Beyond the Power Bill: How Environmentally Friendly Schools Save Money at Every Level – Pt 2

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[Continued from Part 1]

Save on the Water Bill

Everyone always talks about the power bill when green policies are the subject; but electricity isn’t the only bill you can save money on environmentally responsible policies. Considering the water table, the supply of fresh water, and the cost of piping water into your building, there are a surprising number of ways to significantly reduce the amount of water your building uses.

Aerating faucets, for instance, disperse the water over a wider area. This makes the water flow more slowly reducing the chance of waste. Coffee pots may fill a little more slowly in the break room but it will be easier to wash hands.

Point-of-service water heaters are another incredibly useful green school improvement on both the power and water level. These can notably reduce the amount of time it takes to warm up water at the sink. Because heat is lost when water pipes away from a heater, you can save energy by reducing that distance.

Lastly, the way you landscape can save a lot of water. The suggestions we made previously can cut the amount of sprinkling necessary all year long. (This included using sturdy local plants that are happy with the amount of rainfall in your region; and doing a lot of gravel-scaping.)

Save Money on Catering

An organization that takes no interest in what or how their staff eats will wind up with a lot of food packaging in the trash. Cup noodles and TV dinner are the vast majority of what people bring to work; they’re easy to prepare and eat quickly in a break room. However, when combining staff wellness and environmentally friendly policies (two things that are implemented together quite often), it’s easy to find ways to feed everyone healthy food and practically eliminate the lunch break trash issue.

Many organizations order catered lunch for their staff. However, this usually includes heaps of plastic bags, disposable silverware, and individually packaged meals. All that will wind up in the trash. Not even the recycle bin. Instead, try buying a variety of healthy groceries, pans, and dishes. Encouraging staff to cook for themselves is a great way to promote food variety, health, and reduce waste.

Save on Travel Expenses

Another aspect of environmental practices is to think about ways to use less gasoline. According to tradition, keeping track of multiple schools requires regularly visiting these locations and driving out to one if something comes up. From district superintendents to consultants, you can save a lot of gas and the associated travel expenses of lost time and road food by relying on video conferences instead. This turns what could be several dollars or more each trip to an almost free interaction.

Save Money on Furniture

Perhaps it’s time to redecorate classrooms, put in more desks, or expand into the next section of your building. There is always a certain amount of expense in terms of furniture.  While your initial inclination may be to buy new out of a catalog, stop and think for a moment. There are many reputable outlets for used furniture that has been treated well and inspected to ensure that it is just as high quality as what you could buy directly from the manufacturer at a much lower cost.

Recycling is green in every aspect; buying used furniture is an interesting way to turn the school green without changing anything about quality or experience. The only sign in your school that you purchase used furniture will be the bottom line. As long as your faculty are happy about the new furniture, you can feel good knowing that the school simultaneously saved money and contributed to the no-waste culture of not tossing perfectly good furniture.

Saving on Power

And, of course, we saved the most obvious savings for last. There are dozens of popular ways to go green that can significantly reduce the amount of power your property needs to run without cutting into your workflow and efficiency. LED light bulbs and fixture replacements require far less electricity than incandescent or gas-tube style lighting and burn cooler meaning they are also safer to be near and interact with. Smart devices and sensors can turn off lights in unoccupied rooms for you and handle the thermostat so your HVAC runs more optimally. You can even use a combination of smart outlets and power strips to quickly eliminate phantom load.

And, of course, the addition of solar panels and battery banks can actually generate new sustainable energy and offset the amount of power you need to buy from the utility company or a retail supplier. With the right battery strategy, you can even augment your power use during peak hours to reduce your monthly demand pricing charges. Going green has never been so good for your budget.

For more ideas on how to optimize your energy use and save money for your school, contact us today!

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