Taking Action to Care for Our Planet
Steve Anderson and Laura Holland

You’ve heard about Southridge’s Environmental Stewardship Committee and the various things we’re doing around campus to lower our carbon footprint, but there’s always more that can be done. This year, Southridge is gearing up for Earth Hour. Held every year on the last Saturday of March, Earth Hour engages millions of people in more than 190 countries and territories to switch off their lights to show support for our planet. Earth Hour goes far beyond the symbolic action of switching off - it has become a catalyst for positive environmental impact, driving major legislative changes by harnessing the power of the people and collective action. Earth Hour is open-source and everyone is welcome to take part and help amplify the important mission of uniting people to protect our planet (www.earthhour.org).

This year, Southridge is planning on participating in Earth Hour, and beyond that, we are taking part in an initiative where students and staff are asked to turn off computers when they are not in use and lights whenever they leave a room or whenever using lights isn’t necessary. All K-12 students, faculty, and staff are being challenged to participate in both the Junior School and Senior School, as well as office spaces in the Annex. We’re asking everyone to be mindful of their spaces and turn off lights and power down laptops and devices when they are not needed to help save energy. This challenge is kicking off on Wednesday, March 2 and will continue through to Friday, April 22, which is Earth Day.

Mr. Bremner, Southridge’s Facilities Manager, has provided us with the average amount of power that the school uses over a two-week period. If we reduce our average power to below the two-week average by turning off lights and computers when they are not in use, we will be awarding all K-12 students and staff an unscheduled casual day on May 6th to celebrate our achievement.

Our hope is that as we participate in this Southridge Turn Off the Lights & Computers Challenge, we’ll also encourage everyone to learn some habits of being power smart, both here at school and also at home. Spread the word and challenge others - together, we can make a difference!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog posts where you will hear about our Junior School Green Team and some other useful tips and tricks to reduce your carbon footprint.

Contributed by Steve Anderson, Junior School Vice Principal - Student Life and Laura Holland, Senior School Vice Principal - Student Life