Thursday, December 31, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

As 2015 comes to a close, it's a great time to make a resolution to save energy. Every effort, no matter how small, adds up in a district our size and makes a big difference. So please power down electronics, turn off lights and remember the money we save on energy is then kept in the classroom where it is needed the most. Wishing Everyone a Happy and Efficient 2016!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wishing you GREEN Holidays!

Remember to reduce, reuse and recycle this holiday season. Wishing Happy Holidays to everyone in the Robbinsdale District and beyond!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Winter Break is Nigh

Despite our mild December weather making it feel more like fall outside, winter break is just around the corner. Extended time off in our buildings is a great opportunity for saving energy. Before you head out the door for the last time this year to return in January 2016, please take a moment to make sure you have shut down, turned off or unplugged any plug loads in your area, office or classroom. This includes but is not limited to:

·                     Computer monitors and speakers
·                     Smart-boards and overhead projectors
·                     Clock radios and boom boxes
·                     Copiers and printers
·                     TVs, DVD players and VCRs
·                     Audio and video recording equipment
·                     Appliances in FACS rooms and staff lounges
·                     Electronic equipment in Science labs and Art rooms
·                     Electronic equipment in Industrial Tech and Auto Shops
·                     Camera battery chargers
·                     Microphone and two-way radio chargers

Thanks for doing your part to keep us operating as efficiently as possible during a time when the buildings are getting a break from the staff and students while you are taking some much deserved time off.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Have a water efficient Holiday!

Preparing for and cleaning up after holiday meals and parties can use much more water than ordinary, everyday use. Running your tap continuously while preparing food or washing dishes wastes water and can use more than two gallons of water every minute your tap is running. That's a lot when you're cooking a big meal for extended family members and friends! Find ways to reduce your water and energy use, for example:

Scrape dirty dishes clean, instead of using water to rinse them before you put them in the dishwasher. If you don’t use a dishwasher, fill the sink with a few gallons of soapy wash water, clean your dishes, and put them aside. Then rinse them all together afterward. Either of these simple practices could save 10 gallons of water. If every American household reduced their water use by 10 gallons on just Thanksgiving Day, it would save more than 1 billion gallons of water, as well as save any energy or materials used to pump or treat tap water.

Thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency for the above information.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

The top 5 Ways to Save Energy with Holiday Lighting...

1.  Switch to LED Light Strands and LED Decorations

LED lights use 90% less electricity than regular holiday lights, and can be purchased for around $10 a strand. Stock up during post-holiday clearance sales!

2.  Use Fiber Optic Decorations

Fiber optic trees and decorations are the ultimate in energy efficiency. In most cases, they use a single light bulb located in the base of the unit to light the entire decoration.

3.  Limit the Time Lights are On

Wait until dark to turn on your lights; then, turn them off before you go to bed. Six hours or less of daily use is a good goal to aim for. Do you have trouble remembering to turn your lights on and off? Then, set a timer, and forget about it.

4.  Turn Off Room Lights When the Tree is Lit

The lights on your tree should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room.

5.  Decorate with Candles

Holiday lights are nice, but so are candles. Set up luminaries along your walkway and lit candles throughout your home to achieve a beautiful holiday glow, without adding to the electric bill. Just remember safety first when it comes to candle light!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Thousands of Opportunities to Save Energy!

With over 12,000 students and more than 2,200 employees in our district, one flip of a switch does make a difference. If just once per day, 1/4 of the district staff remembers to turn off lights in an unoccupied area, that's 550 times a day energy is being conserved. If 1/10 of the students remember just once a day to turn off a computer monitor, that's 220 times a day monitors are being powered down. Now multiply those numbers by 5 and in one week alone, there are literally thousands of opportunities to save energy if just a fraction of the students and staff turn off a light or shut off a monitor. All our small efforts do add up to make a big difference!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone in the
Robbinsdale Area School District
a fun, safe and efficient
Thanksgiving break!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Thanksgiving Break is almost here...

Before you leave your classroom or your house for the long weekend, be sure to turn off computer monitors and printers. These electronics continue to draw energy even when the computer is shut down. Take a look around and SEE where you can conserve energy while away from school or home.

