Wynberg Girls’ High supports Earthhour

On March 1st, 2009, posted in: Academic, Challenge, Culture, Environmental Society, News by

Tags: ,

Wynberg Girls’ High challenges the school to pledge their support for earthhour – a news release on the effects of Earth Hour in South Africa follows

10 Ways Your School Can Support Earth Hour

On March 28, 2009 at 8:30 pm, tens of millions of people around the world will turn out their lights for one hour – Earth Hour- to demonstrate their concern for our living planet and send a loud and visual message to our leaders that they support action on climate change. Here are a few ideas for what your school can do when the lights go out:

  • Organise a school-wide assembly in early March to show the WWF Earth Hour video (downloadable from http://www.earthhour.org.za/) and explain why the school supports the idea behind Earth Hour. Ask students to ask their parents if their family can participate.
  • Sponsor an art competition in which students submit posters about Earth Hour that can be put on lampposts and notice boards around their towns and neighbourhoods.
  • Send home flyers and email families about Earth Hour letting them know that your school will participate and ask families to turn out their lights at home on March 28. Encourage parents to turn off the lights, the computer, the television, the video games and the CD players and spend family time by candlelight.
  • Ask teachers to use Earth Hour as a reason to talk to their classes about climate change issues.
  • Assign students to write essays about the meaning of Earth Hour and what they might do while the lights were out for that hour.
  • Ask schools to turn out all non-essential lighting at their facilities during Earth Hour weekend.
  • Hold classroom parties the week beforehand and served green-themed food.
  • Practice for Earth Hour by turning off the lights in classrooms and learning about how people lived, attended school and played before electricity became commonplace.
  • Have older students research in advance what people did before there was electricity. What creative ways did people have fun before there was electricity?
  • Allow students to fulfil their community service requirements by organising or raising awareness about Earth Hour in their community or suburbs.

Wynberg Girls’ High has joined this cause, and the challenge to our Wynberg family is that you also pledge your support.

The following press release, issued by Eskom, was sent out to the media on Earth Hour.

South Africans have contributed 400MW electricity savings to the Earth Hour initiative, says Dr Steve Lennon, MD Corporate Services and Eskom climate change champion.

“The 400MW translates to about 4 million 100W bulbs or 6,7 million 60W bulbs switched off on Saturday. This shows a concerted effort by approximately 1 million households.”

From an environmental angle, every person who participated in the Earth Hour initiative in South Africa can say that he or she contributed to the saving of 400 tons of carbon dioxide, 224 tons of coal and some 576 kilolitres of water due to the power stations not needing to generate the 400MW.

Lights on average consume about 10% of household electricity, whereas geysers use as much as 40% of the total electricity bill. Imagine if we all switched off our geysers as well on Saturday. This goes to show that we as South Africans can really make a difference with very little effort.

The Power Alert broadcast on SABC every week day shows South Africans the status of the electricity system. This to some extent serves as our own earth hour “energy conscience”.

“We believe that the Earth Hour initiative has created incredible excitement around the need for efficient use of energy. As South Africa’s primary supplier of electricity, our hope is that all South Africans harness this excitement and use energy wisely every day of the year.

Dr Steve Lennon

Managing Director (Corporate Services Division)