Ecojustice: Energy

The Ecojustice curriculum for gr. 6-8 is in active development. This page exists primarily to post resources and lesson plans in progress. Images and text on this page copyright (c) 2014-present Dan Harper

Back to the main Ecojustice page

II/ ENERGY

Energy comes from several different forces, each of which has different impacts on humans, other organisms, and the environment:
Human energy is when human beings do the actual work, as when you ride a bicycle to get from one place to another.
Animal energy is when animals do the work for humans, as when a human rides a horse.
Solar energy is when the sun provides the energy. This includes both human technology like solar ovens, where heat from the sun does the cooking — and natural processes, like photosynthesis, where energy from the sun allows plants to store chemical energy in carbohydrates.
Energy from petroleum products is when we burn coal, oil, gas, etc. for heat or power. Using this kind of energy contributes to global climate change.
Energy from biomass is when we burn firewood, buffalo chips, etc., for heat or power. Using this kind of energy does not contribute to global climate change (unless you use a chainsaw or other power tool to cut up or transport the wood), but smoke from fires can lead to respiratory health problems.
Other types of energy include: wind power; power from rivers and streams (hydroelectric, water-wheels, etc.); geothermal power; etc., etc.

a. Solar Ovens

Ecojustice class making and using solar ovens in 2014:

SolarOven1

SolarOven2

 

b. Rocket Stoves

Rocket stoves were developed by Dr. Larry Winiarski and others for use in developing areas where biomass is the primary fuel source for cooking. Rocket stoves make much more efficient use of fuel, and produce far less harmful smoke and emissions.

Winiarski shows how to make a rocket stove for use in developing countries in this video.

Rocket Stoves can also be used in disaster response, as in this video.

Sketch of a concrete block rocket stove (cost of materials is approx. eight dollars):

RocketStove2

Ecojustice class using a concrete block rocket stove in 2014:

RocketStove1

 

c. tour & clean photovoltaic panels on congregation’s buildings

d. tour a net zero energy house

———

Curriculum for Unitarian Universalist congregations