The “Turn Off the Lights” Project
The best way to get people’s minds going about energy conservation is to start with a small and simple project. Basically, it’s a project that requires students to turn off all classroom lights each week. It takes place every Friday afterschool, and because it is ongoing, it helps to steadily reduce costs on the electricity bill. TOTL is a guaranteed project to help raise awareness and reduce energy consumption. After doing it for a year, my school was able to save thousands of dollars in energy costs!
How to run Turn Off the Lights at YOUR school:
1) Proposal: Get approval! Before you begin anything, you must make sure your principal/VP/head of administration is on board.
a. Gather members from your club and/or new volunteers (10-30). You can even start you own Students Saving Energy Club.
b. Map out your school and allocate a number to each corridor. Example of the map we made can be found below in “Downloads”
c. Set up a meeting to introduce the TOTL project. During this meeting, you should pick a Friday which most people are free afterschool.
d. A few days before running it, email all of your members a reminder to make sure you have guaranteed commitment.
a. Every Friday afterschool, students report to the usual meeting place to pick up a chart.
b. Then they take off and raid their area, turning off all the light switches in the classrooms
c. Every classroom that is completed is checked off on the chart. Example of the charts we made can be found below in “Downloads”
4) Documentation: Measure your progress by keeping track of all the lights in your school using the charts and monitoring their on/off status. At the end of each raid, compile your results from the students. Determine your success by examining the monthly electricity bills and checking for reductions in energy costs. Your progress will be measured by the feedback you receive from students and teachers about their energy habits and how much this project influenced them.
5) Continuation: Keep the project going every week! Consistency is the key to getting results.
6) Most of all— have fun! What’s great about this project is that it basically forces you to hang out with your friends afterschool! Afterwards you can then go out to get ice cream or something.
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