Visit the Pathways to a Sustainable Future, a Renewable Energy game.

See what the kids from the Environmental Kids Club are up to or maybe check out Recycle City .


Clean Energy, Green Energy, Sustainable Energy, Alternative Energy, and Renewable Energy: these terms are all used interchangeable and often are used to mean environmentally friendly enegy.


Can you imagine a world without energy? You wouldn't be able to play computer games, ride a bicycle, or talk on the phone. Most plants wouldn't grow. Without energy, nothing happens. If you would like to learn more about energy and conservation visit the likes provided below:





What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy offers inexhaustible power generated by the natural processes from the wind, sun, water (including waves and tides), geothermal heat (heat generated deep in the earth), and biomass (plant material). Renewable energy is made usable through its conversion into electricity, steam and heat.


What is the difference between renewable and green energy?

Renewables are also sometimes called green energy, though there is no universally recognized definition of these terms. The term clean energy/green energy often refers to energy that comes from non-polluting sources. Biomass is significantly cleaner than fossil fuels such as coal or oil, but it still produces some sulfur dioxide during electricity production.


What are the environmental benefits of renewable energy?

Human health and environmental health are affected by air quality and renewable energy sources provide clean reliable power that is better for the environment. Geothermal power alone saves approximately 2.5 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, the equivalent CO2 that is emitted by driving an average passenger car 6.3 billion miles a year. Biomass power plants reduce the amount of emissions into the air from controlled agricultural burning converting agricultural residues, urban wood waste, and even landfill gas, into power. Wind and solar photovoltaics systems installed on homes and businesses reduce the need for power from polluting fuels, especially during peak hours of energy usage. Solar thermal and geothermal heating technologies reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water and drive industrial processes, again reducing the use of polluting fuels. Find out about Michigan Road to Energy Independence.


Renewables do not cause the degradation of watersheds associated with coal mining nor do they require the massive amounts of water associated with nuclear power production, coal mining, and petroleum refining. Renewables do not produce radioactive wastes or other poisonous by-products such as arsenic, lead, and mercury. Power generation from coal is the largest source of mercury in the U.S.

While renewables do not have the same negative impact on natural ecosystems that conventional power sources do, there are environmental concerns associated with each renewable technology. The production of solar panels uses some of the same chemicals associated with the computer industry and solar energy is often stored by using lead acid batteries (this is not an issue for solar thermal technologies).


Small hydro power projects can be built using ecologically sensitive low-impact techniques that take the needs of marine life like salmon into account.

Geothermal energy producers are experimenting with ways to re-inject the waters they have extracted in order to prolong the life span of the heated reservoirs they tap for power.

All energy use affects the environment, yet not all energy technologies have the same impact on it. When compared to conventional energy technologies, renewables are a part of the long-term sustainable solution to increasing energy needs without degrading and depleting natural resources.

What are some concerns about renewable energy use?

While renewables do not have the same negative impact on natural ecosystems that conventional power sources do, there are environmental concerns associated with each renewable technology. The production of solar panels uses some of the same chemicals associated with the computer industry and solar energy is often stored by using lead acid batteries (this is not an issue for solar thermal technologies).


The burning of biomass and wood generates sulfur dioxide when converted into electricity. Although significantly less is produced than when fossil fuels such as coal or oil are burned, sulfur dioxide still contributes to acid rain.


The quality of life of humans and animals can be affected by renewable energy sources. Hydroelectric power generation may affect wildlife in the water system. Some people believe that wind turbines may affect wildlife such as birds and bats by interfering with flight patterns and they also create noise which some people feel is unacceptable. Often, people do not prefer to look at wind turbines, and although this is purely aesthetic, human concerns must be addressed for a renewable energy system to be successful.


What is photovoltaics (solar electricity) or PV?

The word has two parts: photo, a stem derived from te Greek phos, which means light, and volt, a measurement unit named for Alessandro Volta (1745-1827), a pioneer in the study of electricity. Photovoltaics could literally be translated as light-electricity. PV systems convert light energy to electricity.


How much will a PV system cost for my home?

Unfortunately, there is no per square foot average since the cost of a system actually depends on your daily energy usage, how many full sun hours you receive per day, and if you have other sources of electricity. To accurately size a system to meet your needs, you must know how much energy you use per day. If your home is connected to the utility grid, simply look at your monthly electric bill.


How much would it cost to use renewable energy?

Photovoltaic (PV) (solar energy converted to electricity) costs between $4,500 and $10,000 for a 1-kilowatt system, while small wind systems cost between $6,000 to $22,000 depending upon size and application. Although the start up cost may be inconvenient, we must not look at this cost alone.The use of renewable energy provides cost benefits such as reduced grid power purchases over time and reliable electricity. Furthermore, it is important for consumers of small renewable energy systems to install energy efficient appliances and lighting, thereby reducing energy use, saving money, and reducing the overall cost of a combined renewable and energy efficient power system.


What is a carbon footprint?

Your carbon footprint is a measurement of your impact on the environment. This takes into consideration your means of travel, your energy usage and where it it derived from (coal burning facilities), whether you recycle, whether you have energy efficient appliances, if you actively try to reduce your energy consumption, and other life behaviors such as what you purchase and how much carbon producing packaging or manufacturing is involved. You can choose to reduce your carbon footrpint or carbon emission impact on the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling.

What is a green school?


A green school is a school that has intergrated the environment throughout the school in one or more of a variety of ways including:

  • Academics - A green school has intefrated environmental content into the school's core curriculum and across subject areas, promoting a systems and interdisciplinary approach to environmental problem solving.
  • Operations - A green school has created initiatives or school policies to make daily operations more environmentally friendly and healthy.
  • Facilities and Grounds - A green school has implemented facility changes that have resulted in fianancial, water and energy savings that reduce the school's carbon footprint, produce less waste and/or improve habitat.
  • Student Engagement - Green efforts should both involve and benefits students. Students should not only be intergral to advancing the greening process, but should also directly benefit from it with improved academic performance and attendance, increased access to environmentally focused service-learning experiences and increased awareness of gree college and career choices.
  • Community Engagement - A green school involves and benefits the local community through parents, community partners and student involvement in activities.
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