Did you know that besides summer vacation, winter break is the best opportunity to make major behavior changes related to energy conservation at your school? When students and teachers are preparing to leave the school building for an extended break, they’re more likely to implement simple energy saving techniques like closing window blinds, unplugging appliances, turning off power switches, and turning thermostats down. Everyone knows that it takes a lot of energy to heat large buildings in the cold winter months, so let's all work together to make sure our classrooms and buildings are shut down properly before we leave for winter break!
Jim Schlacter, Superintendent of GBSD, and his guest Charley Haupt, President of New Energy Technology, Inc., participated in ENERGY STAR's 20th Anniversary Business Roundtable with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson yesterday! Companies like Sears, Lowes, Whirlpool , GE and Gresham-Barlow School District were invited to discuss how their partnership with EPA is helping their organization achieve its sustainability and financial goals, including preventing pollution, increasing economic competitiveness and creating jobs.
Resource conservation comes in many forms. Water conservation. Energy reduction. Recycling. Wise energy management. All of them have one primary goal: to reduce waste, cut costs and help the environment.
Fifth grade students Iris, Kimberly and Kylie give up their recess once or twice a week to walk through Kelly Creek Elementary School and perform "energy audits" on classrooms. If a school room is unoccupied and the lights are all turned off, they leave a green card on the teacher's desk thanking them for turning off the lights. If a room is unoccupied but the lights are still turned on, they leave a red card reminding the teacher to "Please remember to turn off your lights and save energy!"
The students have a chart listing the classrooms that they visit. They check each classroom and mark the results on their chart so they can track progress over time.
Typically one student will be in charge of writing the results on the chart while one or two other students will write red or green slips to leave in each classroom. They often rotate the positions among themselves.
Do the red slips help change the energy culture at Kelly Creek Elementary? "Last time we performed an energy audit, we only had two classrooms that got red slips," says Light Patrol student Iris. "That's actually pretty good because we've done it a lot and that's pretty awesome for us."
The students have even given a red slip to the former principal. "It was a good thing because we could never get him to [turn his lights off]," says Head Custodian Christa Garman. "He learned quick."