Elementary ways to save power

Sometimes my job is a lot of fun.

As part of the City of Edmonton’s Earth Hour celebration on March 27, the Office of Environment decided to have a contest with Edmonton elementary school children. We asked them to give us their top five ways to save power. The entries will be put in a draw barrel and the winner will get to come to our Earth Hour event on March 27 and use a giant light switch to turn off the lights of City Hall and a few of our other downtown buildings.

Edmonton Skyline before Earth Hour 2009 (c) Darren Jacknisky/WWF-Canada

Edmonton Skyline before Earth Hour 2009 (cc) Darren Jacknisky/WWF-Canada


Edmonton's downtown skyline during Earth Hour 2009. (cc) Darren Jacknisky/WWF-Canada

At first I didn’t know if this contest would be of interest to the kids but the entries are coming in fast and furious. I’m impressed with the quality of suggestions they’re making (although they don’t all strictly relate to power usage) and I thought I’d share some of them with you. The spelling of some of the words is half the enjoyment of the entries so I’ve decided to reproduce them exactly as the students submitted them:

  • Turn off the lights when the sun is shining.
  • If you have glasses only clean them once in a while
  • We don’t use our washing machine / dish washer to clean our staff and we use our hands to clean them
  • Close the laundry when you’re gone
  • swich lights to floorenss lights
  • Don’t use more than 10 batteries a day
  • Only use the laundry machine when you are doing laundry
  • you shouid tern off the washermoshene
  • Fill up the dish washer totally (but not so your dishes won’t get clean) don’t just use your dishwasher for 1 cup!
  • Never put all the lights on and then you are going some where and forget to turn them off.
  • Spend time outside instead of staying indoors and wasting technology
  • Use thick windows to keep the hot air in and the cold air out
  • I can eat fruits instead of cooking food like pizza and fruits are more healthy than pizza

These young Edmontonians clearly understand that reducing our  environmental impact is not just something we do one day a year. Their suggestions show the every day choices and actions we can make to reduce our energy consumption. But we all have to start somewhere. Many of these students are sure to be gathering with their families for our Earth Hour celebration on Saturday, March 27 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. on City Hall plaza. I hope you can too. And if you can’t make it, that you at least switch off your lights and turn off the ‘washermoshene’.


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  1. […] Here are a couple of posts from Transforming Edmonton showing some creative Earth Hour actions. Elementary ways to save power and Making Every Hour Earth Hour show the personal side of Edmonton staff and Earth […]


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