Inter-School Collaboration for Conservation Quantification
The Leo Baeck Day School
Robbins Hebrew Academy
The purpose of the Inter-School Conservation Quantification Collaboration effort is to empower Grade 8 students and teachers to understand the direct impact that their actions to reduce energy consumption will have. This would inspire further exploration in high school and post-secondary school.
Unlike the current Toronto and Ontario Eco-Schools program, (http://www.ontarioecoschools.org) which groups schools using qualified measurements into bronze, silver, gold and platinum rankings, we plan to establish quantitative measurements and ways to properly normalize them, so we can compare schools and see the quantitative impacts that various energy conservation efforts have.
We want those measurable energy consumption reduction actions to be developed by the Grade 8 students themselves once they understand the overall reality of climate change, what the causes are, and have an understanding of the baseline consumption measurements of their own school, in the context of the community they live in.
Efforts to develop quantitative measurements will be done on a collaborative between participating schools in the 416. Instead of travelling between schools, we would use current social media and web technology to enable collaboration within a school and between schools and between experts both local and remote. We will then expand the collaborative effort to include schools in the 905 region. From there, we would take the effort international and partner with schools outside Canada.
We would also like to work with existing groups such as the Learning for a Sustainable Future and the Kortright Centre of the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority to identify best practices to establish energy consumption baselines and energy consumption reduction exercises which can quantified, and used between schools in the 416, 416 & 905 and 416 & schools in other countries.
How it will help Toronto
Success will help the current eco-schools effort evolve, and establish a collaborative approach to identifying measurable solutions for energy consumption reduction. This effort would have local, national and international implications as we bring the experience of crowdsourcing solutions to energy consumption reduction to a younger demographic
Steps to be taken
Understanding the Current Problem
We will leverage volunteers from the Climate Reality Project to help establish the overall context of what is driving the need to reduce energy consumption.
Establishing the External Baseline
Country --> Province --> City --> School
The external base line is the measurement of actual consumption of energy resources, electricity, natural gas and water. This will be done for each participating school.
We will be able to show the students the starting point at various levels, using CO2 equivalent emission numbers.
At the national and provincial level, we will use the national and provincial inventory numbers documented by Environment Canada in May 2011.
At the GTA Level we will use The Living City Report Card 2011 – An assessment of the environmental health of the Greater Toronto Area, published in March 2011 by Greening Greater Toronto, an initiative of CivicAction.
Quantifiable Consumption Reduction Exercises
We will look at the current thoughts of the Inconvenient Youth to identify potential projects which would resonate with Grade 8 level students
We intend to work with the Learning for a Sustainable Future team to leverage quantifiable energy consumption reduction exercises which they have already documented from around the world. We hope to establish a set of actions which can be done within schools, between schools in the same city / region, and between schools in different countries (Pams of LSF has indicated a willingness to connect to this effort - October 3 comment)
We intend to work with the Kortright Center of the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority, to identify specific experiences they have in quantifying energy consumption reduction exercises, and to leverage other experiences from other resources in their international network (Darryl Gray of Kortright has indicated a willingness to connect to this effort - October 4 comment)
The emission reduction potential will be dependent on the exercises we choose to use and measured against the baseline we establish
Impact to be measured against current baseline consumption (Initial set of ideas)
- Lighting within the school
- Reduction of controllable plugloads
- Setback levels for heating and cooling (occupied vs unoccupied)
- Energy generation
Impact to be measured once external baseline established (Initial set of ideas)
- Creative approaches to carpooling (Reducing distance, number of cars, public transit etc)
- Community Sustainable Agriculture (For consumption in school or for foodbanks)
We are looking to the ClimateSpark SVC community to identify additional energy conservation exercises whose impact can be quantified, to add to the list above.
The Leo Baeck Day School / Robbins Hebrew Academy – providing access to Grade 8 students and Staff, as well as committed parents and alumni
Zerofootprint – providing access to visualization software which will allow normalized comparisons of energy consumption data
Climate Reality Project - Canada – Canadian volunteers, some in the GTA, ready to present in person and through video, the basics of climate change at a Grade 8 level
Learning for a Sustainable Future (added October 3) – providing access to a consolidated set of exercises and workshops which can be used to prioritize and select Grade 8 appropriate exercises.
Kortright Centre (added October 4) – providing access to hands on experiences of solutions they have already deployed in Vaughan Ontario, as well as experiences they have documented for other Conservation Centers around the world
The use of volunteers within the schools and the quantified energy consumption reduction costs will make the deployment self sufficient, once the start-up costs of the project have been paid for.