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A great night on Earth Day

April 24, 2009

I stayed true to my promise to myself and biked to the Earth Day concert at The Grand on Wednesday evening.   It was fun to see students, staff and parents entering into the spirit of the event and arriving by foot and cycle.  Diego

The concert itself was fantastic.     There’s a full selection of photos in the album to the right of this post, and a summary from Todd below.   He describes how the evening’s carbon footprint was calculated.  I thoroughly enjoyed every musical contribution from the talented ARTech students – past and present.   I think everyone there was particularly energized by the marvellous Aztec Dancers, led by our own Diego.

Perhaps the Earth Day concert will become an ARTech tradition to rival the likes of Thanksgive and Arts for Martin.  I sure hope so.

Todd’s Summary:

On Wednesday, April 22nd, ARTech Charter School hosted a concert in celebration of Earth Day. The concert began at 7:00pm at the Grand Event Center in Northfield, MN.  Artists that performed included Joey Schad, Henry Swietzer, Siobahn Meehl, Dylan McKinstry, JABBERWOCKEY, the ARTech Middle School Choir and Ollin Ayacaxtly–an Aztec dance troupe.

 Students at ARTech had been planning the concert as part of an energy seminar taught by Todd Thompson.  Part of the seminar was an energy audit where the school’s carbon footprint was calculated and techniques for reducing energy use and utility bills were investigated. To prepare for this event, the seminar participants calculated how much carbon dioxide the concert will produce.  The major sources are electricity, heating (natural gas), and transportation.  (Other sources of CO2 are food, water, waste removal etc.)

 Many of the audience members rode their bike and walked to the event to save energy.  The peopleMiddle School Choir who drove to the event logged in their miles with the ARTech student who added the miles (they totaled 157 miles – probably an underestimate).  The electricity and natural gas usage were estimated from utility bills from past years.  The carbon footprint for the event was calculated from this data.  The results were.

Electricity   300 Kg of carbon dioxide

Natural gas 10 kg

Transportation 76 kg

 TOTALING: 386 kg or about 0.4 of ton of carbon dioxide.

 To offset this footprint the students and staff are planting trees.  Estimates on how much carbon dioxide is absorbed by a tree vary quite a bit.  For the life time of a tree averaging different estimates we can expect a tree in its lifetime will absorb about 150 kg of carbon dioxide.  We are planning on planting 15-20 trees so this should overshoot out goal.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Pete Evans permalink
    April 25, 2009 10:49 am

    It is good to see the young people of ARTech engaging with such an important issue.

    A couple of thoughts from a retired UK Headteacher – it is crucial that your students own this issue and are encouraged to be aware of and take responsibility for their own energy use, that of their families and the school. In the UK we have a project for schools to encourage them to become more ecologically conscious and active. Website –

    More thoughts from someone who is trying to reduce his own impact on the planet. Try to reduce your need for energy – much better for the planet than carbon offsetting, insulation is a key issue. Produce your own energy; David MacKay’s book suggests that solar power is by the far the most efficient source of energy generation. It works in our house!

    Good luck with the very good start.

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