Students in Cool School Challenge
COOL schools in the Mary Valley have learnt how to take the heat out of global warming by taking a low carbon diet to reduce their carbon footprint.
Community organisation Mary Valley Inc challenged students in the valley to help the environment, win prizes and save money under the “Cool School” project.
Dagun, Amamoor and Imbil state schools joined the “Cool School Challenge” earlier this year to learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle to reduce their impact on the environment.
The challenge was funded by the Department of Environment and Resource Management’s Low Carbon Diet scheme which aims to motivate community members including students to benchmark their carbon footprint.
Participants then undertook a “diet” over a month to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Local coordinator Kaili Parker-Price visited the schools to set up action plans and help students stick to their low carbon diet.
“The target was to save 1000 kilograms of household carbon emissions – CO2 – for the month for each school,” Mrs Parker-Price said.
“The students made the task seem easy and recorded savings from 1114kilograms per month on average right up to 1692 kilograms per month.”
“The average Australian household generates 13,000kg of CO2 annually. In contrast, an average Swedish household will only create 6800kg.”
Mrs Parker-Price said the students displayed a good understanding of the issue of climate change and its impact on the Earth and people’s lifestyles.
“The project complemented the Year of Sustainability initiatives offered by Education Queensland.
“Many of the Mary Valley schools promote living sustainably and have chicken pens, edible gardens and worm farms underway.
“In fact, Dagun and Amamoor state schools have bottles of nutritional worm juice for sale for just one dollar a litre,” she said.
Mrs Parker-Price said students had enjoyed the challenge and most were committed to remaining conscious of their carbon footprint.
“Like anything though, there are some actions which are easier and those which take a bit more thought.
“Students were most diligent at switching off appliances – although their parents complained about the practice on some occasions – and monitoring shower times to four minutes or less.
“I believe the students really have changed their behaviour at home – and we know that in the end that also means saving on our electricity bill,” she said.
Mary Valley Inc collated the data and identified one “green champion” from each of the three schools.
Dominic Kurtz from Mary Valley State College, Cameron Edward from Dagun State School and Michael Zanco from Amamoor school each received a $25 gift voucher.
“Participating schools also received a $75 voucher for their commitment to the project,” Mrs Parker-Price said.
By taking the Low Carbon Diet, you can reduce your household carbon footprint and make a real difference to our environment. Carbon emissions can be affected by energy and water usage, garbage choices and transport.
Whenever you turn on the lights, watch the television or go for a drive in the car, you are using energy that produces carbon dioxide.