Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

As we say goodbye to 2011 and welcome 2012, 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 the schools. Together we are making a huge difference! Thank YOU!!!

Wishing you a groovy and efficient New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Today's Energy Thought

Happy Boxing Day!

Okay so that is more of a salutation. Here is your energy thought for today, a slogan I have lived by for many years:

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!

And have a Happy Boxing Day!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Consider the Unusual

Continuing the Green Holiday theme of the week, here is another link with unique green gifts and eco-friendly gift ideas. Click here to check it out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Still Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Want to give a green gift this year? And here green is not referring to, 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!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Recycle your live Christmas tree!
Ninety-eight percent of Christmas trees were grown on farms specifically for use as a holiday decoration. These trees were not harvested from forests so at least it's not as if you're cutting down an ancient tree. Each year, 10 million Christmas trees end up in the landfill. While your tree can't be placed in your regular recycling bin, you CAN recycle it: many cities offer programs to turn your tree into mulch or into wood chips. Call (800) CLEANUP or visit to find the tree-recycling program near you.

Since it looks like we may have a brown December 25th this year instead of a white one, let's at least make it a Green Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Today's Energy Thought

According to the American Solar Energy Society, enough sunlight falls on the earth's surface each minute to meet the world energy demand for how long?
A)  24 hours

B)  8 weeks

C)  6 months

D)  an entire year

Scroll down to check your answer...

The correct answer is D) an entire year! Wow! Who knew?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Today's Energy Thought

Efficient Holiday Cooking & Baking

It's easy to save energy in the kitchen this time of year, just follow these few simple tips from the California Energy Commission.

  • Use the smallest appliance for the job. Microwave ovens use less than half the energy required by a conventional oven.
  • Use the smallest pan and burner needed for the job. Match the size of the pan to the heating element. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air. Believe it or not, a six-inch pan on an eight-inch burner will waste more than 40 percent of the energy!
  • Cook with lids on your pans. Cooking pasta without a lid on the pot can use three times as much energy.
  • With glass or ceramic pans, you can turn your oven temperature down 25 degrees, and foods will cook just as quickly.
  • Don't open the oven door to take a peek at what's cooking inside. Instead, turn on the oven light and check the cooking status through the oven window. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside by as much as 25 degrees - which increases cooking time and wastes energy.
  • As long as your oven is on, cook several items at the same time. Just make sure you leave enough room for the heat to circulate around each casserole and pie plate.
  • Self-cleaning ovens use less energy for normal cooking because of the higher insulation levels built into them. However, if you use the self-cleaning feature more than once a month, you'll end up using more energy than you will save. Consider using the self-cleaning feature immediately after using your oven, to take advantage of the residual heat.
 Happy Holiday Cooking, Baking and Eating!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Green Cars

If you "google" green cars you come up with quite a variety of options, above are just a few fun images. But how about "green" meaning environmentally friendly automobiles? As fuel prices continue to rise, more and more "green" cars are coming out on the market these days but how do they stack up?

Here is a top 10 list of the best green cars for 2011 according to
Kelley Blue Book:

1.   2011 Nissan Leaf
2.   2011 Chevy Volt
3.   2011 Toyota Prius
4.   2011 Lexus CT 200h
5.   2011 Honda Insight
6.   2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid
7.   2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI
8.   2011 Hyundai Elantra
9.   2012 Fiat 500
10. 2012 Ford Focus

For more information on each model including MPG, click here to go to the detailed list on the Kelley Blue Book website.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Energy Lobbyists

In science classes at PLHS the 9th graders are currently studying energy. The students were given an assignment to present an energy source to legislators and potential investors. Teachers and staff were invited into the classroom and given $500,000 in play money to support one or more of the energy lobbyist groups. The students were evaluated on their knowledge, presentation, visual aids and professionalism. Below are some of the students with their energy source displays.

A few groups used props and visual aids. Below you can see wind power in action. Some groups even tried sweet persuasion tactics by offering cookies while making the case for their energy source.

This group appropriately provided windmill cookies.

Ms. Korby checks out the model of a dam.

Lobbying for Natural Gas to Mr. Steinberg.

Mr. Bennett learns about Biomass as an energy source.

Friday, December 2, 2011

This just in...

3rd quarter results are in and our school district had another awesome three months of savings/cost avoidance! For July, August and September of 2011 we have saved (drum roll please) a total of $71,293.00! AND our overall energy use was reduced by a whopping 22%, well beyond our goal of 10%! These great results are made possible by the combined efforts of staff and students throughout the district. A special shout out to all of the head building operators who are running their facilities as efficiently as possible. Together we can and have made a HUGE difference. Let's continue keeping those dollars that would have been spent on energy right here in the classrooms where it is most needed! Have you flipped off a light switch or powered down a computer monitor lately?
Keep up the good work everyone and have a groovy and efficient weekend.