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.