Ms. Holman’s Grade 4 class at Albion Elementary is reducing classroom power consumption during the month of February by having lights-out lunches.
Albion is one of 10 elementary and secondary schools participating in the third-annual Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District (SD42) Energy Challenge.
“It means we don’t have infinite energy, so we need to save power,” said Albion student Callum when asked about participating in the Energy Challenge.
“It means helping the environment,” added classmate Jaelin.
Other student-led energy reduction initiatives across the district include waste audits, litter pickup, unplug days, blanket days and pledge drives that encourage students to make small changes to their daily routines to help the environment.
Over the last two years, participating schools decreased electricity consumption by 120,000 kWh (kilowatt hour) – enough to power nine residential homes for an entire year.
The goal of the challenge is to inspire and empower teachers and students to think about sustainability and reducing energy consumption in their schools. The actual energy savings help to reinforce the challenge’s central purpose: student engagement and learning.
“We want our students to understand that individuals can really make a big difference when it comes to energy consumption,” said Nora Wintermute, manager, energy and environmental sustainability.
“The students are coming up with their own ideas for energy-saving projects throughout their schools, their creativity is inspiring. I never get tired of seeing the students’ excitement when they realize that cutting down on energy consumption can be easy, powerful and actually fun,” added Wintermute.
The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District is committed to reducing its carbon footprint through a strategic approach to facilities management and planning.
In 2015 the school district implemented a four-year strategic energy management plan. This plan outlines goals to reduce district wide energy costs by more than $400,000 and reduce energy consumption by more than 4 million kWh by 2019 – the equivalent of powering 400 average BC homes.
The SD42 Energy Challenge runs for the entire month of February and results will be announced at the end of March.
Visit our progress page to see where we are in our implementation of the energy management plan.