By Nina Wu
One day, it's our kids who are going to tell us to turn off the lights or to switch to a CFL or to put that banana peel in the worm compost.
As part of the Home Energy Challenge (sponsored by the state education department and HECO), elementary school students across Oahu participated in a six-month program on energy conservation education.
Participating schools were offered educational materials and hands-on displays, drawing contests, workbooks and videos teaching simple, low-cost ways for families to save energy at home.
Pearl Ridge Elementary School students won a grand prize of $10,000 by reducing their home energy use by more than 6.4 percent. Kamiloiki Elementary came in second place, winning $6,000, while Manana Elementary came in third, winning $3,000.
Statewide, more than 1,300 families from 13 schools participated in the Home Energy Challenge, saving an estimated 106,000 kilowatt hours in home electricity over six months.
Students were also able to win $1,000 for their school by coming up with creative ways to teach the entire school about using energy wisely. Kahaluu, Kamiloiki, Mililani Mauka, and Pearl City Highlands elementary schools won prizes. Among their ideas: a video featuring Super Energy Man, a conservation-themed poster contest, CFL costume contest, poetry contest, a "Watts Down" video infomercial, and "Off the TV" Tuesdays.
If you looked at your last electricity bill, you're probably wondering what more you can do, given the skyrocketing costs of fuel.
Oahu public elementary schools interested in entering next year's Home Energy Challenge or Energy Conservation Project will be sent applications this summer. Call Sam Nichols at 543-7511 for more information.