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Canyon Heights Elementary - 2010

Contact: Robin Kan

Team Name: Conservation Koalas

Team Type: Club

Campaign Goal:

To turn off the lights in empty classrooms (& shut down computers) so we conserve energy in our school and save energy costs for lighting.

What did we do?

  • Met to think up ideas as to how we can save energy in our school.
  • Formed a lunchtime club that meets every Monday.
  • Identified that there was a problem with lights being left on in empty classrooms so we were wasting electricity.
  • Set a goal of 85% of lights off in empty classrooms by the end of the year.
  • Launched our campaign with an assembly, pupils performed a skit, made posters for around the school & shared our slogan.
  • Continued to share the message throughout the year to “Turn off the lights, Canyon Heights” via...
    • a. morning announcements,
      b. DC bulletin board where we posted up conservation information & energy saving “knock, knock” jokes and limericks to make saving energy fun.
  • Regular agenda item at staff meetings and PAC meetings.
  • Conservation Koalas were “light monitors” with a Hall Pass so people knew what was their role. They had a folder to check the classrooms and recorded data at recess times. We left a reusable message on the classroom magnetic board in the shape of an energy saving light bulb for the teachers:
    • a. If lights OFF in a empty class room - Message: You’ve brightened my day by turning off the lights
      b. If lights were ON in an empty classroom – Message: Turn off the lights, Canyon Heights
  • The DC team supported and advertised other conservation events in school including
    • a. Litter-less lunches (whole school)
      b. Salmon conservation project (Primaries)
      c. District Green fair on Earth Day (made a poster and members of the club attended the event)
      d. Linked conservation with the School Virtues project
      e. Playground garbage pick-up
      f. Earth Hour at school

The Best Part

We have made a difference in our school to saving energy and more people are turning off the lights when they leave the room. It’s great fun to be a light monitor.


  • Have allocated light monitors to check lights in the classrooms
  • Have a catchy slogan
  • Have morning announcements to keep the momentum going in the school
  • Meet regularly and make it fun!

Comments about the Campaign

  • Lots of people liked our school display explaining what we are doing and even took photographs of it.
  • All the staff are participating and supporting the campaign.
  • Most people think it’s a good thing to save energy, but still some pupils in the school need convincing as not everyone cares about saving energy as much as the team.
  • Within the team they all felt they have also improved their behaviour towards saving energy at home - so are spreading the word!

Did We Reach our Goal?

  • Our goal was 85% of empty classrooms have their lights off in random checks by the end of the year.
  • The monitoring is still on-going, but we have made a significant improvement in saving energy with regularly over 75% of the empty classrooms having their lights off versus 20-25% at the beginning of the campaign.

What we are most proud of

  • That behaviour towards saving energy in the school is starting to change
  • The Children feel they are making a difference to the environment
  • People are starting to automatically question whether they need the lights on in the classroom, or to open the blinds more, or only put on part of the classroom lights

Additional Info

The children are all very dedicated and enthusiastic and looking forward the full 3 year DC programme. It’s a great way for a group of children, parents and staff to work on a project together to make a difference to the school and the environment.