April 21, 2004


Wakayama 'Eco-Schools' Save up to 21% on Utilities

Keywords: Education Local government NGO / Citizen 

The Wakayama Prefecture Board of Education, in western Japan, has announced the first-year results of a programme to reduce utility expenses at public schools. As part of an "Eco-School Project," prefectural public schools have made efforts to reduce utilities charges since fiscal 2003. They proved that at little effort goes a long way.

The total reduction in utilities costs for all schools was 7 percent compared to the previous year, equivalent to the yearly expenses of two or three schools, or an annual reduction of 202,338 kilograms of CO2 emissions. Some schools achieved savings of as much as 21 percent.

The board will return some of the savings to each school. About 30 percent of the savings at each school will be returned for tree planting on school premises, and another 30 percent to purchase any items they wish. There are 54 public high schools in the prefecture, and 10 public schools for blind, deaf, and handicapped children. The total refunds amounted to approximately 17 million yen (about U.S.$159,000). The board also plans to reward the five schools that accomplished the highest savings over fiscal 2002, ranging from one million yen (about U.S.$9,300) for first place to 200,000 yen (about U.S.$1,900) for fifth place.

Each school established a committee organized by teachers or students to support the project through various awareness-raising activities, including holding student meetings, and distributing posters and stickers carrying reminders to save resources. In addition, students and teachers worked together to cut utility expenses by being more careful to turn off lights in classrooms, corridors and gymnasiums when not needed, maintaining appropriate room temperatures with air conditioners, saving water in swimming pools, adjusting the water flow in flush toilets, and checking for leaking taps, etc..

- Wakayama Schools Score CO2 Reduction Refunds (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2004/04/21 04:19:39 PM
Japanese version