Thursday, April 30, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

It's that time of year again... time to adjust the direction of your ceiling fans as we head into the warmer weather months. During cooling season, the blades should be rotating in a counter-clockwise direction. If your fan is spinning clockwise, look for an adjustment switch located on the motor at the center of the fan and slide it in the opposite direction, when the fan is turned off, of course.

The effect of a ceiling fan in the summer months is very similar to what we call a wind chill factor when outdoors in cooler temps. By producing a breeze or wind chill, the downward airflow of a ceiling fan can make a room with a thermostat setting of 78 degrees feel more like 72 degrees. The actual thermostat reading does not change, it does not cool the room, but people in the room will feel the wind chill effect making them more comfortable.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

You're Welcome

Just a random sampling of the many notes arriving in my mailbox from students across the district in response to all of my Earth Day and Month activities and presentations...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Arbor Day

Image courtesy
Last Friday, April 24th, Arbor Day was celebrated across Minnesota, throughout our country and around the world.

Check out these 10 Fun Facts about Arbor Day:

1. Julius Sterling Morton, who created the holiday on April 10, 1872, was a journalist and tree enthusiast.
2. In celebration of Arbor Day, it’s common to plant a tree.
3. Arbor Day was almost dubbed “Sylvan Day,” which means wooded and refers to forest trees. Ultimately, arbor was chosen instead since it is more general-- it includes forest trees and fruit trees.
4. Some states, like Hawaii and Alaska, celebrate Arbor Day on a different day.
5. Nebraska was the first state to recognize Arbor Day. Morton helped plant more than 1 million trees throughout the state, even though it’s naturally a treeless prairie.
6. America’s national tree is the oak. The National Arbor Day Foundation put it to a vote in 2004, and Congress made it official. The redwood was a top contender and came in second place.
7. A Connecticut clergyman named Birdsey Grant helped make Arbor Day international. In 1895, he persuaded the Japanese to recognize the day. He also tried to get trees officially honored in Australia, Canada and Europe.
8. The National Arbor Foundation, which was founded in 1972, has helped plant more than 20 million trees since 1990.
9. In Korea they call Arbor Day “Tree Loving Day” and in Japan, they celebrate "The Greening Week."
10. There are more ways to celebrate Arbor Day than just planting a tree. Participants can donate to rain-forest foundations, buy plants, join recycling programs and simply go outside and enjoy the trees.
(Source: International Business Times)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

On Earth Day the Twins released some impressive stats not about the players but about their green efforts at Target Field. By participating in recycling and waste-to-energy programs, officials say they have kept more than 5,419 tons of waste out of local landfills since 2011, which includes 2,314 tons of recycled waste, 2,092 tons of trash sent to the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, and 1,013 tons of organic materials compostedTo read the entire article posted on click here. And to learn more about the Twins green initiatives click here. Go Twins!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day 2015!

Today the Google doodle is an Earth Day quiz:
Which animal are you?
I got Woolly Mammoth! Click here to take the quiz yourself and have a groovy Earth Day, everyone!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Check out this quick and informative video clip with a brief history of Earth Day...

Earth Week

What are you going to do this week to make the earth a better place?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Do you know who said the following...

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security.  Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad.  Otherwise what is there to defend?

A)  Arnold Schwarzenegger

B)  Al Gore

C)  Robert Redford

D)  Hillary Clinton

Bonus points if you know where and when this was said. 
Scroll down to check your answer...

At the Yosemite National Park dedication in 1985, this was said by Robert Redford.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

A Billion Acts of Green

Check out this inspirational video and make it a groovy day!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

It's just around the corner but what exactly is Earth Day?

Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22nd. This observance was founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the planet as well as to encourage awareness of the growing problems of air, water and soil pollution. This year marks the 44th anniversary of the very first Earth Day.

From the Nelson Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:  Nelson had just toured the oil spill devastation on the coast of Santa Barbara and was flying to San Francisco when he read an article about recent popular teach-ins held on college campuses. The format struck him as a promising way to communicate this growing public concern to elected officials in Washington D.C. and state government. He imagined that:
"If we could tap into the environmental concerns of the general public and infuse the student anti-war energy into the environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would force the issue onto the national political agenda."
Separate teach-ins were already planned at San Jose State, Dickinson College (Pennsylvania), and the University of Michigan—all organized campus-wide events drawing attention to ecological crises. Nelson aimed to unite these efforts and then extend them beyond the college campus. He announced his intentions at a speech in Seattle on September 20, 1969 and several major media outlets immediately broadcast the idea to national audiences.
What are you going to do to celebrate Earth Day this year?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Earth Month Activities

Hey Teachers, there are still time slots available on my calendar to schedule the Human Powered Generator demo for your classroom during April. For younger students I have several options for being a guest reader in your classroom. Additionally, I have an interactive video Energy Game Show we can play on your smart board.
I would love to set up a visit to your classroom during Earth Month. Click here for my email.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Happy Earth Month!

Did you know you can lower your carbon footprint with your fork? Check out this post from U.S. News and World Report 5 Ways to Green Your Plate for Earth Month.  Click here for the link or just click on the article title to read the insightful post.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Soccer fields powered by soccer players? Solar cells made from shrimp? No, these are not April Fools jokes, they are definite possibilities. Check out this fascinating article on about some really cool inventions - No April Fools: 5 Off-the-Wall Green Inventions that Really Exist. Really? Pee-powered toilets? To check out the article click on the title above or click here.