What Can I Do?

What Can I Do to Help the Delta School District Achieve Sustainable Excellence?

 

Conserve Electricity
  • Remember to turn off lights, computers, monitors and other electrical equipment when you no longer need them.
  • By turning off lights in a typical classroom whenever the room is not in use during a typical school day, electrical consumption can be reduced by as much as 36,000 kWh per year for every 20 classrooms.  This relates to over $2,800 in cost savings per year and approximately 0.8 tonnes of CO2 not entering the atmosphere!
  • In an office or staff room setting, rather than turning on all room lights, consider using a combination of daylight and task/area lighting (using energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs of course).
  • Unplug power adaptors when not in use.  Ever noticed that the power adapter for your laptop, cell phone, smartphone, GameBoy, etc. is warm when plugged in?  A power adapter/charger continues to draw energy even when not plugged in to any device and draws at least 1 watt of electricity all the time.  An easy way to limit standby power loss is to plug all electronics into one or more power bars that can easily be switched off when the electronics are not being used.
  • Turn off your computer’s monitor when not in use.  75% of the electricity used by your computer is by the monitor!
  • By activating power management (we use a program called “Deep Freeze”) on computers and monitors, which effectively power down the units when not in use, one could conceivably reduce electrical consumption by over 65,000 kWh per year for every 100 units.  This relates to over $5,000 in cost savings per year and approximately 1.4 tonnes of CO2 not entering the atmosphere.
  • Instead of plugging in an electric space heater if the room is a bit cold, wear a sweater!
  • For more tips on how to conserve energy at home, visit the Power Smart for Home page.

 

Conserve Water
  • Do not let water taps run on or flush toilets unnecessarily and remember to turn off taps when you no longer need water.
  • Report any taps, toilets or urinals that are no working properly to school administration so that they can send in a repair work order.
  • Take shorter showers
  • Try not to let too much water run from the hot water tap when you are waiting for it to warm up.  What you can do is save the cooler water in a container and use it to water plants!
  • Don’t throw away dead batteries, recycle them or better yet, use rechargeable batteries.  The mercury contained in old batteries will eventually leak in a landfill and poison the water it runs into
  • To learn more about conserving water, check out Explore Water with Holly Heron, put out by the Girl Guides of Canada or Water Conservation Around the House, put out by Earth Day Canada.

 

Reduce, Re-use & Recycle
  • Make all photocopies and print-outs double-sided and reduce margin widths.
  • Avoid wasted paper and mistakes by previewing documents carefully and knowing how to properly operate the photocopier (if unsure how to operate the copier, don’t be afraid to ask the school secretary).
  • Consider using a reusable fax cover page (can be made by laminating a blank cover page and then writing using dry erase pens).  Better yet, send faxes from your computer!
  • For memos and newsletters, circulate or post a single copy or use e-mail.  Try to avoid printing out e-mails you’ve received.
  • Use only the amount of toilet tissue, paper towel or napkins needed to dry your hands or face.  Don’t waste these items – better yet, use hand dryers where available.
  • Try to avoid products or deliveries with excess cardboard packaging or shredded paper packing.  Save what you receive and re-use it for your outgoing deliveries.  Same goes for envelopes.
  • Whenever possible, purchase office paper that is 100% post-consumer recycled content and non-chlorine bleached.
  • Save waste paper that has only been printed on one side and re-use it for notepads, draft print-outs, colouring, etc.
  • If you have to discard office paper, newspaper or cardboard, use the recycling stations situated in your building – don’t throw it in the garbage!

 

Reduce Waste
  • When you bring your lunch to school, use a re-usable lunch bag or box and a re-usable bottle to hold your beverage.  Try to minimize using disposable wrapping for your sandwich, cookies, etc. – use plastic containers that can be brought home, washed and used again!
  • Try to minimize use of disposable plastic cups, plates, bowls, food storage bags and utensils.  If you do use these, don’t throw them away – take them home, wash them and re-use them.  Better yet.. use non-disposable cups, bowls, plates and utensils.
  • Take home and either re-use or put out for recycling glass bottles and jars.
  • Try to avoid bottled water and consider either bringing your filtered water from home in a re-usable sports bottle or drinking from one of the water fountains located in the school.
  • Consider starting a composting operation to transform your food waste into rich earth-like material that can be added to a school garden to help plants grow.
  • Use re-usable or refillable supplies such as pens, pencils or tape dispensers.  Save plastic report sleeves and cerlox binding for re-use.
  • Good school resources are the Waste Reduction Week and Kids Be Green websites.

 

Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

“Carbon Footprint” means the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).  Global climate change is a serious problem and is directly attributable to the amount of CO2 released from burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas.  The main producers of CO2 in our District are natural gas-fired heating systems and vehicles (parents driving students to and from school, District staff driving to and from their workplaces, District maintenance fleet and our contracted school busses, and paper consumption.  Here’s how you can do your part to reduce Delta’s carbon footprint:

  • Walk, ride a bicycle or take public transit to and from school or work.
  • If you’re in a vehicle that is parked, even for a few minutes, have the drive turn the engine off – don’t let them leave it on and idling.
  • On cooler days, bring a sweater or cardigan to school/work rather than ask for the heat to be turned up.
  • Conserve electricity (this will mean less need for BC Hydro to purchase from a company that uses fossil fuels to generate electricity).
  • Reduce the amount of office paper you consume and if you need to print or photocopy anything, use recycled paper, use duplex settings and make 100% sure there are no errors before hitting the “print” button!

To calculate your carbon footprint and see what you’ll need to do to lower it, go to either the SafeClimate Carbon Footprint Calculator websites.

Power Smart Quiz

Take the quiz here!