Lights Out Lunch for Earth Day, A District Wide Success

In order to make energy conservation easy, we worked with North Vancouver School District to design and deliver a District wide LOL (Lights out Lunch) for Earth Day event.  The April 22nd event encouraged schools, and the main board office, to turn out the lights in areas where lunches are typically eaten. The Principals and VPs at each school were sent a campaign package with posters, stickers and a list of ideas on how to promote the event at the school.   

While “high noon” was the targeted time to "switch off", a number of schools turned their lights out for the whole day. “Most of our classes, most of the day, went light-free,” says Principal Chanin Leoni, of their first LOL Earth Day at Seymour Heights Elementary.

Something similar took place at Seycove Secondary where two students took the lead in communicating the campaign. By broadcasting advance notices to the whole school, providing information to teachers to explain why the day might seem a little darker and communicating with custodians (who turned off lights as possible in the schools halls and main areas) the school day became something of a celebration of natural light.

“Students knew what was going on and had some good discussions,” says one Seycove teacher. “When my French 8 students came to me in 3rd block, they all understood why the lights were out and we talked about human behavior and its effects on the environment."

Results

Although the campaign only lasted a day, the efforts were more than symbolic—real reductions in energy use on April 22nd were recorded using live meter data and compared to the average lunch hours from the previous two Tuesdays. While the variance in results reflects many factors, including building design, a sampling of energy consumption data recorded Handsworth achieving a 3.3% reduction; Windsor—9.2%; Sutherland—12.5% and Seycove 17.1%.