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Cynette
11-13-2009, 11:11 AM
As an Environmental Engineer, I'd like to help my team to develop a formal Environmental Program. But rather than start from scratch, I'd like to hear about other teams and their efforts to include environmental sustainability into their team activities.

Like most teams, we do some of the basics:
Collect collect cans and bottles to return - but that is altruistic since it is a fundraiser as well.
Participate in the town wide clean-up days - we have our own section of town that we clean every year.
Recycle the pants from our team uniforms into the fabric for our bumpers (red camo denim fabric can be challenging to find!)

There was a thread earlier this year, http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73096, but it seemed to focus mostly on reusing parts when building the robot.

How has your team "gone green" and what are the results? What has worked and what has not worked?

rees2001
11-13-2009, 12:35 PM
A few years back we cut up all of our old robot frames & scrap Aluminum and recycled the metal. $400 worth of old robot metal.

Tom Line
11-13-2009, 12:56 PM
Ask your team members to get involved at home. Many of the kids would be absolutely SHOCKED to see the monthly electrical bill. Then have them track it month to month and submit ideas for cutting down on their own usage.

I open their eyes when I tell my team members that my plant spent $380,000 last month on electricity alone!

DonRotolo
11-15-2009, 06:55 PM
Ask your team members to get involved at home. Many of the kids would be absolutely SHOCKED to see the monthly electrical bill. Then have them track it month to month and submit ideas for cutting down on their own usage.

I open their eyes when I tell my team members that my plant spent $380,000 last month on electricity alone!
You guys at the plant need to switch off some lights! :p

No, seriously: Going Green is rarely some huge plan that'll save humanity* from its own foibles. Instead, it is the small things that, when we ALL do them, has a significant impact. One of these is just switching electrical things off when you don't need them.

Turn off lights when you leave the room. For bulbs that stay on more than an hour or two a day**, swap out an incandescent for a compact fluorescent.

Turn off your computer when you leave it for more than an hour or two. Power save mode cuts consumption a bit, but off is off. Same with that printer.


* The earth does not need saving, it'll do fine whether we're extinct or not, thanks.
** A CF bulb in an outdoor fixture uses less electricity when switched on 24/7 than an equivalent Incandescent on a timer that's only on during darkness.

ebarker
11-17-2009, 08:52 AM
We do the usual stuff like recycling as much as possible. We do river and lake cleanups with RiversAlive and Keep Cobb Beautiful.

The title of our safety captain has been changed to Director, Environmental, Health, Safety or EHS. It reflects the trend in industry and we just mimic that role. Our EHS Director is also a student member of the board of directors of KCB for the 3rd year now. We have a senior as EHS director and they also apply for the KCB board member job. It is a great way to get plugged into the network of like minded people.

The coolest project we have done is building 'Corky' the trash scooping robot. Corky is one of the ways we tell the public how the students of the FIRST Robotics Competition are applying their skills and knowledge.

A lot of things have come to the table because of Corky. We have been on television several times and I don't know how many local print media pieces.

People send us money. You can think of it as a silent moneymaker. It really changes the dynamics of team fundraising.

This winter there will be an article in the ASME magazine Mechanical Engineering and the boatbuilding magazine Epoxyworks. We have a coloring book coming out.

It drives an art contest for 3rd graders that we do state wide every year. We ask 3rd grade students to help us design a robot to cleanup the water. The little kids love it and they get to win tickets to the Georgia Aquarium.

Recently we got to do a presentation with it along side Phillippe Cousteau and Discovery Education. They thought it was just too cool.

In the beginning there was Bambi and as Walt Disney once said "One thing led to another........."

Maybe one day we will get to the point of having a Corky plush doll !

Being green is cool. Having fun while doing it is even cooler.

video here (http://www.kellrobotics.org/video)

Ed