In March and April this year students of Eseny, Korytnyany and Serednye schools – pilot schools of the project "School towards energy efficiency" participated in the lessons on energy efficiency. Around 850 students of different ages, from first-graders to the graduates, attended the classes.
The overall theme of the lesson, around which the discussion with students was build, covered questions: what is energy, what are types of energy, renewable and non-renewable energy sources, is it needed to save energy and why is it needed, what simple steps everyone can make in order to save energy and resources and reduce waste. Lessons consisted of watching cartoons, solving arithmetic problems on energy saving, performance of individual tasks and group work, and most important - of communication with children and discussion of energy conservation, careful management of resources and the environment, which was quite lively and informative for students and for representatives of NGO "FORZA" who delivered the lessons.
During the classes video materials of Green Pack Ukraine were used - a collection of teaching materials designed to improve the environmental literacy of students of Ukraine and the promotion of sustainable development concept initiated by the OSCE (http://www.greenpack.in.ua/about/).
When asked "Is it needed to use energy efficiently?", of course, all children answered "yes", but the main argument in favor of saving or "reasonable" use of energy identified by about half of the children was savings of money and another half mentioned preservation of the resources in order to have it tomorrow.
Despite the fact that children are very sensitive to environmental issues and conservation of resources, most of them are not aware of the scale of the problem, so interesting were the simple arithmetic puzzles about saving water when closed tap during brushing teeth or energy savings when replacing conventional light bulbs to energy efficient. By the way, many children have energy efficient light bulbs at home, but very few children know why their parents decided to buy such bulbs. Very few children are familiar with the problem of waste and ways to improve situation with large amount of waste, which is in the environment, including through the introduction of separate waste collection and minimization of waste, for example, by reducing the use of plastic bags and use textile bags instead of plastic.
Interesting is that many of children in schools are aware of such alternative energy sources like sun, wind, and water, a little less realize renewable nature of biomass as an energy source, and almost nobody had heard of the possibility of using thermal energy of the earth - geothermal energy. Surprising was to find out that in the village of Korytnyany one of the students has windmill at home, made by his father from different parts of metal waste.
Among the main ideas of energy conservation, indicated by children were: "to use cup with water when brushing your teeth, washing dishes in the basin or close sink, repair taps if it runs”, were such "creative" proposals as “not to take shower and do not brush teeth”. On the electricity saving, all children said that it is important to switch off the light and and appliances when they are not used, use lights locally, watch TV less or do not sit too long "v kontakte" (ed. Social network), turn off devices when not in use etc. Heat can be saved by the thermal insulation of walls, floors and roofs, saving gas consumption by combining heating with wood and gas.
Andrew, 10 years old: "... And you can save water by collecting rainwater in a barrel and then use it for watering plants in the garden."
Diana, 17 years: "To save gas you should heat up only the amount of food that you will eat, and to conserve water to wash dishes not under running water."
Yuriy, age 15: "...We do not want to acknowledge that we harm our land, we want someone for us to do everything – to stop throwing rubbish on the street and start to close the tap when brush teeth. In reality we have to understand that everything depends on us and we should start to treat nature better".
Beata, 16 years, " you can give a second life to plastic bottle, using the lower part for growing seedlings; with modern printers you can print on both sides of paper, so you can save paper and thus save the tree from felling".
In general, the lessons on energy saving have been very dynamic. The main conclusion of the organizers of these lessons, which was confirmed by teachers and school leadership - energy conservation should be discussed with children more, as well at school as at home – this is the future of environmental security in the global scale. It is important that teachers continue this theme during the lessons, including using Green Pack materials. During the implementation of "Schools towards energy efficiency" project bright posters, stickers and bookmarks, which are intended to inform, motivate and remind the necessity of energy saving at school and at home soon will be printed. Also, in the second half of April and in May this year in each of the pilot schools there will be open movie viewing "HOME. Meeting with the Earth", devoted to global environmental problems and ways to change the situation.