Robert Baker isn’t what you’d call an environmentalist.
The Lawrence resident is a lifelong musician who was tasked in 2010 with penning the score to a musical commissioned by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Bring it up! The Assembly that Changed the World was written by Washburn University playwright Penny Weiner, with the idea that schools across the state could perform the musical to encourage students to embrace a greener life.
And this Halloween, Baker is hoping people take heed of vampire energy, those appliances that feed on megawatts and increase energy bills. The song “Vampire Energy” is a silly tune, a goofy rap that lists the kinds of appliances that waste energy, and devious they can be. Cell phone chargers, power strips, electric razors, camera batteries – they all suck energy.
As Linda Cottin wrote today, being more conscientious when it comes to these appliances can save up to 10 percent on a power bill.
“I think if people, once they get past the fact that it’s a humorous little ditty, if they think about it, I wonder how much you could save in your house if you unplug these things,” Baker said. “If you got in the habit of doing it, would it make a difference?”
The musical asks students what five things they can do to preserve the environment.
“Vampire energy is a good example of that,” Baker said. “(The song) comes at the end of a scene Penny wrote where there were two teenagers alone at their family’s house at night. They couldn’t relax at night because all the beady green eyes were staring them, the vampire eyes.”
Baker said writing the musical has influence his daily habits.
“I have to admit, right after I did the play … I was a lot more conscious about how many things are left on when you leave home,” he said.