Students at Chemainus Secondary School recently received a $2,945 grant from BC Hydro for energy conservation.
It’s just one more step along the road to zero waste for the school’s Green Team, which has been working hard to reduce electricity and natural gas consumption at the school.
The Green Team appeared before North Cowichan council Nov. 6 and presented an update on its activities.
Working with school staff, the students have used BC Hydro grants to install four solar panels that now supply 40 per cent of the heat used in the school’s hot water system.
As well, the funding has been used for a sensor lighting project, energy-efficient power bars for the computer lab and sensor water taps and hand dryers.
Overall, the energy reduction initiatives have resulted in driving down electricity consumption at the school by 17.1 per cent and natural gas consumption by 12 per cent since the baseline year of 2007-08.
The Green Team has taken a proactive approach to reduce the use of plastic beverage containers at the school and make metal and collapsible drink containers available. They have reduced the number of vending machines and are planning a recycling centre in that space.
To move toward the goal of zero waste, the students have created a composting program and planted fruit trees and a school garden to utilize the compost. They are educating their peers about recycling and diverting organics from the waste stream.
“Council was very impressed with what the Green Team has accomplished and will explore ways that North Cowichan can help support their efforts,” according to a report from North Cowichan council.