Day 5

Energy

SPONSORED BY CLIF BAR

The Story of Stuff Project
Guayaki
EcoWatch

OVERVIEW

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” ~Thomas Edison (1931)

No matter how quiet we get, there always seems to be a buzz surrounding us. We hear it in our homes, schools, offices, and even on quiet dimly-lit streets. It’s the hum of energy at work to create light, heat, and movement in our world. Almost every action you take – from the moment you wake up until you close your eyes at night, requires energy. The light from your computer screen that’s allowing you to read this challenge? That’s right. Energy.

The buzz is only getting louder. With the global population on the rise and so many newly industrialized economies, the demand for energy is skyrocketing. Yet, many sources say that our global oil supply has already peaked, meaning that it is highly unlikely that any new oil reserves, the basis for petroleum will be discovered.

Three fossil fuels – petroleum, natural gas, and coal – have dominated the energy sector for more than 100 years. None of these sources are renewable. What’s worse, they emit tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, polluting our air and threatening our health. Through destructive mining practices such as fracking, offshore drilling, and careless discarding of waste, the fossil fuel industry has damaged many ecosystems beyond repair with massive oil spills or leaked methane. It has driven climate change to full-blown catastrophe and harmed communities in the most underdeveloped corners of the earth.

How can we keep depleting non-renewable resources when the world is only becoming more energy-dependent? The answer is simple – We can’t. Even as the use of fossil fuels becomes more and more efficient (i.e. greater energy output per unit of fossil fuel input), it is impossible to fuel infinite economies on finite resources. Efficiency merely prolongs the negative consequences of extraction; it is not a long-term solution for humankind.

There is an alternative, of course. Fortunately for us, planet earth produces endless amounts of clean energy everyday, just waiting to be harnessed. Wind, waves, and the sun are all sources of renewable energy that can be utilized without many of the negative consequences of fossil fuels. And after the initial costs of equipment, these sources of energy are practically free! So while governments around the world continue to undermine the renewable energy sector with cozy fossil fuel relationships and unjust subsidies, natural market forces have been causing ever expanding investment into renewable energy technology.

But why has it taken so long for renewables to gain traction? And why are why still primarily reliant on fossil fuels? Well, the fossil fuel industry has long had control over politics due to strong lobbying efforts and deep-pocket campaign contributions. Luckily, there are plenty of companies committed to a clean energy future. Today’s partner, CLIF Bar, supports renewable energy and reduces their carbon footprint by thinking like a tree. In fact, because of their comprehensive climate action plan, CLIF Bar is actually carbon neutral and has already offset their historical carbon footprint back to their company’s start in 1992.

The United States government associates jobs with fossil fuels, making many Americans feel that if we lose fossil fuels we also lose jobs. However, solar energy actually employs more people than coal, oil, and gas combined! And while the Trump administration has slowed growth of renewable energy in the U.S., the rest of the world is still showing promise of a clean energy future. In addition to creating jobs, renewable energy creates a diverse energy supply, improves public health, and puts every country on the road to energy independence. How’s that for buzz?

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

Think

Transitioning to a clean energy future starts with understanding your own consumption and then taking steps to reduce it. Sometimes we use energy without even realizing it! Phantom energy, or “vampire power,” refers to the energy that is used and wasted by electronics and appliances when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off.

Challenge

  • To get started, we want YOU to understand where your energy comes from, it’s time to think about the things you don’t see and examine your own Phantom energy consumption. Read this article about vampire power from National Geographic.
  • Take a look around your living space. What are your 3 biggest phantom energy sources? Were there any surprises? Photograph each source and write a caption stating how you can reduce your energy consumption for each.

Deliverables

Upload your photos and responses in a PDF document.  Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf
    (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2018.

Greener

40 POINTS

Think

The race for green energy is on. Big tech companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon have all invested in clean energy to reduce their carbon footprint. After the US president pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to lead a group of mayors, governors and CEOs in cutting emissions according to the Paris Accord. Schools are taking action by divesting from fossil fuels, constructing Energy Star buildings, and bringing renewables to campuses. Technology has significantly advanced the ways in which we can harvest energy, and there are a wide variety of alternatives that many people aren’t even aware of. Did you know that we can now generate energy from waves and algae?

Challenge

To get started watch “This country isn’t just carbon neutral – it’s carbon negative” TED Talk here, for some serious inspiration.

Next, imagine how amazing it would be if more countries, cities or even campuses aspired to be carbon negative. For this challenge, take some time to research campuses around the world that are making strides in sustainability.

  • Once you have done some research, pick one of the colleges and list 3 innovations they have adopted to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels.
    • Out of these 3, are there any that could be implemented on your campus?
    • What idea might be a plausible option for your school?
    • What do you think are the barriers to its implementation?

Deliverables

Upload your responses in a PDF document. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf
    (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2018.

Greenest

60 POINTS

Due on 10/12 at 6am PT. We will award up to 100 bonus points based on quality of work.

Think

From feeding the student population to heating and cooling the residence halls, school campuses use A LOT of energy. With more and more people working to reduce the footprint of institutions, schools are a great opportunity to propel the movement to a 100% clean energy future.

Challenge

It’s easy to dismiss the magnitude of your school’s footprint when students are so removed from the system. Today we want you to act as if you are a journalist for your school newspaper, reporting on the energy consumption of your campus.

  • Write a story that could become a front-page feature in your school newspaper. (50 bonus points if you can actually get it published!) Here are some things to consider as you get started.
    • Do a simple assessment of your school’s energy usage and how they get their power (consider each aspect of campus life ie: transportation, food, heating, etc.)
      • What is your school’s source of energy?
      • Is there power plant on or near your campus. If so, describe it? How is it powered?
      • What are two impacts that the plant might have on your campus community, the environment and human health?.
      • Research any clean energy initiatives, policies or energy-saving projects that your campus has initiated or is considering.
      • Talk to a school leader that oversees facilities or sustainability to help with your story. Include a quote from that person in your article. 
    • Summarize your learnings and be sure to share your own perspective in your piece.  
    • Feel free to include a visual that tells the story or any other creative way to get your information across.  

Deliverables

Upload your responses and any visuals in a PDF document. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf
    (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2018.

TODAY’S PRIZES

up to 10 winners from the greener challenge will receive:

Clif Bar Raising the Bar
Clif Bar Organic Cotton Shirt
Clif Bar Chico Bag
Clif Bar Organic Energy Chews (2)

Clif Bar Organic Nut Butter Bars (4)
Guayaki Yerba Mate Bluphoria
Eartheasy LuminAid Spectra Solar Lantern

up to 10 winners from the greenest challenge will receive:

Clif Bar Recycled Bag
Clif Bar Organic Luna Rica Bars (4)
Clif Bar Organic Z Filled Bars (2)
Clif Bar Organic Granola

Clif Bar Luci Solar Light
Clif Bar Organic Nut Butter Bars (4)
Bits Limited SCG-3MVR 7 Outlet Smart Strip
Eartheasy Sun Turtle Solar Lamp