If you work in a school, can you get a rough idea of how much energy your centre can consume? Although you find this incredible, this is the third most significant expense facing Spanish schools every month. If you manage to reduce spending a little, you will not only save a budget but contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 13: Social Action for the climate. Here are some energy-saving tips at school, many of which you can apply from today.
9 Ways to Save Energy in School
- We start with a classic: turn off the lights when you leave the classroom. Also don’t forget computers, tablets and other electronic devices, especially if you’re going to be out of use for more than 30 minutes.
- Change the lighting to low-power lighting. If you have a budget item, you can use it to replace the lights in the corridors or other places of passage with other ones equipped with natural light sensors or presence detectors.
- Keep lamps, screens and crystals clean to take full advantage of the luminosity.
- Replace obsolete electronic equipment with energy-efficient electronic equipment. And promise them to go into a sleep state when not in use.
- Close the windows when the heating and doors are working so that the jack is not ‘escaped’. If it’s too hot in your classroom and you don’t have a thermostat, you can close the pass-through key to one of the radiators.
- Take advantage of natural light. Don’t use artificial in classes that touch you when there’s more light or if the classroom has good lighting.
- If the next school year is to paint walls, use light colours. That way you’ll make the most of natural light.
- Make posters in the bathroom sinks for students and teachers to use (whenever they can) cold water instead of hot water.
- And if you make your school environmentally friendly, share it with your students and their parents! Do this by reporting on the measures being taken, how much energy costs, and what you’re saving. In this way, you will raise awareness of their importance for the care of the environment.
Energy-saving games for children
Is there a better way to learn than to do it by playing? In Help in Action we think not, that’s why we show you below games that you can make in class with your students.
1. Energy savings watchdogs
Divide your students into several groups of four or five participants. Prepare a table in which each week one of these groups is the leader. During that week, the group that will be the watchdog will ensure that unnecessary energy expenditure is not being made. For example, they will turn off lights or computers in class. You can think and prepare what actions they have to watch.
2. What is electricity?
Electricity is so present in our lives that sometimes we are not even aware of it. All we have to do is cut off for a few hours for us to find out. On this occasion, we propose that each student list (in the most detailed way possible) all the things he/she has done that day before arriving in class. Or the day before he came home after school. For example:
- The alarm goes off
- I turn on the light; I get up, I put on my slippers.
- I turn on the bathroom light and shower with hot water.
In groups, let them imagine that they are without electricity when they get up (or come home). They will have to identify what actions they cannot do because they have no energy. Then they’ll get in common.
3. Energy Savings Marathon
This time we’ll ask you to do some self-criticism. With their parents’ help, they each think of 10 actions they can take at home to save energy and don’t usually do. All contributions will be shared in class. For example: use the car to go to Grandma’s house when they can walk. Please turn off the TV with the remote control, instead of turning it off with the button. Or leave mobile or tablet chargers plugged in when not in use.
Each student will prepare a mural to take home. And, over the weekend, all members will have to carry them out. For each action they perform, they will mark a point on that mural and a point will be subtracted for each one they fail to comply with. On Monday it will be common, and the family that has accumulated the most points will win.
4. Recycling is also saving energy
It’s time for your students to know what recycling is! Dedicate a class to explaining what it is and how it should be recycled. You can also prepare discussions in which children make their contributions known.
5. More activities to do in class
The Tenerife Island Energy Agency has a battery of tokens with printables and activities that you can use on its website. With the anti-efficiency of renewables, you will know other sources of alternative energy. And they will be able to discover what elements in their home emit CO2 to the environment.
We’ve shown you some energy-saving tips at school and fun activities to do with your students. But there are many more: why not create your own drip irrigation for the pots you have in class? What if you built your own solar panel? Let your imagination run wild and share your favourites with us.