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Note 1

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Student Energy & Sustainability Reporter

Ideas for Reporting, Not a Limiting Scope Statement

  • Report about, comment on and/or analyze activities, projects, achievements, programs, courses, events, etc. at your school and in your community that pertain to using less energy (primarily fossil fuels) or living sustainably for your readers (primarily your fellow students, teachers and parents throughout the greater Capital Region). Note: We specifically include local food and gardening as components of sustainability for many reasons beyond the transportation energy involved.
  • Energy: Solar energy, including photovoltaic (PV), solar hot water, solar heating, wind, biomass, daylighting and all that pertains directly to them. However, when I talk about solar concepts related to our 100% solar home, I include anything that helps us make better use of the sun to live comfortably in a healthy and durable home. This includes design concepts, energy efficient equipment, systems and appliances, construction materials and techniques, and even family philosophy and choices. It isn’t strictly that we must use less energy, but that our energy uses must be sustainable and, so far, solar is our best alternative.

Sustainability: Sustainability is a subset of broader environmental topics. Certainly it will be important and helpful to many for you to explain (and for you to understand) exactly what sustainability is, and how it must include all our activities and a very long timeframe. Examples and explanation will be important of what is horribly unsustainable (US per capita use of fossil fuels, for example); what seems sustainable but upon closer examination is not; and how we can live well and consume sustainably. Another perspective might be to take examples of what is being done now and project what the results of this use will be down the road or from a broader perspective. For example, if we use oil produced from tar sands or natural gas from hydrofracking, is all that is related to the finding, developing, mining, refining and transporting of these fossil fuels broadly sustainable? Another concept to explore is “externalities,” costs and impacts not usually associated with the production of a product  

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