Wishing you a fun, safe, and efficient Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

It's beginning to feel a bit like winter out there so here are some great fall and winter energy saving tips from the US Department of Energy. Click here to read the post on and hold on to your hat!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Make it a GREEN Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is next week already and has a great article with 10 tips for a Green Thanksgiving. This list really captures the spirit of the first Thanksgiving. Click here to go to the posting.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Have you heard of No Shave November?
Well, how about NO WASTE November?

So what can YOU do this month to not waste energy?

At the end of the day, don’t wait for the auto shut down which can be hours later, power off your computer when you leave. And while you’re at it, power down your monitor and speakers too. Lastly, don't forget your lights or any other lights in unoccupied areas. THANKS!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

An easy way to save energy is to turn down the brightness of your computer screen. It takes more energy to run a brighter display. Many computers have shortcut keys or brightness settings. If you use a battery powered lap top you probably turn down the brightness to preserve battery so if you are on a desk top, turn down the brightness to use less energy.

Another simple energy saving tip for your office area is to unplug printers, scanners and other hardware when you are not using it. Unless you print regularly, leaving your computer's printer or scanner plugged in is unnecessary. Disconnecting it from the power outlet saves energy. Or if it is easier, plug the printer into a power strip and switch it off unless you are printing.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Look Up!
The attic is one of the places where you will often find the biggest air leaks which in turn can increase your energy bills and make it uncomfortably hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter.
It is also an area that is usually accessible making it easier to seal and insulate.

So to improve the comfort level of your home during the heating and cooling months and to be much more energy efficient, look up!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Did you know an extra 100 pounds of weight in your car will reduce your fuel economy by as much as 2%? Be sure to remove roof racks and car top carriers when not in use and keep your trunk empty for a fuel efficient ride.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Minnesota is among the most energy efficient states in the nation. According to a new Wallet Hub study, Minnesota ranks third out of the lower 48 states. The Washington D.C.-based financial analysis website, Wallet Hub, compared data from all but two of the states. Alaska and Hawaii were excluded from the study based on data limitations.

The top 10 most energy efficient states are:

1.     New York
2.     Vermont
3.     Minnesota
4.     Wisconsin
5.     Utah
6.     Rhode Island
7.     Colorado
8.     California
9.     Connecticut
10.  Nevada

The least energy-efficient states according to the Wallet Hub study are South Carolina, Louisiana and Texas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Make it a green Halloween!
Please remember to re-use and/or recycle your costumes and decorations. And don't forget to compost those Jack'o lanterns. Thank you for doing your part this year to make it a GREEN Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Computer ON / Monitor ON
When you shut down your computer at the end of the day you will see the monitor light go from green to amber. Please be sure to press the power button on the monitor to completely power down the screen so it does not continue to draw energy over night.

Computer OFF / Monitor ON

No glowing light = no energy consumed.

Computer OFF / Monitor OFF

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Human Powered Generator

Available again this year for classroom demos is the Human Powered Generator activity. Students of all ages can give it a try to see if they can make a light bulb light up with just human generated power. I have various light bulbs and small appliances for students to try and see which ones use less energy and which ones use more energy making it harder to generate power.
Contact me via email at or at extension 8104 to schedule the Human Powered Generator activity for your classroom.

Today's Energy Insight

Energy Myth Busting continued...

MYTH: Use a screen saver when you are away from your monitor.

FACT: You should shut off your computer monitor anytime you are away from your work station. Screen savers were never meant as energy savers – they were meant to protect your screen from having the image displayed “burned” onto it. Today’s computers no longer experience this problem, and so screen savers have all but become useless.

Computer monitors on desktop units are separate from the computer processes unit (CPU). This means you can turn the monitor on and off independently from the “thinking” part of your machine. Monitors are essentially light switches – turning on the brightness of the screen so you can see what you are working on. This means they can be turned on and off like light switches! Computer monitors consumer over ½ of the total energy used by a desktop – anytime you are away from your screen, shut the monitor off to save energy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Make it a GREEN Halloween!

October is just around the corner so check out these great green Halloween tips from the World Wildlife Fund.

Click here to see the list at their website.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

We are enjoying some warm weather as we head into October but chilly fall winds are just around the corner. Did you know a one-eighth 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. Now is the perfect time to check for leaks, before the cold weather settles in for awhile.

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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Energy Myth Busting 101

MYTH: Keep the lights on because it takes more energy to fire them up after being off than it does to let them remain illuminated.

