If We Expect Students to Compromise, Why Not Coffee Makers?

Recently, a local school district decided to start charging teachers for personal use of “refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, pizza ovens, toaster ovens and toasters” in an effort to save over $12,500 per year in energy savings (read full story).

The cost for using a coffee maker?  $10.  While this is a seemingly small fee for a convenience, maybe there is an alternative solution to help save money (and energy) and keep everyone happy.

Energy Efficiency: Not all coffee makers are created equally in their energy consumption.  Why not choose an energy efficient model?  A thermal coffee maker (like the Cuisinart DTC-975) uses less energy than a standard coffee maker, as the brewed coffee is stored in an insulated carafe.  Thus, there is no energy wasted heating a burner underneath a glass pot.

Economy of Scale:  Why not consolidate a few coffee makers into fewer, more centralized pots?  On my floor alone, there are at least 3-4 coffee makers that are used daily and often make only half pots each.  Having fewer pots that make a full pot at a time would reduce multiple uses of heating elements.  It makes sense to avoid single-cup brewing machines.

Opportunity to Learn: Combining both of these ideas could even turn into a class project, where students could use wattage meters (like the Kill a Watt meter) to monitor coffee makers to identify the most energy efficient models and brewing practices.

 

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