GIN energy conservation campaign falls short of expectations

In an effort to reduce the amount of daily energy consumption at SIS, Global Issues Network (GIN) launched the May 15 Initiative, an energy conservation campaign that encouraged students and faculty members to turn off lights and unplug cords whenever possible. However, despite the presentation given to teachers during the faculty meeting on May 11, the campaign organizers were not satisfied with the results, an outcome they believe was mainly due to a lack of participation and awareness.

During the 24-hour initiative, the school was able to save 134 kilowatt-hours (KWH), reducing its daily energy consumption from 4,613 KWH to 4,479 KWH. However, such results did not meet the expectations of the campaign organizers because teachers had different circumstances based on varying lesson plans and classroom structures, thus restricting them from taking part in the campaign. For instance, the 30 gym lights in Tiger Gym 1 were left on throughout the entire day of the campaign as classes were held throughout the entire day.

“GIN is continuously trying to become more interactive with the school community by organizing events that incorporate the entire student body,” said Sky Park (9), campaign organizer. “Although the energy conservation campaign is a small step that we have taken, we are hoping that this ‘black out’ event will become a lasting tradition at SIS.”

The campaign managers’ optimism about the potential of the project in the coming years, as they have successfully identified their mistakes and are willing to learn from them, includes a vision for increased awareness. They hope to not only plan better by informing more students through posters and posts on social networking sites, but also initiate bigger changes by replacing current gym fluorescent light bulbs with LED lights.

“There are ways to save energy without changing the school,” said Ms. Brodhead, environmental science teacher. “During activity period, I see no reason for the lights in the hallways to be turned on [when students are not there]. [In addition], since energy consumption is seasonal, the project should be conducted over a longer period of time to get more accurate results.”