Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

As we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome 2014, how about making a resolution to save some energy this year? It's easy if you try; just flip a switch, adjust the thermostat by a few degrees, change some light bulbs, make a conscious effort to be more efficient with your energy use this year. Thanks, everyone, for doing your part. It all adds up both at home and in our schools.
Together we are making a huge difference!
Thank YOU!!!

Wishing you a groovy and efficient New Year!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Seasons Greetings!

Warm Seasons Greetings
from the Energy Efficiency Coordinator!

Just a friendly reminder whether you are leaving your classroom for break or traveling away from home over the Holidays, be sure to shut down everything before you leave including monitors, speakers, printers, copiers, projectors, etc. Any electronics drawing vampire energy should be turned off or unplugged. Every effort no matter how small truly does make a difference. Thank you for doing your part, everyone!

Wishing you a Groovy Holiday Season &
much Energy Efficiency in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What Are You, a Penguin?

Have you ever heard that question as you stand in front of an open refrigerator? The quicker you are in and out of a refrigerator or freezer, the better it is for keeping the temperatures inside from rising. When warm air gets into the cold or frozen compartment, it causes the refrigerator to work harder to maintain optimal temperatures.

So if you have a penguin at home, gently remind them to make up their mind before they open the refrigerator or freezer and then once they do open it, ask them to not dawdle with the door open. The same can be said for leaving a door ajar while you bring in groceries or run out to the mailbox. Keep the cold air out and don't let the warm air escape by keeping doors closed between trips into the house or while you run outside for "just a sec."

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Think Outside the Roll

Are you one who will dive into a present, ripping the wrapping to shreds? Or do you gingerly peel off the cellophane tape trying to preserve as much of the wrapping as possible? According to the Clean Air Council, an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated in the U.S. during the time between Thanksgiving and the end of December. 4 million tons of that is wrapping paper and shopping bags. That's about 800 million pounds of waste generated during only one month of the year. Besides reusing gift bags and ribbons, here are some other ideas to help you be eco-conscious and creative with your gift giving.
  • Make part of your gift the wrapping by using a tea towel to wrap a mug or other kitchen items.
  • Wrap up gifts with a festive scarf or fabric scraps.
  • Use a colorful bandanna for a hard to wrap item or gift cards.
  • Re-usable totes are everywhere so grab one at the checkout and make it the gift bag.
  • Use newspaper, catalog or magazine pages, even take-out menus as wrapping.
  • Cut open a brown paper bag and decorate with paint, crayons, rubber stamps, stickers, or leave plain.
Just look around your office or home and you'll be surprised what you can find to re-use or re-purpose to reduce some of that 800 million tons of waste this month.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Want to give a green gift this year? And here green does not mean, as Lucy from the Peanuts says, cold hard cash, but green in the environmentally friendly sense. Check out this cool link: click here for the Holiday Gift Guide from Green America. There are several fun categories with all sorts of ideas for unique, green gifts.

Wishing you green and groovy Holidays!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Recycle Your Holidays

This December our district is participating in the Recycle Your Holidays™ program. The Education Service Center at 4148 Winnetka Ave N in New Hope is an official drop-off location for your old and broken holiday light strands. You can drop off lights in the lobby 7:30am - 5:00pm weekdays.

The Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM), in partnership with the Clean Energy Resource Teams, started this first-of-its-kind effort in the country back in 2009. This program employs over 200 individuals with developmental disabilities at vocational centers throughout the state of Minnesota. Every bulb of the light strand is dismantled by vocational center clients and then properly recycled in Minnesota. Every part of the strand is recycled, even the little lights are recycled by another project partner, Green Lights Recycling.

Over the past three years, Recycle Your Holidays™ has saved 4.27 million kWh with 460,000 pounds of lights recycled because recycling is more efficient than creating new metal from scratch. This amounts to a bit over $350,000 in avoided energy costs!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Today's Energy Insight

With the Holidays just around the corner, you may be trying to decide about switching to LED (light emitting diode) lights for decorating. Here are a few points to keep in mind.
  • New LED lights can last up to 20 years, do not contain any mercury and consume very low amounts of energy.
  • Older non-LED lights used 6 hours per day can cost about $30 per month in electricity while LED lights will cost about 50 cents for the same amount of time, quite a savings comparatively.
  • Additionally, LED lights do not generate heat and remain cool to the touch making them much safer than the traditional strands of lights that can get hot and become a fire hazard.

For the most efficient decorative lighting, have you seen the solar powered holiday lights now available? These turn on automatically at sunset, have all the adjustable options like twinkling and flashing, and best of all, use no electricity.