Story by Liz Taylor, Project 90×2030 KZN Schools Co-ordinator
It has been a pleasure to work closely with Howick High School for the past few years. The headmaster, Mr Rob Langley, and the staff are always open to new ideas and are willing to give of their time and chat around anything innovative for the school. Therefore it was easy to approach Mr Langley and request that he conduct a pilot study for the “My Carbon Footprint” booklet. To kick things off Mr Langley set out an assignment outline which included completing the booklet (this entails measuring carbon emissions for one day in the areas of travel, electricity, water use, waste production and food) and finally the learners were required to prepare a paper that would be presented at an “Environmental Conference” that would explain the problems and what could be done about them.
The learners set about the task with great enthusiasm. As this was a home-based project the learners conducted all their studies at home and only called on their teacher when there were queries. Once the studies were finished and the projects marked by Mr Langley, Liz Taylor and Mathew van Lierop visited the school to meet the pupils and find out how it had all gone. One valuable outcome of the study was that the initial CO<sub>2</sub> footprint figures for water use were extremely high (we have since discovered that the water formulae used were inaccurate and this has now been rectified).
Mr Langley noted that the booklet was particularly useful as it not only made pupils more aware of their carbon footprint but also enabled them to work together in a mutually beneficial and cooperative manner.
A few of the matric pupils that worked on the “MY CARBON FOOTPRINT” booklet pilot with Mathew van Lierop and Rob Langley in back row and Liz Taylor on left.