The Environmental Sustainability Group is South Island’s dedicated environmental awareness group that has been running for years – it is committed to taking steps that drastically alter our school’s dependence on non-renewable energy and things damaging to the environment. The group is made up of students from a range of years that all lead projects they are passionate about, enabling them to make a difference both inside and out of the school about it.
Throughout its existence, the Environmental Sustainability Group has undertaken a multitude of projects.
A list of current/past projects the Environmental Sustainability Group has collaborated on:
Monitors electricity consumption by the school every day and displays this near the reception – negotiated by the ESF Environmental Council and implemented in every school, it sends a strong message about the wasteful usage within school as it can track consumption down to every classroom. The Entrak system acted as the backbone to the Power Out Day in 2015 as it allowed us to monitor how much we cut our electricity usage by and how much money we saved.
Solar panels were installed on the D Block roof. The size of the photovoltaic system is 2.5 kWp, comprising of twelve pieces of 235 W polycrystalline modules and one unit of on-grid inverter. The system is connected to 3 water boilers, which the total electricity consumption is 6 kilowatt/hour and provides hot water service to users at D block.
The system is connected to the HK Electric’s grid in January 2016. The estimated electricity saving per year is 3,200 kWh. For the solar panels, the module manufacturer offers 25-year linear power output guarantee, which means by the end of the 25th year, the modules have guaranteed minimum performance level of 80%.
Moreover, the use of renewable energy can reduce carbon emission, contributing to a green campus.
(The installation of solar panel and mini-weather station is sponsored by the Environment and Conservation Fund by Environmental Campaign Committee.)
The Environmental Sustainability Group helped the school to purchase and install recycling bins in every classroom as well as every common area of the school – this has not only increased the amount of waste recycled, thereby making us a greener school, but also reminds the students of our duty to planet.
Roots & Shoots Partnership
For many years, the Environmental Sustainability Group worked and communicated with the Roots & Shoots programme, selling some of their natural products on campus and also at school events. Furthermore, we collaborated with them on their online projects.
School Water Fountains
New water fountains were recently introduced that are energy efficient and that display the number of water bottles that have been saved – not only does this show that small actions can make a difference, but it makes the students aware of the plastic problem both within and outside of school (as we have already saved thousands of bottles).
The Environmental Sustainability Group has attended numerous conferences throughout Hong Kong, ranging from the Zero Waste Youth Conference (where we presented our Entrak findings in June as part of the Zero Waste Week) and GIN852 (Global Issues Network) to MaD Asia (Making a Difference) and BEST EXPO at CIS (https://prezi.com/f_p7namw6owz/south-island-school/). These conferences all helped us to share ideas with other schools and to establish us within the local environmental community, a vital link needed for future collaboration.
We ran a programme through which the Environmental Sustainability Group negotiated with Chartwells to completely remove plastic cutlery from their serving areas – whilst this decision was reversed by Chartwells eventually, we did drastically cut down on the amount of plastic consumed by our school at the time.