Can ICE make a difference in the battle for a cleaner environment?
ICE, which stands for I Care about the Environment, I Care about Energy, I Care about Education, and I Care about the Economy, has been in the development stage and is now ready to go on the road.
Laudisi, 39, plans to visit school districts and companies on Long Island and eventually around the world, accompanied by a 6-foot-tall bear -- actually, someone wearing a bear costume -- and educational programs about the environment. ICE's symbol is a bear on melting ice, an image Laudisi hopes will become ingrained in the minds of children and adults, just like the iconic Smokey the Bear or the McDonald's arches are familiar to generations of Americans.
Laudisi worked on clean-energy campaigns for the utility companies. "I spoke to kids," she said. "I realized there was a spark missing to get them interested in energy and the environment. I was trying to figure out what would trigger their emotions. What ICE is trying to do is to create an iconic symbol."
She has visited school districts on the Island and is now in discussions with energy companies about making presentations. ICE, Laudisi emphasizes, is a business that makes money charging for the presentations.
"This model gives us the ability to get to the masses," she said. It's like the bullying concept. Kids don't like to be bullied. The Earth is being bullied."
Laudisi has been receiving some pro-bono help from veteran energy spokesman Bert Cunningham, who retired from NYPA in May. "It's all basically a program to help instill values in children" regarding the environment, Cunningham said.