Archive for August, 2009

Returning to my energy conservation resolution

August 30, 2009

At New Years I had a reflective moment and resolved to work at reducing my carbon footprint. Best intentions got side tracked by the ever more consuming and ever more urgent task of getting Palouse Prairie School open. As the school turns the corner to opening Sept 2, I’m starting to think about new projects, and my thoughts are returning to my resolution.

While big projects and big spending are attractive, because they are big, my previous analysis was to work on the small projects, the many small energy leaks and wastes, and see what can be accomplished with small investment. Bob Hoffmann encourages me in this path with his periodic reports of lowered utility bills from changing out a bad basement window, insulating his hot water heater, caulking and other low budget tasks.

My explorations of the mud oven point to some potential for keeping unwanted baking heat out of the kitchen (along with some fun baking). The heating potential of the mud oven (using its waste heat in the winter) would require a larger construction project that’s beyond the scope of my small projects.

Step one, assay the situation. Where are we still using incandescent light bulbs? Get a blower door and look for infiltration leaks.

Next summer I need to re-roof the house. What conservation moves can get rolled into that project?

Creating it is not enough

August 7, 2009

I just got an email from a colleague with a diagram documenting a design that was developed on one of our whiteboards.

Fine. But its not linkable. I can’t reference it in another document. Its got no metadata. I can’t tweet it. I will need this eventually. Hope I can find it in my deleted email box.

And while we are on the topic, I got a Diigo from a colleague. Just the link and a tag. No highlight, no comment. Should I follow the link or hit delete?

These observations are helping me develop assessment criteria for 21st century communication skills.