Energy Saving Month in the Central Federal District: from local events to partnership with Belarus and Glasgow

Authors: Ludmila Zhirina, Kristina Yakovlenko, Irina Skiba

More than 2,000 schoolchildren and teachers from 40 schools in 7 regions of the Central Federal District of Russia took part in the Energy Saving Day. A wide variety of events were held: conferences, Round tables, practical actions, promotions, excursions, collecting materials for participation in the Climate Summit in Glasgow and much more.

SPARE schools in our region began to prepare for the Energy Saving Day-2021 in September. And this activity was unusual and interesting for schoolchildren. The regional coordinators of SPARE received an invitation to speak at the webinar "Climate Dialogues: Glasgow" on September 30 at the Climate Summit in Scotland. Therefore, all schools in the Bryansk, Yaroslavl, Voronezh, Kaluga regions, which in 2018-2021 installed school climate sites and monitor the weather within the framework of the regional SPARE program "Climate is changing locally" and protect natural forests, provided their observations and helped to make a general analysis of the regional situation. These materials helped NGO "Viola" and personally Ludmila Zhirina, the regional coordinator of SPARE, to prepare an interesting report and article for the Global Forest Coalition. Using the materials of SPARE-school students, L.Zhirina spoke about the seriousness of the climate problem in the European part of Russia and the need to take urgent measures. We stressed that deforestation continues in our regions - on the southern border of the taiga. And in the Central district of Russia, food-related greenhouse gas emissions (25% of all emissions) continue to grow, mainly due to the consumption of meat and dairy products with a high carbon content. But SPARE's programs for the processing of household and food waste, training each family to make compost and grow organic vegetables helps to partially change the lifestyle towards partial vegetarianism. L.Zhirina's speech at the webinar and the text of the article "Russian women versus logging and tree plantations: One NGO's quest to regenerate traditional mixed forests and restore local wildlife” on pages 25-26 in the collection "Gender-justice and climate action” more than ten (10) schools of the region actively discussed at Round tables on the Day of Energy Saving. Students were particularly interested in the fact that school climate sites help to effectively conduct local monitoring. And the girls decided to work more with technical measuring instruments and mathematical calculations on greenhouse gas emissions.

Another major event supported by nine (9) schools of Bryansk, Yaroslavl, Oryol regions was a joint marathon on energy saving with schoolchildren of Belarus. Schools in our region have been partners of climate and energy efficiency programs with students and teachers of the Secondary School No. 44 in Gomel, Belarus for ten years. Before the "Energy Saving Day – 2021", Russian and Belarusian schoolchildren drew up a common action plan. These are: holding the campaign "Energy Efficient country"; Eco-quest "Green sledochki"; Distribution of memos on the rules of rational energy and resource consumption among residents of their neighborhoods; Round table "The use of energy calculators to save energy resources". Each school held these events on its territory, and then everyone exchanged stories via video link and sending photos to each other. It turned out to be unusual, interesting, useful for everyone. The organizers of the Russian schools were members of the Bryansk NGO "Viola", and from Belarus: Deputy Director for educational work of school No. 44 V.S. Boyarovich and the head of the practical center for energy conservation of secondary school No. 44 O.U. Sharmanova.

On November 11-12, during the Days of Energy Saving, the Department of Education of the Bryansk region, Bryansk region, which supports the SPARE Program in the region for more than 10 years, invited all 23 schools of the district to participate in the All-Russian dictation on energy saving in the field of housing and communal services. The dictation is conducted by the Fund for Assistance to Housing and Communal Services Reform, and the preparation activities are carried out by the Educational Projects Support Fund on December 8. School principals, teachers and high school students believe that long-term participation in the SPARE program will help them answer dictation questions competently.

An interesting Day of energy saving was held in the "Gymnasium No. 1 of the Bryansk district". The initiators and organizers were the director of the gymnasium: Valentina Yakushenko, Deputy Director for Educational Work Kristina Yakovlenko, energy brigades, teams of climate Envoys, Eco-Councils. From October 20 to November 10, 2021, a number of events were held at the gymnasium under the motto "Saving energy together!". More than 80 high school students took part in the contest of drawings, posters and crafts on the topics of climate, energy efficiency, energy conservation, life without garbage. The students skillfully turned the after-school knowledge about electricity and its economy into incredible drawings.

An event on the topic was held in each class: "Saving energy together!", the purpose of which was to develop the ecological thinking of students, involve them in real activities for the study of the environment and its protection, draw attention to the use of energy, saving energy and energy resources, instill the skills of an environmentally safe lifestyle.

For students of grades 1-5, an instructive video about saving energy in everyday life and several videos that were made by gymnasium students in 2016-2021 as part of the SPARE events were demonstrated.

In grades 6-11, a conversation was held on the topic: "Why save energy?". A presentation was prepared for the students, during which a discussion on the topic was organized: "Economical use of energy". The students offered various ways to reduce energy costs: turn off electrical appliances from the mains; reduce computer time; warm up food on the stove, not in the microwave; use a regular kettle instead of an electric one; replace incandescent lamps with energy-saving ones; close the water tap; turn off the water when brushing your teeth and much more. During the conversation, a thematic mudboard (mood board) was compiled.

