Archive for May, 2009

Simple tips to decrease hot water usage and save money!

Mark Schellhase

Mark Schellhase

The Issue

  • Hot water consumption!

The Larger Issue

  • Between 80 and 90 percent of the energy used to heat water is wasted.  With 110-million households in the country, that’s a lot of inefficiently used energy.
  • The cost of heating water amounts to 14% of your utility bill.

Be Part of the Solution

To help alleviate this problem you don’t have to take cold showers, eat on dirty dishes, or wear dirty clothes.  Follow these simple steps to reduce your hot-water consumption:

  • Install low-flow showerheads! These high pressure aerated showerheads deliver 2.5 gallons per minute rather than 4-5 gallons per minute and can reduce hot-water consumption by 30%. A high quality, low-flow showerhead costs around $15 and will pay for itself within 4 months.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water! Washing machines do not require a minimum temperature. In fact, cold or warm water can be used for most laundry loads. Using cold rather than hot water can amount to a savings of $60 annually, keeping 1,300 pounds of CO2 out of the air.
  • Use your dishwasher! When using a fully loaded, efficient, standard capacity EnergyStar dishwasher, you will use less energy than washing dishes by hand.
  • Lower the temperature of your water heater! If you have a booster heater on your dishwasher, lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F.
  • Install a timer on your electric water heater! Installing a $30 timer that turns the heater on in the morning and off at night can pay for itself in about 1 year.
  • Repair your leaks! Fixing a 1 drip/second leak can save you $1.00 per month.
  • Provide additional insulation to your water heater! Install an insulation blanket around your water heater to make it more efficient.



May 5, 2009 at 10:07 am Leave a comment

Jason Green, SPC Sustainability Coordinator, selected to Creative Loafing’s “Green 100”

green-tpalogo12Jason Green, Sustainability Coordinator at St. Petersburg College, has been elected to the “Green 100,” a list of individuals, businesses and others who leads the way toward a sustainable future in Tampa Bay.
The list was created by Creative Loafing, a Tampa Bay-based alternative newspaper. The paper selected the first 95 members of the list; the remaining five members were elected by readers, who cast their ballots on the Creative loafing website.
“I’m honored to be selected as a member of this group, but it is more a recognition of the progress that St. Petersburg College has made in a relatively short time to become a more environmentally-conscious institution,” Green said.
Besides Green, the final five members of the list included a local architect and activist, a natural pest management company, an earth-friendly car care company and a kayak adventure company.
Green has been SPC’s Sustainability Coordinator since August 2008, and has worked to construct the college’s sustainability efforts from scratch. The Office for Sustainability, which he heads, provides assistance and direction as SPC implements environmental education programs, student activities and corporate training.  It focuses on energy and natural resource conservation, green buildings, carbon emissions and recycling.
Many strategies have been implemented to help minimize the college’s carbon footprint and negative influence on the environment, including:

  • Developing two new educational degree programs, an AS in Environmental Science Technology and a BAS in Sustainability Management.
  • Partnering with US Green Building Council, Solar Source Institute, and Pro Train to provide sustainability/conservation training.
  • Opening two LEED certified buildings, Student Services on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus and Natural Science and Math, Clearwater Campus.
  • Lowering total energy and water consumption and evaluating the college’s utilities infrastructure.
  • Rolling out a comprehensive college-wide recycling program.
  • Developing a Natural Habitat Park and Environmental Center at the Seminole Campus that will serve as an educational, environmental and passive recreational “green zone” for use by SPC students, faculty and staff, and community.


May 1, 2009 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Newer Posts

who we are:

Early in 2008, St. Petersburg College recognized its responsibility to model to our students, employees and community ways to minimize global warming emissions and provide the knowledge to our graduates to help achieve a more environmentally friendly future. Because of this, the College made sustainability (defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs) a top priority. As a result, the Office for Sustainability was established.

what we do:

Working alongside internal and external partners, the Office for Sustainability focuses on the following areas of environmental stewardship: educational programs and corporate training, energy and natural resource conservation, green buildings and facilities, carbon emissions, recycling and student activities.

learn more:

To learn more about The Office for Sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green, Sustainability Coordinator at

sustainable | SPC

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