We know we need to do things differently to reduce our emissions. We know we need to change. But how?
“It’s really difficult to talk to adults and ask them to change,” says Jenni Hagland, leader of Zero Emissions Schools program. “I had this epiphany one day at the bakery. There was an adult in line with his bread bag. I said, ‘Oh, that’s amazing,’ and he said, ‘My kids make me do it, I don’t want to.’
“It made me think: get the kids doing it, then their parents will change. It’s so much easier to get adults to change when their kids are involved.”
Jenni Hagland is new to ZESN but no newcomer to change-making. She has been directly involved in sustainability for more than a decade. In 2006 she began working for the Carbon Disclosure Project, a global NGO based in London, followed up by work for the CDP in Hong Kong. She moved to Sydney in 2016 and started the Mosman Public School Sustainability Club in 2018.
The club started small, fundraising for recycling bins, having ‘nude lunch’ challenges, turning off lights and installing LEDs. Then this April, after a year of planning and fund-raising, the school installed 50kW of solar panels on its roof. The system will provide 25% of the school’s electricity needs, saving $8,000 a year.
Now Jenni has joined Zero Emissions Sydney North to work on sustainability in schools across the region, starting with a new range of resources available from the Zero Emissions website. There are practical, step-by-step guides to forming a school sustainability team, revving up your recycling and active transport, and making sustainability a part of the curriculum. Plus there are inspiring case studies from Mosman Public School and Manly Selective showing how young people are making change happen, and benefitting their schools and communities at the same time.
“People overlook the impact kids have on their parents. You’re changing their behaviour at an early age, making them aware of the problem. These little people are going to turn into adults. I think it’s really important to make that not new or weird. It’s a part of their behaviour, and that will rub off at home, their parents will change, small business will respond to that, community will change.”
If you are inspired by these stories, if you want to help your school save money and carbon emissions, please get in touch.
What rebates can I get? How much does it cost? How do I choose a reputable company? Are batteries worth the money? And what’s with these Facebook ads for cheap deals?
Bring all your questions to our free Solar My House webinar at 6.30pm on September 16, 2020. Hosted by volunteers Ann-Charlott and Ursula, with the expert input of solar guru David Veal, this relaxed and friendly info session aims to get you up to speed on rooftop solar and show you how you could save money on power bills and help the environment.
We’ve already helped 100s of households start their solar journey. Here’s what some of them have said:
I thought the evening was honestly great. For me it removed any barriers to entry with making the switch, mostly around research, clarity and options. I thought the good, better, best approach was perfect. Thanks so much for starting this clever, helpful and powerful (no pun intended) initiative.
I love the fact that you guys are getting up and doing something when so many others just worry but never take action. It is exciting to have a target to work towards for our region. I love the fact that you have built in a ‘giving loop’ and plan to install solar for various charities to allow them to focus their funds on their core work, while simultaneously reducing emissions. Simply brilliant!
Tickets are FREE but space is limited, so please book in here: https://events.humanitix.com/solar16september2020
Solar Open House, August 23, 9am-12pm
Thinking about solar but not sure where to start? Drop by and meet the locals in two Manly homes that have installed solar. They’ll share their costs, electricity bills and payback times, show you their solar systems and answer any of your questions.
WHEN: Sunday, August 23, any time between 9am-12pm.
WHERE: 41 and 43 Smith Street, Manly.
(No. 41 is a household of 2 people with a smaller solar system of 5kW. No. 43 is a household of 4 people with a large solar system of 10kW and a battery.)
COVID-19: Social distancing will be observed at this event so small groups of a maximum of 4 will be shown around the houses at a time.
We’ll also have a table with information, free tea and coffee, and of course hand sanitiser. You are welcome to wear a mask. Let us know if you’re coming so that we can put the kettle on!
This event is organised by Zero Emissions Sydney North, a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers. The focus is to encourage more people to go solar – to get you from ‘just finding out more’ to ‘let’s do this!’ In just 6 months Zero Emissions Sydney North has helped 20 households go solar.
We look forward to seeing you in Manly.