prizes for ingenuity in environmental technological developments and make an example of them to inspire others to smart action.
15. Issues: Alert readers about potential hazards, using case studies, and encourage them to contact their congressmen or other elected officials to communicate their concerns and suggest solutions to help protect and preserve the environment.
16. Fundraising: Inform readers of special programs to participate in and ways people can help to get donations of time or funds or share information with their social networks to make a difference in the socioeconomic landscape.

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