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Evergreen School - 2012

Team Name: Evergreen Eco-Club

Campaign Goal:

Our school is brand new (September 2010) and is built to silver LEED standards. While there we have many devices that help to ensure energy efficiency, there are still some problems. We observed in classrooms and other parts of the school when the rooms were empty and kept track in a chart of when people had turned off the electronic devices. Our automatic lights only turn off 10 minutes after the room has been empty so it is still important to turn them off. Some of our teachers use their own lamps which use incandescent light bulbs and they can often forget to turn those off too. Because we are a technologically advanced school, we also have a large number of computers, SMART boards, and iPods which use energy as well. It is important that people turn their devices off when they are not in use. We have also noticed that we generate a lot of garbage with our snacks and lunches. One of our special lunches generated two extra large bags of garbage for that day alone. 1. Our first goal was to have 100 % of our classes turn off their lights, computers, and SMART Boards when they leave a room. 2. We also have a family energy challenge where we have challenged families to make a plan to save energy in their homes and share their ideas with us. We are doing our best to calculate the KWH saved by each family and record it on a “Power Flower”. Our goal is to fill up our Power Flower with colour. 3. We have a third goal in our school to have students bring garbage-free lunches and snacks to school. We have not set a measurable goal yet as this is currently in process. We have launched our campaign, however with a “Project Garbage Free” movie that was shared in an assembly.




What did we do?

  • Our plan was to make announcements encouraging classes to turn off their lights, computers, and SMART Boards when they leave a room. We also go on “sneaky Spy” missions when classes are out of their rooms (e.g. during an assembly or at lunch time) to see who is being diligent about turn everything off. Each time we go on a mission, we put all of the classes who had everything turned off in a hat and draw one class who gets to keep our “energy heroes” award until the next mission.
  • For our family energy challenge, we have made a notice to go home to families to encourage them to save energy with ideas for energy savings. We researched where energy comes from and how we use energy. We are calculating the KWH saved by each family with their plan and recording it on our “Power Flower” by colouring in 100 KWH increments. We make announcements every few days, sharing some families commitments and how much energy has been saved so far on our Power Flower. Families are also invited to email us with ideas or stories which we will share on our Website.
  • Project Garbage Free: This project was a project created specifically by one of our grade 4 classes. The students collected their garbage in the classroom for 20 days to see how much would accumulate. They then created a very special painting of a beautiful natural scene. Once the piece was done, their teacher had them glue garbage all over their beautiful paintings. The students were aghast and upset but learned how important it is to protect our natural spaces, rather than throwing garbage and waste all over the place. The students then formed committees to create a garbage-free movie to encourage the school community to go “garbage free”. The committees were: News Team: researched and reported on current events related to waste in our world Scientists: designed an experiment to test how different items in the landfill decompose, depending on the conditions of the landfill. Garbage-free lunch: created a slideshow presentation to teach people how to make a garbage-free lunch. Story of Stuff: retold the “Story of Stuff” in Kid friendly language Life of a Waterbottle and an old rusty car: researched and created an imaginary news interview with a waterbottle and an old rusty car that were thrown in the landfill Poster team: created posters to encourage others to bring garbage free lunches and snacks Rappers: wrote and performed a rap song about reducing, reusing, composting, and recycling We showed the movie to all of the students and will post it on our Website. We will be carrying this project on into next year with a big push to encourage students to go “garbage free”.


The Best Part

  • Going on sneaky spy missions and making an announcement is very fun. We are very excited when almost all of the classes have turned everything off. We also got to go on a tour of our school’s boiler room to learn about how our school building uses and saves energy which was a big highlight.
  • Our family energy challenge has just begun. We are really liking making announcements, and our Power Flower is drawing lots of attention. We like hearing what families are doing to save energy in their homes.
  • Project Garbage free: we are very proud of our movie. We especially like the rap song and can hear kids singing it in the halls.


Advice

Make sure you have lots of time to do the work. We started out meeting every other week but then found that we needed to have weekly meetings in order to get all of the things done we needed to. Have fun and make sure to include everyone and give lots of choices about what people want to do


Did We Reach our Goal?

  • Our sneaky spy missions have been very successful. When we started, we had less than half of the classes who had turned off their lights, computers, and SMART boards. Now, almost everyone (17/20 classes) have everything turned off.
  • So far families have saved about 1200 KWH worth of energy but we still have a ways to go to fill in our Power Flower.
  • Our garbage-free project has just begun. We have received rave reviews for our movie. Our next steps are to make a plan and set a goal for garbage free lunches and snacks in our school.


What we are most proud of

  • We are very proud of our sneaky spy campaign. The students and teachers are really making an effort to turn things off. Kids are now even taking the initiative to go around the school at lunch and turn off lights. People are excited when they hear their class called in an announcement, especially when they receive the energy heroes award!
  • Families’ plans are slowly coming in. Our power flower is drawing some attention and we are starting to hear stories from people about how saving energy is changing what they do in their homes on a daily basis.
  • Our garbage-free movie was very well received. Everyone has said they love it. We will have to wait and see if it inspires people to make an effort to actually change behaviour and go garbage-free.


What we are planning to work on next

As we said, we will continue to focus on our family energy challenge and encouraging families to pack garbage free lunches.


Additional Info

You can learn more about our project by going to our Website: http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b401