Recycle like Crazy: Recycle everything you can and look for items in recyclable material when shopping for gatherings and presents. For guides on how to recycle everything take a look at Recycling Association of Minnesota
Flip the Switch: Double check and make sure all lights are off and electronics are unplugged before you leave the house.
Drive to the Limit: Taking a small road trip to visit family? Drive efficiently by making sure your tires are pumped up, and you are driving the speed limit.
Color with TOLBY: Need an activity for the kids to do? Print out TOLBY coloring sheets and activities that will teach them about energy efficiency and keep them entertained!
The Energy Challenge reached another milestone earlier this week- 30,000 members! That is enough people to fill (seated only) 445 light rails cars! The current 30,300 members are pledging to save a total of 244,653,817 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. This amount of CO2 is equivalent to removing 23,119 passenger cars from the road each year. EPA GHG Calculator
Great work everyone- this shows that all of the small things we all do add up to make a big difference for Minnesota’s environment. As always, continue to spread the word on the Minnesota Energy Challenge and energy efficiency actions!
Which appliances uses more energy in a week: 5 minute daily shower, fridge or an iron used twice a week?
In order to efficiently prioritize your energy conservation actions you need to know how much energy household appliances use. A co-worker of mine found a great plug load game, by Navetas Energy Management, that helps you learn just that! Organize the given appliances from least to most power used in one week. You will be surprised at what the answers are!
After you have finished playing (and learning), pick one appliance and focus on reducing its energy use. Then add the action to your Energy Challenge profile to see your savings climb!
Time for a few tips on being more sustainable this Thanksgiving. The infographic below, How to Have a 100-Mile Thanksgiving by Sustainable America, looks at various ways to reduce your carbon footprint this year. A couple examples are eating locally and using reusable plates. Secondly, I would like to introduce you all to the word- ort. Ort means a scrap or morsel left at a meal. I learned about it this weekend at the Audubon Center of the North Woods which has a “No Ort” award for schools. Playing off their award -a fun way to reduce waste at your meal this year is to have a family goal of no ort. This increases the yummy leftovers and decreases wasted food! Lastly, I hope you all have a safe, fun and sustainable Thanksgiving!
It is the time of year when most of us are getting out the incandescent holiday lights that we bought last year. If it’s a typical year, at least one of our strands won’t work and it is out to the store to buy new ones. Here are three things to keep in mind when this happens to you again this year:
1. Recycle the broken lights: Don’t just toss the broken strands in the trash. Instead, bring them to the closest holiday light recycling bin. There are more than 450 locations throughout the state!
2. Buy LED lights: LEDs are the perfect use for holiday lighting. They can last up to 25,000 hours, which is an average of about 40 holiday seasons! LEDs also use 80% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Depending on how enthusiastic your holiday light decorations are, this combination will help you save $10-$250 every season. The best part is if one light on the strand goes out, the rest of the lights will still work.
3. Add it as an Energy Challenge pledge: Don’t forget to add this to your Energy Challenge profile to continue to see your overall savings grow!
The first year of the TOLBY Program was a huge success; we presented to over 2,700 students in 18 different schools. This year we expanded the program to offer students and teachers additional energy education resources. The recently launched For Teachers page features TOLBY Program pre and post energy activities that align with Minnesota State Science Standards. We are excited to offer these free energy education activities for educators in Minnesota.
This school year we have already presented to over 1,000 students and are excited for what the expanded program will bring for the rest of the year. Interested in a TOLBY visit? Contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org
A key necessity of increasing our home’s energy efficiency is knowing how they use energy. Energy Savvy recently put together data on heating and cooling, housing structure and energy use habits. Not surprisingly we have a lot more basements than the rest of the country (which may lead to more second fridges)! interestingly, Minnesotans have more central AC than the national average. Our natural gas usage for heating, water heating and is also higher than the rest of the country. And due to the cold temperatures, 12% of homes have extra thick attic insulation -compared to the 3% national average.
Does your home match up with the Minnesota average?