Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reduce our carbon footprint along with the budget.

As part of the budget reduction feedback I’ve received, several people have asked for a reminder to staff regarding energy conservation.

This suggestion may have been prompted by budget discussions, but we know it is a win/win to reduce energy, save money, and serve as good stewards and role models for our students and community.

You can make a significant contribution to reducing energy consumption and utility costs by following these guidelines:

1. Turn off the lights whenever a room is unoccupied.

2. Turn off computers, monitors, printers, and copiers at the end of the day. (Technology asks us to keep our computers on over Thursday night, so they can implement districtwide software upgrades. You can still turn off your monitor and printer, and with the CPU left on your computer will receive the software updates.)

3. Reduce or eliminate appliances and electronic devices that are always “on” (like mini-refrigerators, individual clock radios, etc.). Share resources with colleagues whenever possible.

4. Keep outside doors closed, so the building’s HVAC system can work at the minimum level required to maintain a balanced temperature.

5. Put paper, glass and aluminum cans in recycling containers instead of garbage cans.

The above tips are a compilation of the current advice from several energy conservation agencies and utilities, and are probably very familiar to all of you. With the growth of available technology and personal appliances, our demand for electricity in particular has increased significantly in our schools. We have over 1,000 classrooms and well in excess of 10,000 computers/electronic devices, so even small changes in behavior make a big difference in energy consumption across the whole district.

Any additional suggestions you have are welcome.

The blog has a few modest suggestions:

1. Immediately introduce VPN (Virtual Private Network) and have all staff work from home. The vast majority of ESC lights would never go on. Computers would never go on. Toilets would go unflushed. Parking lots would go unused. Copiers would never go on. Faxes could be diverted to home offices, FedEx-Kinko's or collected at the ESC once a week.

2. Human Resources can be just a red telephone. Walk-in customers can pick up the receiver and it immediately dials the "on-call" HR staff member. Then HR can figure out how to compensate their own staff for carrying the duty telephone. An intern can be left in the ESC to fumble around in the dark following the direction of the on-call staff member.

3. Existing cubicles can be "rented out" to pet projects of board members for dark, unheated storage.

4. The parking lots could be leased to the Dodge dealer across 68th. With the price of gas, they will need the new space for their new line of Dodge hybrids powered by the wind and pork bellies.

5. The current site could be modified to accommodate Scriber Lake High School immediately.

6. A new administration building would no longer be needed. No risk of exposure to unknown elements. Rent the site back to Raskin for wine festival shuttle parking.

7. Due to contractual agreements with the union, the ESC custodians would also work from home.

8. Install a credit card machine in the ESC lobby so community groups can rent the board rooms. When their time runs out, the lights go off and an alarm sounds. They can recharge the room with another swipe of their credit card.

9. Staff meetings can be hosted at Shari's or Pizza Hut. Better still, you could use the Lynnwood Convention Center because no one else seems to be using it.

10. Conference rooms can be rented out to board members that want to "modernize" with discretion.

11. No need to pay a fortune to reconfigure cubicles if they aren't going to be occupied.

12. Staff can stay at home and work in their pajamas. Fewer showers and loads of laundry saves water. Fewer trips to the ESC saves gas. Think of the impact to our community's carbon footprint.

By implementing these few suggestions, the Edmonds School District will get national attention and Nick's reputation will be off the chart for appearing to care so deeply for our environment. Of course, the Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations would have to get a bus pass so she can randomly check on staff. A very small price to pay to maintain administrative efficiencies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eliminating ESC would also positively impact air quality by reducing methane emissions from their endless bullshit. In the interest of ecomindedness you may wish to add that to your list.