Friday, December 15, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Look for Opportunities to Save!

Winter break is just around the corner so here is your friendly reminder to look around before you leave the building for an extended amount of time. Be sure you have shut down, turned off or unplugged where possible in your area, office or classroom. Especially look for these:

Computer monitors and speakers
Smart boards and projectors
Copiers and printers
TVs, DVD players and display monitors
A / V equipment
Electronic equipment in Science Labs and Art Rooms
Equipment in Industrial Tech / Auto Shop
Phone chargers
Don't forget to close window blinds too!

Wishing the RAS District and beyond
Happy Holidays and an Efficient New Year!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Myth Busting!

A common misconception about saving energy is that leaving lights, computers, and other electric appliances turned on when you are not going to be away for very long is a good idea. Switching them on and off all the time wears them out more quickly, and also produces sudden power spikes that negate any supposed energy savings.
If there were ever any legitimacy to this idea, there isn’t anymore. Switching sophisticated modern appliances and electrical devices on and off frequently will not reduce their life span, and any power surges that might occur are likely to be minuscule. The bottom line is that if you aren’t using an electrical device, it should be turned off; period, case closed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
~ Gro Harlem Brundtland

Who is Gro Harlem Brundtland?
She was the first female Prime Minister of Norway and is widely regarded as the “mother” of sustainable development. A physician as well as an international leader in sustainable development and public health, Dr. Brundtland chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development — the Brundtland Commission — which defined the term “sustainable development” in its landmark report, “Our Common Future.” The commission’s recommendations provided the momentum for the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

YOU Make a Difference!

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
- Jane Goodall

To the Students and Staff of our district ~
A World of Thanks to You for Making a Difference in 2017!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

How to Save Energy with Holiday Lighting

  • Use Fiber Optic Decorations Fiber optics are the ultimate in energy efficiency. In most cases, they use a single light bulb.
  • Switch to LED Light Strands and Decorations LED lights use 90% less electricity than regular holiday lights
  • Limit the Time Lights are On Wait until dark to turn on your lights. Six hours or less a day is a good goal. Have trouble remembering to turn them off? Set a timer.
  • Turn Off Room Lights When the Tree is On The lights on your tree should provide more than enough lighting to navigate around the room.
  • Decorate with Candles Set up luminaries or ice candle holders outside. Lit candles throughout your home achieve a beautiful glow without adding to your electric bill. Just remember, SAFETY FIRST when it comes to decorating with candlelight.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Just a simple note of thanks to YOU, the wonderful staff and students in the Robbinsdale Area School District: THANK YOU for being thoughtful about your energy use and saving energy whenever possible. All your efforts add up to make a huge difference!

Wishing you a Happy, Safe and Efficient Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Let's Talk Turkey Energy Efficiency!
Here are the top 7 ways to save energy on Thanksgiving:

  1. Keep the over door closed so heat does not escape causing the oven to use more energy to maintain its temperature.
  2. Match your pots to the burner size and use lids when possible.
  3. Bake several dishes at the same time when at the same temp to cut down in overall baking time.
  4. Use glass or ceramic pans to lower the oven temp by 25 degrees and still bake in the same amount of time.
  5. Turn down your thermostat because baking, cooking and extra people help to heat up your home.
  6. Use your microwave; it uses much less energy and cooking time is much shorter.
  7. Use your dishwasher; it uses less water than hand-washing dishes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Today's energy Insight

Thanksgiving is next week already! Check out this great article on how to have yourself a green Thanksgiving. CLICK HERE for the link to "Ideas for a Greener Thanksgiving."

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

It's Novemberrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Now that it has turned chillier, here are some helpful tips for being more energy efficient during the heating season:

  • Clear the clutter from furnace vents and registers.
  • Close drapes and blinds after the sun goes down (which is way too early right now!)
  • Make sure appliances and electronics (those that emit heat) are not near thermostats.
  • Limit your use of portable heaters so you don't freeze out your coworker (space heaters wreak havoc on the zone heating of schools and offices!)
  • Dress for the weather, add a layer (or three) or lap blanket.
  • If your arms are full, consider not using the auto door opener, which keeps the door open longer allowing the cold air in and the warm air to escape!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

and you know what that means...

It's No Waste November!

What have you done today to not waste energy?
Thanks for doing your part and being energy smart!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Do you know what the MOST efficient form of ENERGY available to us today is???

