Friday, December 21, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

Wishing everyone in Prior Lake, Savage and beyond
the Happiest and Most Efficient of Holidays!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Recycle Your Holidays

Once again this year our district will be participating in the Recycle Your Holidays program. The District Service Center at 4540 Tower St. SE in Prior Lake is an official drop-off location for your old and broken holiday light strands. You can drop off lights in the lobby 8:00am - 4:00pm weekdays or send from any school in the district via the in-district mail to the DSC.

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!

Do you have an idea for a recycling drive for our district? Please contact the Energy Efficiency Coordinator, Sheri Brunner via email or at extension 60051.

Today's Energy Thought

It's the middle of December already so it's about time to post some Holiday energy tips. There is a lot of information out there so it can be a bit overwhelming. Click here for a great easy to read article from Clean Currents Green Energy Solutions with 5 Tips for an Energy Efficient Holiday.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

RedTail Ridge lives GREEN!

Check out these photogenic Junior Naturalists at Redtail Elementary in Savage. Thanks to Ms. Aker, Mr. Pickett and their gang for being such good sports for the poster campaign.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jr. Naturalists at Glendale

Thank you to the Junior Naturalists and advisors Ms. Steinberg and Ms. Donohue at Glendale Elementary in Savage. At their meeting this morning they took time out to pose for some of the images that will be showing up around their school. If you look closely, you will see a couple of additional staff members who agreed to model as well.

Re-branding in GREEN!

Sustainability Awareness to Continue as SEE® Ends
After three hugely successful years of participating with Schools for Energy Efficiency®, the SEE program is ending throughout the district. In order to keep up the great momentum of energy and sustainability awareness generated through our partnership with SEE and Class 5 Energy Inc., a new Laker specific initiative is in the process of being launched district wide. Watch for new materials throughout the schools and the District Office.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a happy and efficient Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

Terri Bennett from the Kansas City Star recently published the following tips on how to have an eco-friendly Thanksgiving:

Do Your Part:
Top 5 Ways to Green Your Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving should be about a lot of things - family, friends, and breaking bread together. It shouldn't be about waste. This year, Do Your Part to make your Thanksgiving holiday an eco-friendly affair. To help you get started, here are my top five tips for being greener and healthier this Thanksgiving.
1. Serve local or organic foods
On a holiday that features a bountiful feast, serving organic or local food and drinks can have a big impact. When buying a turkey choose a local vendor or brush up on food label claims before you head to the market. Don't know where to start? Check out for information on local turkey sellers and information on healthier choices when doing your holiday grocery shopping.
2. Use nature as decoration
Make beautiful centerpieces and decorations with seasonal items from nature. Some examples include winter gourds, seasonal corns, or pinecones. If you use evergreen branches, let them soak for a day in a water-filled cooler to give them an extra boost of moisture. There's no need to spend big bucks on elaborate centerpieces when you can find all the ingredients in your own backyard. Add a few soy candles in various sizes for a finishing touch.
3. Rent or borrow tableware
If your guest list outnumbers your dinner plates, consider renting extra supplies from a party service. Or ask friends or relatives if you can borrow a few pieces to round out your set. Reusable napkins and cups are the most eco-friendly choice but if you must use disposables choose items that are made from recycled material or are easily recycled.
4. Use reusable "to-go" containers
When it comes to leftovers, reusable containers are the greenest choice. If you send out invitations, ask guests to help you stay green by bringing their own take-home containers. If you think a few people may forget, consider purchasing inexpensive containers as an eco-friendly parting gift.
5. Prep your vehicle for the road
And waste doesn't just come in the form of food and party supplies. If your Thanksgiving plans involve a road trip, make sure your vehicle is ready to go. First, make sure to take care of any necessary maintenance before the big day. And maximize fuel efficiency by removing unnecessary weight from the trunk and checking that your tires are properly inflated.
There's no need to wasteful this November. Do Your Part to enjoy the big feast and your family without spending extra money or creating more trash for the landfill. That's something we can all be thankful for this year.
(Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, eco-expert and author of "Do Your Part," a practical guide for everyday green living available at

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sneak Peek!

