Power Down to Play Outside for Energy Awareness Month

October brings cooler weather and marks Energy Awareness Month—a time to focus on conservation and saving energy. We think it’s the perfect opportunity for a power-down-to-play-outside challenge. We’ve put together a list of ideas to help.

From schoolyard games to experiences and adventures, there’s plenty to do in the great outdoors. You could even be a planet superstar and use your outdoor time to tackle some eco-good deeds. Recruit your family, friends and colleagues to join you—consider it scoring bonus points for maximizing your impact. The goal is to be energy-free and have fun while you’re doing it.


  1. Kick it old-school style with croquet, freeze tag, boat races, Hula-Hoops, sack races, tug-of-war, red light/green light, hopscotch, four square, jump rope or capture the flag.
  2. Coordinate weekend tournaments of volleyball, kickball, flag football or Frisbee golf.
  3. Host a carnival night in your backyard for neighbors and friends. Set up games like ring toss, cake walk, apple bobbing, guessing booth (Skittles® or M&M’s® for a sweet treat), gone fishing, balloon pop, spin the wheel and bucket toss.


  1. Make Saturday dinners picnic nights. Choose foods that don’t require any cooking, like salads, cheeses, yogurt, deli meats, sandwiches, wraps, fruits, veggies and nuts.
  2. Spend the weekend camping at a state park or hit the beach for a day of wading in the water and building sandcastles.
  3. Try a farmer’s market for all your fruits and veggies.
  4. Go high above the trees with a zipline course.
  5. Spend the day at a zoo, nature center, arboretum or botanical garden.


  1. Host a composting workshop for friends and neighbors. You’ll teach others to create nutrient-rich soil and to reuse what would’ve been considered kitchen waste. Use our composting blog as your guide.
  2. Be a catalyst for change in your community. Start a garden for your neighborhood school, organize a trash cleanup for your local park or create a recycling program at your church.
  3. Commit to pedal power. On the days when you just need one or two things from the grocery store, ride your bike instead of driving your car.
  4. Put away your power tools for weekend yard work (and be sure to use your raked leaves as compost in your flower beds).
  5. Help save the bees (our food crops depend on them!). Bees are seeing a significant decline, so consider beekeeping. The season and climate for bees varies by region, so consult a local or state bee association before getting started.

One last idea to help with energy awareness is to be conscious of how much and what type of energy you are using. Choosing clean electricity means you can be a green ambassador all year long by using an energy source that’s renewable and 100% clean. When you do have to plug in, power your home or business with pollution-free power, like wind or solar energy. Doing so supports a greener grid, cuts down on pollution and makes a positive environmental impact.

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