It is the energy we don't have to produce in the first place so when you save energy, you are being as efficient as you possibly can. It only takes the push of a button or the flip of a switch to make a difference at school, work, home... everywhere!
Thanks, Everyone for doing your part!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It's MEA Week

Do you know what MEA stands for?

So please try to be MORE ENERGY AWARE
and set a good example for our staff and students!

(For followers of this blog not in Minnesota, MEA also stands for Minnesota Education Association and a short hand way to refer to fall break in districts throughout the state.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Energy ACTION Month

October is Energy Awareness Month
but besides just being aware, why not consider it...
Simple actions YOU can do include
(but are not limited to)
  • Flip off your light switch
  • Turn off your monitor
  • Re-use, re-purpose, recycle when you can
  • Replace old bulbs with CFLs or LEDs
  • Use a power strip
  • Add a layer instead of turning up the heat
Every little action counts and all add up to make a huge difference.
Thanks for taking ACTION!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Energy Awareness Month

October means football, pumpkin spice everything and Halloween, of course. But October is also National Energy Awareness Month. This month of recognition dates back to September 1991 when President George Bush made the declaration encouraging government and organizations to raise awareness of the importance of sustainably managing the nation's energy resources.

So what can you do in October, and all year long for that matter? It doesn't take much, in fact Archbishop Desmond Tutu has a famous quote that fits quite nicely with being energy conscious.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Why is Energy Management
Important in Our School District?
  • About 30% of the energy consumed by schools is used inefficiently or unnecessarily.
  • Annual energy costs average nearly $250 per student!
  • 80% of greenhouse gas pollution is from the production, distribution and disposal of energy.* (* according to the EPA and Energy Star)
  • Energy is a major source of avoidable spending.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Classroom Visits!

The district Energy Efficiency Coordinator is now scheduling classroom visits for this fall and beyond. Sheri is ready to get out and about in the schools to work with all the fabulous kiddos in the district. For the younger grades, she can be a guest reader and share a couple of great eco-friendly books including Curious George Plants a Tree followed by an interactive discussion at their grade level about energy efficiency. For the upper elementary and middle grades she has a fun energy game show to share with the students or a hands on demonstration about energy. At the secondary level there are several options for activities and classroom presentations. The Energy Efficiency Coordinator can be reached at extension 8104 or via email at
Make it a fun and energy efficient year, everyone!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Simply Stated

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
~ Margaret Mead

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Back to School Time!

It's that time of year again... Ready or not, a New School Year is just around the corner and it’s a GREAT time to make a resolution to save energy! Be a model of energy efficiency for our students and staff by practicing energy conservation every day. By being mindful of our energy use and working together, we can and do make a difference!

Thanks for doing your part by being Energy Smart!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

It's a Great Day to
Save Energy in Robbinsdale!
Even though a single green effort will not solve the world's environmental problems overnight, there is absolutely no harm in trying to make a small impact by embracing greener habits. Resolve to be more energy efficient, it can be contagious!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

MYTH: Leaving fans on in the summer when you leave the house is a good way to keep rooms cool.

FACT: Fans move the air, but they don't really cool it, and leaving them on when no one is around is a waste of energy and money. Fans actually provide a wind chill effect, which makes you feel cooler by accelerating the evaporation of perspiration on your skin. So be sure to turn off fans in unoccupied areas and especially when you leave your office or house.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Did you know peas are a good source of protein? Okay, put a pin in that for the moment. Did you know 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with raising, processing, packaging and shipping meat products for human consumption? If every American substituted a plant-based protein 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. But where can you find plant-based protein? Check out the graphic below:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

During air conditioning season, when you leave the house for any length of time, you should consider turning up your thermostat to between 80 and 85 degrees (unless you're leaving pets at home). Experts agree that the energy saved from turning your thermostat up in the summer while you're away is greater than the energy used to cool your house back down after you return. Better yet, think about a programmable thermostat to raise and lower the temps for you. Stay Cool and Save Energy!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

It's another hot July day out there so the insight today is all about HEAT. By now you have probably heard CFL or LED bulbs use less energy and last longer than incandescent bulbs but here is another factor to consider...

