Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Today's Energy Thought

Look deep, deep into nature,
and then you will understand everything better.    ~ Albert Einstein

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thermal Infrared Imaging Activity

On the right are two infrared images of the same window, the bright red color indicates heat loss. In one image the window is not covered, in the other, an insulating drapery has been installed. The images make it clear and easy to see heat being lost where there is not sufficient insulation. During cold weather months, 40% of heat in the average home escapes through uninsulated windows.

For the rest of this month and into early March, Schools for Energy Efficiency® (SEE) has provided our district with a thermal infrared camera as a great visual activity for students. If you would like to check out this fun tool and have the Energy Efficiency Coordinator visit your classroom, please contact me via email or at extension 60051.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Calling all old cell phones!

With the changing speed of today's technology you probably have an old cell phone or two or three in a drawer or stashed somewhere around your house. Now you can recycle your old phones AND support our schools.

Starting now and continuing through April 30th  the district is holding a RECYCLE YOUR CELL PHONE DRIVE. All used, working and broken cell phones are accepted. Proceeds from the drive will go towards making Prior Lake Savage Area Schools more environmentally sustainable.

Please send your cell phones using the in-district mail service to the attention of Shawn Helmeke or simply drop them off at the District Service Center, 4540 Tower Street in Prior Lake. Any broken cell phones will be recycled using a responsible zero waste landfill process.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fridge Facts

Don't be deceived. The refrigerators pictured here are actually brand new but made to look retro. And refrigerators now are much more efficient than their 1950's counterparts. In fact, some of the new energy-efficient models manufactured today are so optimized they use less electricity than a single regular light bulb.

Also, did you know, every time you open the refrigerator at home, up to 30% of the cold air escapes? So get in, get out and keep the chilled air inside the fridge where it belongs.

Be sure to check the seals around your refrigerator door. If they’re cracked or you feel cold air leaking out, the seals should be replaced. An easy way to check for leaks is to place a flashlight inside the fridge and close the door. If you can see light with the door closed, replace the seal.

Last thought for today, remember to clean the filter and coils annually: Most Americans rarely, if ever, get around to vacuuming out the filter and coils on the back of the fridge. A dusty coil can increase energy consumption by up to 20 percent. In addition to running more efficiently, cleaning behind the refrigerator will ultimately increase the longevity of the appliance motor.

And those are your fridge facts for today. Coming soon, a closer look at light bulbs, stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Single Ply vs. Double Ply

A curious staff member recently asked, “Does single ply toilet paper really save money?  I know it is cheaper to buy, but is it really cheaper in the end (no pun intended)?  Do people end up using more single ply toilet paper than double – perhaps balancing out the total cost?”

Thank you to a certain teacher for submitting this question, you will be receiving a fabulous prize. I am not referring to this teacher by name because I didn't want her to get any crap (pun intended) from her colleagues.

After extensive research and finding out way more than necessary on the subject, there really is not a definitive answer. It seems toilet tissue has been debated on many levels for years. There are so many variables beyond the number of layers including the width and length of the roll, the size of the individual sections, coarseness, paper pulp source, embossing (quilting) additives (lotion or oil) rate of disintegration and much more. It all comes down to personal preference, perception and where you want to pinch your pennies.

How’s that for a non-answer??? If anyone has more information to share on this subject, please email the EEC and if your submission is appropriate and print worthy, you too will receive a fabulous prize.