Students give up favourite electronic devices in pledge

Melbourne Girls College Energy winners 2013Melbourne Girls’ College implemented a number of innovative and fun initiatives to engage the school community in energy efficiency.

The school saved over 1,000 kWh of electricity by retrofitting two classrooms with energy efficient LED lights.

Students also developed an awareness raising campaign, Pedal Pledge for Solar, which challenged individuals to give up their favourite electronic device for ten weeks. 

"The Pedal Pledge for Solar has made me more aware of which devices are the worst in terms of how much greenhouse gas they make, I have learnt that I can save 1kg of CO2, by doing my homework by hand rather than typing it!" – Student

"The generators provide a hands-on experience for all visitors to the school to experience just how much power is required to turn on their favourite appliance." – Teacher

Challenges

The school faced two key challenges throughout the year:

  1. securing funds to retrofit classrooms with LED lights. This was overcome by student’s creative thinking and determination: holding a series of food stalls to fundraise enough money to buy energy efficient lighting solutions, and
  2. gauging the broader community in changing their behaviour towards energy use. The Pedal Pledge for Solar helped highlight the importance of energy conservation and demonstrated how people can help.

Actions 

Students took action to support energy efficiency projects at schools and in the community, they: 

  • worked with the organisers of Mucycle to plan and implement a community event. They sourced pedal generators, advised on pedal challenges to encourage community participation and invited concert goers onto the school premises to pedal back the energy needed to run not only the concert, but also the café for the day
  • held a series of food stalls to help raise money and awareness for their pledge to install LED lights 
  • conducted a lighting audit of two classrooms. Successfully completed its delamping and retrofit program that installed new, energy efficient lighting.