Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who Wants to be an Energy Zillionaire???

Apparently lots of 3rd through 5th grade students in the Prior Lake-Savage Area School District! The year two game show "Who Wants to be an Energy Zillionaire?" will be available to our district next week from SEE and currently 31 classrooms are scheduled to play it.

What an exciting and fun way to kick off the month of April when we celebrate Earth Day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Did you know?

Curbside recycling originated in what year

A) 1858

B) 1874

C) 1891

D) 1902

AND in which city?

1) Baltimore

2) New York City

3) Richmond

4) Boston

Scroll down for the answer...

Curbside recycling originated in 1874 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Today's Energy Thought

The most efficient energy resource available today is the energy you don't have to produce.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spring Break Shut Down

Before you leave your classroom, office, or building area for the upcoming extended break in our district, this is just a friendly reminder to power down ALL electronics including but not limited to smart boards, projectors, copy machines, printers, monitors, speakers, clock radios, CD and DVD players. Anything with a cord and plug drawing power that will not be used while your building is empty next week. Look around for ways to conserve energy while school is not in session. You may not think your efforts matter but every time you power down, it adds up and with 900+ staff in our district, it does make a difference. Thanks for doing your part!
Have a fun, safe and efficient Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Save the Date

Mark your calendar for Tuesday April 19, 2011
When Prior Lake-Savage Community Education


More details to follow later, stay tuned...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't forget to

this weekend!

Have you ever wondered if this annual ritual of "springing forward" to save daylight really does save energy? Whether or not there are actual energy savings due to Daylight Saving Time is continually disputed and debated by politicians and energy experts. Many believe that the extra artificial light needed in darker mornings cancels out the benefit of lighter evenings. However, a 2008 Department of Energy report to Congress found that it does indeed save energy, though not as much as originally thought. According to the report, the total energy throughout the period of Daylight Saving Time adds up to 17 trillion Btu of primary energy consumption, which amounts to only .02 percent of the country's total energy use in 2007.

If you want to check out some more fun facts about Daylight Saving Time, click here for an article entitled 13 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Daylight Saving Time from U.S. News & World Report.

Have a groovy and efficient weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today's Energy Thought

According to the U.S. Sustainable Energy Coalition, Americans are now using public transit at record levels. However, if they used it at the same rate as Europeans (approximately 10% of their daily travel needs) the U.S. could reduce its dependence on imported oil by more than 40%, nearly equal to the 550 million barrels of oil imported yearly from Saudi Arabia.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thousands of opportunities to save!

With over 7,000 students and more than 900 employees in our school district, one flip of a switch does make a difference. If just once per day, one quarter of the entire district staff remembers to turn off lights in an unoccupied area, that's 225 times a day energy is being conserved. If one quarter of the students remember just once a day to turn off a computer monitor, that's 1,750 times a day monitors are being powered down. Now multiply those numbers by five and in one week alone, there are literally thousands of opportunities to save energy if just one fourth of the students and staff turn off a light or power down a monitor.

All the simple efforts put forth by the combined almost 8,000 staff and students really do add up and make a huge difference.
Thanks for doing your part!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today's Energy Thought


Outflow during a test at the hydropower plant at the
Hoover Dam, located on the border of Nevada and Arizona.
According to the Energy Information Administration, China, with 549.04 terawatt-hours, is the largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world, and Brazil at 387.1 terawatt-hours is second. Canada is the third largest producer of hydroelectricity with 363.5 terawatt-hours and the United States is fourth with 250.6 terawatt-hours. Rounding out the top ten following the U.S. are Russia, Norway, India, Venezuela, Japan and Sweden.
  • Hydropower is the most important and widely-used renewable source of energy.
  • Hydropower represents 19% of total electricity production.
  • Approximately 2/3 of the economically feasible potential remains to be developed. Untapped hydro resources are still abundant in Latin America, Central Africa, India and China.
  • Hydropower plays a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It's renewable - rainfall renews the water in the reservoir, so the fuel is almost always there.
  • The largest hydroelectric power plant in the world is Itaipu, constructed on the Parana River in the areas adjoining the borders of Brazil and Paraguay.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Field Trip

A group from Hallberg Engineering and SEE recently toured a massive recycling facility located in north Minneapolis. Atomic Recycling is a leader in the industry of construction and demolition waste recycling having the highest recovery rate at an impressive 72% of the materials collected being recycled and kept out of landfills. We were able to see the entire process construction waste and debris is put through at their 38,000 square foot facility. They are able to sort and process a wide range of materials including wood, concrete, shingles, and all types of metal, just to name some of the waste materials being recycled.

According to their website, in 2009 only 18% of construction and demolition waste was recovered in Minnesota. Also posted on their website is a great motto:
We don't want to live in the Land of 10,000 Landfills.
To find out more about this state-of-the-art facility and the construction and demolition recycling industry click here.
There is also a cool video to watch, click here to see the facility in action and watch the recycling process.
Below are a few images from our field trip.

A massive mound of asphalt shingles.

Pieces of concrete that will become aggregate.

An industrial sized version of "the Claw!"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Power down when possible

According to the Energy Information Administration, school energy expenses rose 20% from 2000 - 2002 and forecasts for energy prices show the trend only as increasing due to more and more technology in our schools. Our district is taking action to do everything we can to reduce our energy use and therefore save money.
We need energy to light our classrooms, power our smart boards, heat and cool our buildings and cook our lunches, so the idea is to eliminate wasted energy – the stuff that’s on when we are not in the room. So power down whenever possible. Every action to eliminate wasted energy, no matter how small, is a huge help to our district. When you add up all the little things being done to save energy, these make a BIG difference.    Thanks for doing your part!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Did you know?

An average two-hour tumble dryer cycle uses
the equivalent energy of a 20W low energy
lightbulb burning for how many hours?

A) 5 hours
B) 50 hours
C) 500 hours

Scroll down to check your answer...

Tumble dryers are among the most power-hungry appliances in the home. Just one 2-hour dryer cycle uses enough energy for 500 hours of light from a 20W bulb. It may not be outdoor clothes drying weather here yet but in the meantime, drying racks work great indoors. Below are a few different options for air drying laundry to save energy.