I am writing this blog from across the “pond.” I am sitting in my grandparents’ kitchen in France, a country who just had a potentially world-changing presidential election, thinking about the impact that presidents have on sustainability. Which got me thinking about today’s blog topic: international sustainability agreements!
To celebrate Earth Day, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Green Schools Committee hosted a tour of the Phoenix Coding Academy, a new, small specialty high school in the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD). Opened to students for the first time in August 2016, the Phoenix Coding Academy is focused on providing students a high school education with a course load heavy on technology innovation and computer coding.
With summer, comes one of my favorite pastimes…Major League Baseball! Growing up on the East Coast, summer was always the time to go outside and play and watch sports. The dreary winter was over, and it was time to bathe in the sunlight. While the summer brings on a new meaning in Phoenix, it is still an important time for sports. Which got me thinking…how are major sporting events starting to integrate sustainability?
Did you know that Earth Day was started by a senator in Wisconsin? Or that Earth Day was originally an American event, and only went global in 1990? With Earth Day just around the corner (this Saturday, April 22), I thought I’d share a little history from the Earth Day Network, as well as some activity ideas for you to participate in over the next week (and anytime!).
All 10 schools and the Nogales Unified School District office building earned ENERGY STAR certification as part of their Energy Savings Program. Very few districts have all their locations achieve this certification, stated Dr. Auriane Koster, Sustainability Manager for Pierce Energy Planning, a subcontractor to Midstate Energy.
The Vittoria Energy Expedition is a renewable energy-powered sailboat, which the crew plans to sail to Cuba (and eventually other destinations around the world) to talk about how communities use renewable energy, such as solar and wind, to power their homes, businesses, and lives. The 31-foot sailboat will harness the power of the wind, as sailboats have been doing for ages, and will use electricity from solar panels to power the electric motor (which replaced the standard diesel engine), equipment, lighting, and other electricity needs.
While we have a little bit of knowledge on a vast array of subjects, every sustainability scientist is an expert in one, or maybe two, narrower area(s). As many of you can expect, my area of expertise is in energy. However, like most sustainability scientists, there are a few other topic areas that I find fascinating and like to spend some personal time researching. That area for me is food.
Close your eyes for a moment and picture Las Vegas; even if you have never been there you have most likely seen it on TV or at least heard stories. Are you envisioning Vegas as a serene environment with solar panels, a bounty of parks, and hippies dancing in a circle around a fire? Heck no! Vegas is known for its opulence, lights, noise, and waste!
Buildings and the occupants inside them use energy for processes like cooling, heating, and lighting. Building energy consumption accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption in the United States, at a cost of more than $200 billion per year; more than any other industry sector. Surprisingly, about 30% of the total energy consumed by buildings is wasted through inefficient practices and behaviors!
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) is designed for benchmarking and reducing total energy usage and GHG emissions NOT for troubleshooting individual utility accounts or managing utility costs. ESPM lacks the necessary functionality to be a true utility management, sole energy management and troubleshooting tool.