Last Thursday students, parents and teachers investigated the EcoHouse, which has been parked outside IS 204 in Long Island City for about a month.
“You get to look beyond the tile and the Sheetrock,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who helped secure the EcoHouse.
Inside the “house” a panel of bulbs explains how a standard incandescent costs about $5 a year and only lasts for that long compared to the more efficient curlicued fluorescent bulb, which costs about $1.50 a year and lasts at least six times longer than the standard.
Different types of insulation from the typical fiber- glass variety to the more eco-friendly cellulose, made of newspapers, and denim are also on display.
A plaque by the front door explains how a solar panel runs an outdoor fan to cool the house during the hottest part of day. There are also solar battery-powered lights that store energy all day and turn on at night.
Many of the students visiting on Thursday are part of the middle school’s Green Team. That extracurricular group picks up recycling from all the classrooms and keeps a garden during the summer. During the colder months members tend to a composter that will produce fertilizer for their vegetables.
“I was surprised about how much energy you could waste,” eighth-grade Green Team member Jakir Hossain said.
Student Ishany Rahmah, also a Green Team participant, said a tour through the EcoHouse has her taking shorter showers.
“The EcoHouse shows how a house works and how not to be wasteful of both greenhouse gases and dollars,” said Richard Cherry, president of the Community Environmental Center, which operates the mobile classroom.
The EcoHouse took off for a new location on March 14.