Last Tuesday our team of DCSEU mentors joined 25 students, the first ever Anacostia High School Green Team, to do an energy walk through to identify ways to save for the DC Green Schools Sprint to Savings. With a basketball game and sunny afternoon competing for attention, I was blown away by the enthusiasm that the students brought to the technical lesson. Armed with signs that read “Turn it off”, “Wasting Energy”, and “Too Hot/Too Cold”, the Green Team searched the halls, gymnasium, and cafeteria to find low-cost, easy-to-implement energy savings opportunities.
The coolest part was how much fun the students had. As the new Energy Patrol paraded through the hallways we actually ended up recruiting more students along the way. A few brave students dared to go into the principal’s office to inquire about unnecessary plug loads like space heaters. The receptionist gave the Green Team a big bashful smile and a thumbs up for their interest and effort in saving energy.
In the classroom debrief, DCSEU did a technical demonstration of an infrared camera which showed students a heat loss image map when pointed at drafty doors and poorly-insulated walls. In a discussion about water savings, one of the student groups showed how changing a faucet aerator in the cafeteria kitchen reduced water flow by filling two bags with water for five seconds, one full bag before the aerator was installed and one half-full bag after. Naturally they could not then help but notice all the other faucets and how much could be saved if all school faucets had aerators – such a simple energy saving technique!
We’re posting photos and updates on twitter @DCSEU. We look forward to our next session with the Anacostia High School Green Team when will calculate their carbon footprints and play energy efficiency jeopardy.
- Danielle Griffin, Account Manager with the DCSEU and DC Green Schools mentor