Did you know that not all energy sources are renewable? We use energy to power our cars, trains, airplanes and boats. We also use energy to light and heat our schools. Most of this energy comes from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. Once they are used, they are gone for good and in some cases the production of energy creates pollution which can add to the effects of climate change.
Be energy efficient
So, what can I do about this? Well, you can use your own energy to do things like bicycling and walking rather than asking a parent or guardian to drive you. Make smart decisions in your school: turn off lights, use power saving computers and turn off the tap.
How to conduct an energy check:
By conducting an energy check at your school, your classmates and you can learn about the most common areas of energy waste. You can then work to reduce the amount of energy being used.
Start by asking the question: Where is energy used and how can we cut back? Develop a table and check the following each day for one week:
- Check classrooms to ensure that lights are turned off when not in use.
- Verify that unused computers are turned off or in low-power standby mode.
- Ensure that lighted school display cases are turned off at the end of the day.
- Check that bathroom taps are turned off when not in use.
- Make sure that all copy machines, laminating equipment, and other office machines are turned off each night.
Add some of your own ideas to the checklist. After doing your energy check, discuss ways that you can reduce energy consumption and encourage proper energy use. Then, set goals that you can achieve. The following suggestions may be of use when discussing energy consumption and reduction.
In the classroom
- Place stickers or magnets on light switches to remind others to turn off the lights when not in use.
- Have the computer set to low-power standby when not in use.
- Take advantage of natural daylight.
In the gym
- Use ceiling fans to help circulate air.
- Be sure to fully turn off tapsat locker room and bathroom sinks when finished.
In the cafeteria
- Have lights in vending machines turned off.
- Ensure that lights are turned off when space is not in use and use daylight when possible.
In and around your school
- Start a no-idling campaign for school buses and other vehicles.
- Keep doors closed when not in use.
- Turn off lights that are near skylights.
All of us use energy every day and we rely on energy to make our lives comfortable. The choices we make about how we use energy impact our environment and our lives. Reducing our energy use will enable us to slow the depletion of natural resources, keep the Earth cleaner, and save money! Now that's worth the effort!
Take Action! Start simple, work safely, and make your commitment strong.