Teaching Energy Savings in the Classroom
By John McMalcolm
If people want to build a sustainable future, it is essential that they inculcate green habits in their children as early as possible.
The younger children begin to develop environmental awareness, the likelier they will adopt green lifestyles when they become adults. Parents, teachers, environmental supporters and the government should work together to ensure that children will receive the best environmental education possible.
One of the easiest ways to introduce children to environmental protection is to teach them how to save energy.
Here are a number of things that teachers and utility companies can do to educate children about energy conservation:
Provide Effective Energy Conservation Lessons
Many schools across the country have included energy conservation lessons into their curricula.
In order for these lessons to be effective, teachers have to make sure they are age-appropriate. Younger children may not be able to understand environmental issues such as global warming and the depletion of energy resources, while older children are able to absorb more complex concepts.
As such, it is important for teachers to select lessons that suit their students' learning abilities.
One way to provide effective lessons on energy conservation is to seek advice from local utility companies.
These companies have experts who can offer valuable advice on how to save energy, and they can work with teachers to create energy conservation lesson plans.
Some of them, such as Clay Electric Cooperative in Florida and Pacific Gas and Electric Company in California, have energy-saving tips, lesson plans, classroom activity ideas, case studies and fact sheets on their websites. These materials can be used to teach children of all ages about energy conservation.
Organize Energy-Saving Seminars and Shows
Teachers can also help their students understand the importance of energy conservation by organizing seminars and shows.
They can invite experts to their schools to give interesting speeches or performances related to energy conservation. Some utility companies offer or sponsor programs that are specially designed to educate the public about the benefits of saving energy.
For instance, Wisconsin-based New Richmond Utilities sponsors an educational show called "Showdown at Conservation Canyon" to teach young students about energy conservation and renewable energy.
Lead by Example
Students look up to their teachers as role models, and they will be more energy conscious if they see their teachers making an effort to save energy. Simple actions such as minimizing the use of electrical devices and turning off computers when not in use can go a long way in instilling energy-saving habits in children.
Teachers can also come up with creative ways to make energy conservation more fun, such as conducting their classes in an electricity-free environment several times a week and keeping plants in their classrooms to improve air quality.
It is greatly beneficial to teach children how to save energy, because they can help spread the green movement by sharing their knowledge with their family members and friends.
Children can play a vital role in making the world a safer and better place, and the energy industry can be a force for good.
About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from environmental protection to reviews of baby products such as double strollers and educational toys.
Toyota unveils electric van and Volvo opens fuel cell lab
Toyota is launching its first zero emission battery electric vehicle, the Proace Electric medium-duty panel van, across Europe.
The model, which offers a choice of 50 or 75kWh lithium-ion batteries with range of up to 205 miles, is being rolled out in the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
At present, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs, including battery electric vehicles) account for only a fraction – around 1.8 per cent – of new light commercial van sales in the UK, but a number of factors are accelerating demand for practical alternatives to vans with conventional internal combustion engines.
Low and zero emission zones are coming into force to reduce local pollution and improve air quality in urban centres, at the same time as rapid growth in ecommerce is generating more day-to-day delivery traffic.
Meanwhile the opening of Volvo's first dedicated fuel cell test lab in Volvo Group, marks a significant milestone in the manufacturer’s ambition to be fossil-free by 2040.
Fuel cells work by combining hydrogen with oxygen, with the resulting chemical reaction producing electricity. The process is completely emission-free, with water vapour being the only by-product.
Toni Hagelberg, Head of Sustainable Power at Volvo CE, says fuel cell technology is a key enabler of sustainable solutions for heavier construction machines, and this investment provides another vital tool in its work to reach targets.
"The lab will also serve Volvo Group globally, as it’s the first to offer this kind of advanced testing," he said.
The Fuel Cell Test Lab is a demonstration of the same dedication to hydrogen fuel cell technology, as the recent launch of cell centric, a joint venture by Volvo Group and Daimler Truck to accelerate the development, production and commercialization of fuel cell solutions within long-haul trucking and beyond. Both form a key part of the Group’s overall ambition to be 100% fossil free by 2040.