Beginning ten years ago in Sydney, Earth Hour has become an international movement and was observed on Saturday 25 March between 8:30pm and 9:30pm local time across the globe. Our students and staff were encouraged to observe Earth Hour on Saturday and we showed our commitment to reducing our energy consumption and carbon footprint by switching off for the last hour of school on Monday 27 March. Across the school, staff and students were asked to be conscious of their energy use and encouraged to switch off all non-essential electrical items including lights, fans, laptops, data-projectors and printers.
On Tuesday 21 March at the crack of dawn, five of our Year 11 members of the Green Team met Mrs Oxley and travelled to St Ignatius’ College, Riverview to attend their annual Earth Hour Breakfast. Clodagh Bray, one of our Year 11 Boarders and members of Green Team, were instrumental in coordinating Earth Hour in the Boarding School community. Please read their articles below.
Last week I had the great pleasure of working with a team of girls from the Primary School to brainstorm ideas of how Earth Hour could be marked in the context of the Primary School. The students were full of enthusiasm and generated an extensive list of great initiatives. We plan to implement those which were not included in the planning for Earth Hour at other times during the year, including Enviroweek and Recycling Week.
Mrs Elizabeth Cranfield
Annual Earth Hour Breakfast
In the early morning of Tuesday 21 March, Clodagh, Gemma, Hilary, Mackenzie and I were all fortunate enough to attend Saint Ignatius’ College’s ninth annual Earth Hour Breakfast. At the event we were exceptionally blessed to hear inspiring stories from individuals and communities such as Lynne McLoughlin, representatives from Gardening Australia, Total Environment Centre and UNSW’s SunSwift Solar Car team. The four parties are phenomenal examples of how everyone has the ability to go beyond the hour and make a difference in our communities. For example, Ms Lynne McLoughlin, often referred to as our local hero, explained that she alone started up an environmentalist group that saved Lane Cove River by preventing industrial planning.
The Earth Hour Breakfast served as an inspiration to all attendees. We learnt that it is up to each of us to make a change. The visual display of cages containing familiar plastic items was a powerful way to communicate the message that society’s move towards disposable single-use and short-life plastic items has led to the enormous problem of ocean plastic and that this plastic has entered our food chain. Saying “No!” to disposable straws, take-away coffee cups and bottled water are all excellent ways to start the move to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
We all enjoyed getting in the driving seat of the solar-powered car as the photographs prove; what a pity we weren’t allowed to take it for a spin! We had a great morning and can’t wait to share what we learned with the rest of the Green Team.
Caitlin O’Callaghan, Year 11
Earth Hour in the Boarding School
On Monday afternoon, the Boarding School went above and beyond Earth Hour, extending their electricity free activities from 3:30-5:00pm. All girls participated with a positive spirit ensuring all lights, fans, power points and heaters were off. In their commos they turned off all TVs and microwaves and participated in a little initiative called ‘Toast mates’ which encourages girls to make toasties together instead of using more electricity and producing more carbon emissions when making individual ones. Even supervisors participated by using the drying rack instead of the dryer. Every girl participated with enthusiasm and came up with great answers for a table trivia, which was rewarded with a great table party! Overall, everyone was very proud of each other for participating and hopefully it will continue each year.
Clodagh Bray, Year 11