FACT: It takes less energy to fire up a light bulb than it does for it to keep running. While this used to be true, the message is now outdated. Old fluorescent bulbs took a few minutes to be fully lit, and used significantly more energy than today’s bulbs. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, the energy “surge” when a light is turned on is equal to leaving that light lit for just 5 seconds. So turn off the lights anytime you leave a room – no matter what type of lighting is in there! Even if you are going to be out of the room for 5 minutes, turning the lights off saves energy in a big way. Even in large rooms such as gyms and auditoriums, it pays to turn lights off when you walk out of the room!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Fall into Energy Savings...

Click here for a recent article from the U.S. Department of Energy full of fall and winter energy saving tips and ideas.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

It's a Brand New School Year and a great time to make a resolution to save some energy! Remember every flip of a switch, push of a button, or any effort to conserve energy adds up to big savings for our district. It's a team effort so please do your part to stretch our dollars further and keep the district's money in the classrooms to benefit the awesome students in Robbinsdale Area Schools!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

We're on a roll! An energy saving roll, that is. Let's keep the momentum going into this fall and beyond. Every effort, no matter how small (even just the flip of a switch) does make a difference. In a district our size, these efforts really do add up. Thanks for doing your part by being energy smart.

And please remember to always be a model of energy efficiency for our students and staff throughout the district.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Today's insight could also be considered food for thought...
Eighteen percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with raising, processing, packaging and shipping meat products for consumption. If every person in the United States substituted a vegetarian dish for a meat dish just once per week, the carbon dioxide reduction would be equivalent to taking more than 500,000 cars off the road.


The quarterly results are in for April - June of 2015 and are you ready for not only BIG NEWS but BIG SAVINGS??? The district had a combined overall reduction in energy consumption of 15% compared to the original baseline which resulted in a cost avoidance/savings of $48,507.00! Wow! Your efforts have paid off in a BIG way! Thank you for all of your efforts because working together you have made a BIG difference!
As we begin another school year, please continue to be a model of energy efficiency for our students!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Green Cars

If you "google" green cars you come up with quite a variety of options, here are just a few fun images. But how about "green" meaning environmentally friendly automobiles? Below is the top 10 list for 2015 from Kelley Blue Book. According to KBB, these models have the best combination of efficiency, value and overall appeal.

  1. 2015 BMW i3
  2. 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf
  3. 2015 Nissan Leaf
  4. 2015 Toyota Prius
  5. 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid
  6. 2015 Tesla Model S
  7. 2015 Chevrolet Volt
  8. 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid
  9. 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid
  10. 2015 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Second only to the refrigerator (consuming the most energy of household appliances) which of these then uses the most energy?

A)  Hair dryer

B)  Clothes Dryer

C)  Television

D)  Computer

Scroll down to check your answer...

The correct answer is B.
If you can, try air dry your laundry outdoors on a clothesline or use a drying rack indoors. Not only do you save energy and money but you also reduce your impact on the environment as well. Another option is to only partially dry your clothes in the dryer and then hang them to dry completely or hang them first and finish drying them in the dryer. These two options help with the crunchiness factor when air drying. Air drying helps garments last longer too. Take advantage of the warm summer air while you can!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

What Are You, a Penguin?
Have you ever heard this question as you stand in front of an open refrigerator? The quicker you are in and out of a refrigerator or freezer, the better it is for keeping the temperatures inside from rising. When warm air gets into the cold or frozen compartment, it causes the refrigerator to work harder to maintain optimal temperatures.

So if you have a penguin at home, gently remind them to make up their mind before they open the refrigerator or freezer and then once they do open it, ask them to not dawdle with the door open. The same can be said for leaving a door ajar while you bring in groceries or run out to the mailbox. Keep the hot air out and don't let the cool air escape by keeping doors closed between trips into the house or while you run outside for "just a sec."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

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.
  • On average, a bathtub requires about 36 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%.
  • 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.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Today's Energy Insight

Did you know fifteen minutes or more of pre-soaking and five minutes of agitation gets clothes cleaner than fifteen minutes of agitation? A simple and yet very effective tip for saving energy, saving money and getting your dirtiest clothes cleaner. And, less agitation isn't as hard on your garments either helping to keep your clothes from wearing out prematurely resulting in bonus savings!