Worldwide energy consumption has grown. It has trebled during the past century and the current trend of global energy use is becoming unsustainable. Everything we consume or use - our homes, their contents, our cars and the road we travel, the clothes we wear and the food we eat - requires energy. In order to keep up with the energy demand, power stations are burning more and more fossil fuels. This process is increasing volumes of carbon dioxide one of the main responsible of the global climate change.
The energy theme in the Eco-Schools programme can be used to suggest ways in which all members of the school can work together to increase awareness of energy matters and to improve energy efficiency within the school. Eco-Schools are required to carry out an energy audit as part of their Environmental Review and then set targets for reducing unnecessary energy use through their Action Plan.
Sibford School in England sought to encourage pupils in the school to conserve energy throughout the winter months by implementing the "Switch Off Fortnight" Campaign and "Goodbye Standby". As part of "Switch off Fortnight", representatives in each class took responsibility for monitoring the lights, doors and windows in their homerooms to save energy. The school also invited an external organisation, Northmoor Trust, to visit the school with the Energy Bus to promote energy saving. Pupils also attended workshops on energy conservation. Environmental representatives read the electricity meters for both weeks of "Switch Off Fortnight" and passed the information on to the school's Business Manager to interpret the savings from week one to week two of the campaign. The representatives also researched where energy is wasted in the school by conducting an energy audit and took photos to show where energy is wasted.They then presented to the pupils and teachers where energy is wasted and how this could be improved during the school assembly. A competition was also held for all pupils to design a postcard sized poster to encourage people to switch off lights when not needed. The winning postcards have now been laminated by the students and put up above every light switch in the school. For more information on this case-study, which was first shared on the Eco-Schools England webpage, visit: http://www.eco-schools.org.uk/case-studies/case-study.aspx?ID=31 .