This blog is brought to the Prior Lake~Savage Area School District by the Energy Efficiency Coordinator for ISD 719. Check back often for new posts including news, information, fun facts, energy saving tips and sustainability initiatives.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 DoYourPart.com/Columns 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 DoYourPart.com)
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.