Stage 3: Sustain

This is the final stage in making your school a successful chapter of the SSE. Though Turn Off the Lights is great for saving energy (while having fun at the same time), it does involve a lot of commitment. Because it requires constant manpower to help conserve energy, it’s not sustainable. Therefore, after implementing TOTL, and after educating your school, it’s time to push for permanent green energy improvements. That way, the impact we make will forever be maintained!

Here are some sustainable paths you can take:

Solar Panels
• Smart meters and software from SmartPowerEd
• Motion-sensored lights
• Florescent light bulbs

• Energy Audit

If you have any more suggestions on sustainable changes for a school, please let us know!  The more options, the better!
Feel free to update us on your progress as well!

2 Responses to “Stage 3: Sustain”

  1. Mae April 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Yes but I’d rearrange the order a bit to
    1) Educate/Inform
    2) Reduce
    3) Sustain
    4) Pay it forward. Recruit and help more schools and districts to the idea.

    Step 1 is have the conversation with students, teachers, administrators, parents about you plan and its importance. Get them onboard, enthused and invested in the idea. Most important ask a commitment of administrators to use funds saved by turning off the lights to sustain the momentum.

    Step 2) Reduce! Do what you’re doing! It’s great!

    That’s the time to perform an energy audit. You could develop your own form, ap or program to search for ways to lower your school’s carbon footprint or ask school maintenance, parents if qualified or even a local contractor to do the work.

    As you do that list the items you find from least cost to most.

    For example turning the hot water heater down costs zip and saves a lot. OTOH installing window treatments to insulate can range from low cost to huge depending. List the ideas and organize them by cost and if there’s a tie in the cost by estimated savings in energy.

    Step 3) Now you’ve been at it for a while. Turning off lights for a month or two. It’s time for your school to pay that energy bill. Ask the principal if you made a difference. My bet is that you do!

    Remember their promise to use at least some if not all of the savings towards sustaining the momentum. And ask they take the money saved and use it for low cost improvements on your audit.

    No reason not to. It’s all part of the budget already, right? You can show an estimate of savings they will reap later on. Keep it going!

    • vpan2012 May 31, 2012 at 8:13 pm #

      Hi Mae!
      Thanks so much for your input. I think it totally makes sense as well because it is necessary to get people on board and the project approved before its implementation. I also do think its important to educate people during the implementation because people need to know what we are doing and perhaps get inspired by our actions to take their own actions. In fact, I think the educating aspect should be a continuous part of the whole journey! The reason why I put it second is because I refer to specific activities or events that can educate the community about our efforts, like assemblies and fairs. These kinds of events help raise awareness and get people involved!

      Actually, to be honest, I don’t think that there really is a set order. It depends on the circumstances and how each student wishes to tackle a project. As long as the steps are incorporated (in no specific order), and followed through, it is bound to be a great project :)

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