Standard incandescent bulbs create more HEAT than light, up to 90% of the energy these bulbs consume is given off as HEAT! When running A/C, incandescent bulbs are actually working against you.  If you switch to CFL or LED bulbs your cooling costs will go down along with your lighting costs. COOL!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Ways to Green Your Summer Travel

Try to eat locally and sustainably. Ditch the chain restaurants and be adventurous. Pack a cooler and stop at roadside fruit and vegetable stands, visit local farmer's markets. CLICK HERE to check out the Eat Well Guide with over 25,000 hand-picked restaurants, farms, markets and other sources of local, sustainable food.

Bring a stainless steel water bottle. Bottled water is plentiful but pricey and also creates plastic waste. With stainless steel you avoid BPA and it helps you save money.

Keep your car tires properly inflated. Tires that are under-inflated reduce performance so keep them full of air to increase your gas mileage. Also make sure your scheduled maintenance is up-to-date to help the engine run as efficiently as possible.

Patronize local businesses. Use your tourist dollars to support local economies by choosing small businesses over big box chain stores. Summer destinations often count on this income to survive the rest of the year.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Happy Birthday, America!

The best gift you can give our country is to make just one change to your daily routine to help conserve energy. Whether you replace an incandescent bulb with a CFL or LED, flip a switch off when a room is unoccupied, power down your computer monitor at the end of the day or unplug unused electronics; these simple steps DO make a difference, especially in a district our size. Small changes add up to create big savings.

When you save energy, you are stretching our district dollars further and that gives us reason to...
Have a fun, safe and energy efficient 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

The EPA's annual Top Cities list was recently published and shows which metro areas were home to the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings in the previous year. These regions continue to make impressive strides in cutting American energy bills and pollution through energy efficiency. Their efforts contribute to stronger economies, healthier communities, and cleaner air for all of us.

1)            Washington, DC
2)            Los Angeles
3)            New York
4)            San Francisco
5)            Atlanta
6)            Dallas
7)            Chicago
8)            Houston
9)            Boston
10)          Phoenix

To see the complete list of the top 25 cities (including where Minneapolis/St. Paul was ranked) plus the lists of top mid-size cities, top small cities and lots of other information CLICK HERE.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Save Energy with the Touch of a Button!

Most copiers or printer/copier combos have a sleep or Energy Saver mode. See the lit up green button just to the right of the key pad in the picture to the right? It just takes a second or two to hit that button when you finish at the copier or pick up your printing. Or perhaps you're walking by and the machine is lit up and ready, why not just press the energy saver button? Every little bit helps and it really adds up! Thanks for doing your part!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Summer break is a great opportunity to save energy in the district when classrooms are mostly empty but what if you are in an office or building year round, like the ESC staff? Here is what you can do at the end of the day on a daily basis but especially on Fridays and when you leave for an extended amount of time.
  • Turn off your computer monitor and any auxiliary speakers.
  • Power down your printer or copy machine.
  • Turn off any task lighting.
  • Close blinds to keep out the hot sun.
  • Make sure vents are clear of clutter.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

School's Out for Summer!

Just a fun trivia question today in honor of all the students and staff in the Robbinsdale Area School District celebrating the end of the school year...

The Alice Cooper classic "School's Out" was written in 1972 by which singer/songwriter?

A) Curtis Mayfield

B) Ozzy Osbourne

C) Elton John

D) Alice Cooper

Scroll down to check your answer...

Congratulations to the Cooper and Armstrong Classes of 2017!

Congratulations to the Class of 2029,
this year's kindergarten students!

Have a groovy and efficient summer everyone!

... and the correct answer is Alice Cooper
(a bit of a trick question)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

4 Fun Facts about Saving Energy at School

Think saving energy at school is boring? Think again! Here are some fun facts about what happens when you conserve energy in your classrooms, bathrooms, computer labs and across the district!
  • A hot water faucet that leaks one drop per second can add up to 165 gallons a month. That’s more than the average person uses in two weeks!
  • Turning off the lights in your classroom for just one hour saves enough energy to keep two pounds of pollutants out of the atmosphere!
  • Replacing six interior incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs can keep 566 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere — and save you about $30 — each year. Just think of how many light bulbs are in one school and then multiply that by 19 buildings!
  • Across the country, computer monitors waste about $900 million dollars n electricity per year from being left on while no one is using them.The least efficient schools use three times more energy as the best performers – how does your school measure up?

