Saturday, January 23, 2010

Department Competition: The Great Green Challenge

This past week we challenged departments to go head to head testing their own personal eco-habits.  Departments were asked to volunteer to join the challenge, and almost all of them did including the main office and library.  A few words of support from the principal go a long way for this one. 

Beyond winners and losers, it was a successful idea because everyone started talking about their daily habits, and teachers started really paying attention to their actions because they knew they were being monitored.  And if they have to change, maybe that'll be enough motivation to get the kids to get them to remind kids to get with the program too.  At the start of the next term in February, we plan to run a similar event with students in homerooms. 

Here's how we did it...

We made easy to use "rubrics" with a checklist of concerns including:  lights off, monitors off, printers off, composting available, travel mugs instead of Tim's cups, litterless lunches, no recycling or compost in the garbage can, re-use-it paper box or area, and a power bar for the microwave and coffee maker that gets turned off after lunch.  Bonus marks were offered if people walked, biked, bused, or car pooled, or if they did something else extra to reduce energy or waste. Each category got a mark of 0-not at all, 1-okay, or 2-excellent.  The numbers were added for a daily score. 

We had several student volunteers go in pairs to each department every day near the end of lunch.  Each pair took the same offices so they could observe any changes over the week.  Each day, the office got a rubric tallied and stuck to the door for all to see.  At the end of the week, the scores were added and a winner announced.

The scores were given a bit haphazardly, but that's okay.  This isn't the Olympics.  The point is to get everyone talking and on board and aware of what they should be doing.   Monday we'll announce the big winners.  The winners each get an Earthfest T-shirt, but the losers will each get an even better prize:  whatever it is they need to become more environmental like a compost bucket or a set of travel mugs.  Whatever it takes.  We'll figure out where the money for prizes will come from later.


Ruth said...

You have an excellent blog with amny thought provoking posts. I shall return to read more. Nice to meet another local blogger.

Marie said...

Thanks Ruth!