Energy at Gould

May 8, 2015

As I mentioned in my last glog, the AP Language and Composition students gave out energy tours on earth day, but these were just a small part of a huge project that we worked on during the winter and the beginning of spring. We started off the project by interviewing teachers at Gould, maintenance, students, and energy experts outside of Gould. We wanted to improve our understanding of the energy on campus so we could educate teachers and students at Gould. So what are examples of sustainable energy practices at Gould? The lighting in Hanscom and Ordway, the pellet boilers, solar panels, and new heating in Hanscom. Pellet boilers are more efficient than propane boilers although we have two propane boilers and one pellet boiler. Here’s what the pellet boiler looks like:

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Hanscom uses LED’s for lighting, which save 10,000 dollars a year because they are much more efficient than the average incandescent bulbs. Because LED’s are so efficient, they allow the Ideas Center lighting to have bigger, more powerful lights without being too wasteful. Here you can see how big the lights are:

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Now there’s a lot we can change about our energy practices at Gould. As students, we need to stop opening windows and stop leaving lights and other electronics on when we aren’t using them. When I interviewed the Doug Webster, the night watchman, the most alarming thing that he told me was that some students leave their lights on over vacation.

We can control what we can control, and the faculty are doing everything in their power to turn Gould into a sustainable community. For example, when sports coaches or bus drivers use the busses, they have to write down how many miles they drive. They need to know how much fuel we use every year in order to make decisions for long term sustainability, maybe looking into electric cars, or more efficient vehicles that would save money.

So why don’t we have solar panels on every roof? Why aren’t we a completely sustainable community? The one factor that is prohibiting us from being sustainable is cost. It takes a huge initial payment for us to save money for years to come. Faculty, like Mr. Hedden, who spent his own money on solar panels, are extremely committed to making Gould a sustainable community. For now, on a limited budget, all we can do is improve our personal energy choices, research, and spread awareness. If you have any questions about energy at Gould, feel free to ask them below in the comments!

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Nancy says:

    Thanks for the update, Cullen, and for encouraging each of us to do our part. I really think that’s important. Even though it seems like an individual’s impact would be miniscule, collectively it can be huge and can shape policy and decision making in the future.

  2. Avatar Sara Shifrin says:

    C,

    I appreciate how you encourage individuals to do his or her part, and I put out the loud call to still ask the big questions about Gould’s energy systems. Porter Fox encourages us to think really big. Think big. Ask hard questions. Where is the data going for all the stuff drivers write down? What kinds of systems are we trying to improve?

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