Thank you to students and advisors from the high school Eco Team who had fun striking poses this morning. Here is a sneak peek of a few of the new Laker sustainability initiative images coming soon to the high school.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

Did you know that leaving your computer on draws an average of 50-300 watts, about as much as a common refrigerator? To save energy, a general rule of thumb for shutting down as opposed to leaving your computer up and running is about 20 - 30 minutes. If you are going to be away from your computer for longer than a half hour, then consider shutting down and restarting upon your return.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winter Winds are Coming

Did you know a 1/8 inch gap around an exterior door is equivalent to a six inch square hole in the side of your house and causes a lot of energy loss? When put in those terms I realized I would not leave a gaping hole in the side of my house all winter so I'd better check for air leaks.

There are two ways to check your exterior doors:

Have someone stand on the other side of the door and shine a flashlight around the door's perimeter. If you can see light through the cracks, your door needs sealing.
Hold a piece of paper between the door and the frame and shut the door. If you can pull the paper out without tearing it, you should weather strip around the door.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Make it a Green Halloween!

Have a fun, safe and efficient Halloween, everyone!

Please remember to re-use and/or recycle your costumes and decorations. And don't forget to compost those jack'o lanterns .

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's Energy Awareness Month

From the home office in White Bear Lake, see the inspiring and personal message below from Class 5 Energy Inc., the parent company of Schools for Energy Efficiency, in recognition of Energy Awareness month.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Keys... in drawers, we all have them, many keys sit in drawers for years until you can't remember what the key is from so why not recycle them? Redtail Ridge Elementary students in Savage are collecting keys for recycling as a fund raiser for their school. The students are currently trick or treating for keys asking for old, discarded and unused keys for recycling.

Here a couple of things to keep in mind:
  • Approximately 16 keys weigh 1 pound
  • 1 pound of yellow brass recycled currently yields $1.95
  • K & K Metal Recycling will return 100% of the profit to Redtail Ridge
  • 700 pounds of keys would yield $1,365 for the school

You can drop off your keys at Redtail Ridge, 15200 Hampshire in Savage (near PLHS) through November 11th or at the District Services Center in Prior Lake, 4540 Tower Street (behind the Post Office) through November 9th.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

Be sure to run full loads of dishes and laundry. Using your clothes or dishwasher for frequent small loads wastes water. By running these machines when full, you will save up to 20 gallons of water per load, or 7,300 gallons a year. That is as much water as the average person drinks in their lifetime.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Recycle Bowl is Back!

Last year Grainwood Elementary in Prior Lake participated in the first year of this national event and was the named the top recycling elementary school per capita in the state of Minnesota winning a $1000 prize for their efforts.

So just what is the Recycle Bowl?
Recycle-Bowl is a free competition and benchmarking tool for K-12 school recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities. School recycling programs across the nation compete in a race to collect the most recyclables.

The contest runs for four weeks beginning in mid October. Stay tuned for more details and information on each school as our students participate in this fun and environmentally responsible recycling contest.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

One emphasis in the fourth year of the SEE program is on water conservation. See how you do with today's question about water.

The largest use of household indoor water in the United States is for

A)  Laundry and cleaning

B)  Toilet flushing

C)  Consumption and cooking

D)  Showering and bathing

      Scroll down to check your answer...

If you said D) Showering and bathing, you are correct.
          Check out these insightful water facts:

  • A five minute shower uses about 15 – 25 gallons of water. A ten minute shower uses around 40 gallons of water.
  • If your shower can fill a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, you are using too much water and may want to consider replacing the showerhead with a water-efficient showerhead.
  • By installing a low flow showerhead can you reduce water consumption by more than 50%.
  • On average, a bathtub requires about 36 gallons of water.
  • If you turn off the water while you brush your teeth, you can save 4 gallons of water a minute. That could be over 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
  • Turn the water off while you shampoo and condition your hair, and you could save more than 50 gallons of water a week.