Robbinsdale students love saving energy!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day

To honor our Veterans, it is our duty and responsibility as Americans to keep our country a sustainable place for our children and the generations to follow. As we head into this holiday weekend, be mindful of your energy use and how you treat the environment. Plant something this weekend!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

A high school teacher recently asked if power strips really do save energy and the short answer is yes, power strips do reduce what is referred to as phantom loads or vampire energy. However, you can do one step better than the average power strip or surge protector.

Now there are smart power strips or eco-strips out on the market. These strips use a motion detector of sorts to monitor and manage energy use. Devices plugged into the controlled outlets are turned on and off based on occupancy per se, or the fact that they are currently using energy. When installed, some power-sensing power strips turn off power to all the accessories unless the main item is turned on. These strips may cost a little more than regular power strips but this would be a case where you spend money to save money.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

"If you watch how nature deals with adversity,
continually renewing itself, you can't help but learn."
~ Bernie Siegel

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

It's time once again to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans as the seasons change. During the fall and winter the blades should rotate in a clockwise direction to push warm air downward. Fans should spin counterclockwise in the spring and summer to cool the room. And remember to not let ceiling fans run in unoccupied areas. Fans cool people and not spaces.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Did you know it takes 17 million barrels of oil each year just to produce all the disposable plastic water bottles used in the United States? Yikes! That's a lot of oil! What's more, only 12% of disposable water bottles are actually recycled. That means 88% of these bottles end up in a landfill or becoming litter.

Utilizing a refillable water bottle helps you save money, energy and the environment. By taking a water bottle with you, you can fill up just about every place you go. So stay hydrated and save energy in the process.
This = a win win for you and the environment! Yay You!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

Ronald Reagan once said, "Every day begins with possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with things that move us toward progress and peace."

As Spring unfolds before us ripe with new growth and fresh possibilities, consider adopting an attitude of “every little bit helps.” Even though a single green effort will not solve the world’s environmental problems overnight, there is absolutely no harm in trying to make a small impact by embracing greener habits. What is your “little bit?”

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Earth Day 2017

Earth Day is this Saturday April 22nd. This year the campaign theme on is Environmental and Climate Literacy. CLICK HERE to learn more about Earth Day, the March for Science planned in Washington, D.C. and lots of other information and activities.

Happy Earth Week!

Image courtesy

What are you going to do this week to make the earth a better place? CLICK HERE to check out some cool eco-activities posted on and make it a groovy week!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Easter!

Wishing Everyone in the
Robbinsdale Area School district and beyond a

Stay Groovy and Energy Efficient Ya'll!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy Earth Month!

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
~ Jane Goodall

Flipping a switch won't change the world, however in a district our size, when just a handful of people in each building make a conscious effort to conserve energy, it does make a difference. Every effort, no matter how small, adds up to make a big impact.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Earth Month Activities

Happy Earth Month!

Would you like the Energy Efficiency Coordinator to visit your classroom in April for Earth Month or Earth Day? For the younger elementary students, I can be a guest reader and give an age appropriate presentation on energy efficiency. Here are a couple of the fun books I have to share:

For the older students I have a more detailed presentation including a light meter and a watt meter as great visuals. I also have a fun quiz game to play with the students. My schedule is starting to book up so please contact me via email to set up a visit to your classroom in April. This is my favorite time of year because I get so much classroom time with the exceptional and inquisitive students in our district! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

The legendary coach Vince Lombardi once said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”  Every staff person plays an important role in making our school district great. Thank you for the contributions you make each and every day.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Today's Energy Insight

As winter finally fades away (we hope) we start to see signs of life return and perhaps turn our thoughts to spring planting and new landscaping projects around the house. While thinking about what to plant this year, consider landscaping for energy efficiency.

Planting trees, shrubs, vines, hedges and ground cover can be a cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing way to reduce your energy consumption. Well-designed landscaping will also protect your home from the sun and can block out excessive noise as well.

One of the most cost-effective ways to reduce cooling costs is to shade windows from the sun. Landscaping can provide that shading, helping you reduce A/C costs and protect your home from harsh weather.

Here are a few benefits to consider:
  • Trees and bushes can block much of the sun’s heat before it hits your windows and walls.
  • Shade trees can significantly reduce surrounding air temps and the temperature in your attic. Trees, shrubs and ground cover can reduce the heat reflected from the ground up to your walls and windows.
  • Deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter, making them ideal to block the sun in summer while allowing the sun to warm your home in the winter.
  • Shrubs, bushes and vines provide year-round insulation by creating a dead air space next to your home.