The results of the survey showed that the majority of schoolchildren follow simple rules of energy saving.

The team of students of the Center for Digital and Humanitarian Profiles "Point of Growth" has developed and created a memo "Saving energy together!".

The Round Table, which was attended by two representatives from each class and guests from the local administration, was the final event.

The participants discussed Planetary issues: Using natural resources, think about what will happen tomorrow. And will it be “TOMORROW" at all? Today our planet is on the verge of an ecological catastrophe and the most formidable harbinger of it is the greenhouse effect. It is caused by an increase in the content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is formed in huge quantities when burning fuel. The same fuel that is used to provide our apartments with light, heat and water. It means that the fate of our planet depends on each of us, on all of humanity, or rather, on how much we consume natural resources!

During the discussion of issues on saving resources, it was decided to turn off electricity daily for a certain time in all gymnasium classrooms and corridors. The conversation ended with a discussion and drawing up of the gymnasium's Climate Plan.

Domashovskaya School of the Bryansk region held several separate events on the Energy Saving Day for children and adults. The students studied new books, recommendations, exhibitions on new materials of the SPARE program created in 2021. The students conducted practical work on collecting waste paper, caps, plastic not only in their families, but also from neighbors.

At the suggestion of the director of the school Natalia Koryagina, students and staff of the school took part in the preparation for the All-Russian dictation on energy saving in the field of housing and communal services. For this purpose, many books, posters, exhibitions of the SPIRE Program are exhibited in the school library for general use.

The Kartavchenko-Kupchenko family, who often submit interesting school projects to the Energy and Environment contest, organized an excursion to the neighboring Kaluga region to get acquainted with art objects, crafts, installations, methods of creating museum exhibits created from garbage. A group of teachers and parents visited the Art Museum of garbage "Mu-Mu" in the village of Grachi, Zhukovsky district, Kaluga region on November 10. In this territory of reasonable consumption and creativity, artists create a new beautiful life for things thrown into the trash. Beautiful brooches, vases, paintings, sculptures and other 500 works from 25 countries raise questions about the need for reasonable consumption. The participants of the excursion from Domashovo walked with interest through a mirror maze made of unnecessary mirrors, and learned that the Museum gratefully accepts garbage from different regions. After the tour, it was decided: to organize a trip to the museum for the participants of the school summer camp in June 2022; to start collecting bright plastic for the Mu-Mu Museum.

Bryansk branch of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics organized and held an international scientific and practical conference: "Green Course" of socio-economic development of Russian regions". The conference for students and teachers of universities and colleges of six countries was held on Energy Saving Day: November 12. One of the main areas of work: Energy saving and energy efficiency improvement at enterprises. The Regional Coordinator of SPARE Ludmila Zhirina made a report: "The activities of the All-Russian School Project on the Rational Use of Resources and Energy (SPARE) - the real contribution of young people to improving energy efficiency at enterprises of different levels and Russian Railways". This performance attracted new students to participate in the activities of the SPARE program. This conference was organized and conducted by Boris Trishkin, Dr. in Biology, specialist in educational and youth policy of the Bryansk branch of the University, head of school projects of the contest "Energy and Environment".

In the city of Bryansk, active work with children and adolescents under the SPARE Program takes place in the Kaleidoscope of Creativity Association. The two-day "Energy Saving Day - 2021" was most actively and vividly held in the Children's Club "Pyatachok". Organizer: Papyrina N.V. - teacher of the highest category of additional education. Participants: children and teenagers 5-12 years old. On November 11, a lesson on energy saving was held at the Pyatachok Children's Club. The guys discussed what purposes electricity is used for, how to use energy resources rationally. They came up with ways to save energy in their home. They drew drawings of the city. The poster about the conservation of natural resources was the result of the work. On November 12, the club hosted a master class on the manufacture of reflective elements for clothing. Such an element allows the driver to notice a child on the road at dusk and can save a life. The guys made flickers, attached them to their clothes and backpacks. Visible means alive!

On November 11-12, a conference of parents of Waldorf schools in eight regions of Russia was held in the city of Vladimir. Irina Skiba, the head of the SPARE summer school camp in the Yaroslavl region, specially went to this Conference to talk about the SPARE Program and invite new participants to the summer camp in June-August 2022. Irina Skiba did not build her speech in the form of a report or presentation. She organized a "Live Newspaper" of Waldorf school students, and vividly told about the annual holidays, competitions, workshops of SPARE. Irina Skiba showed the conference participants a slide film about how the participants of the school camp in 2021 insulated poultry houses and a bathhouse made of discarded material in the village of Yuryevskoye, Yaroslavl region.

More than 2,000 schoolchildren and teachers from 40 schools in 7 regions of the Central Federal District of Russia took part in the Energy Saving Day.

According to the variety of cases and plans of schoolchildren, we can recall the phrase said more than 100 years ago by the Scottish biologist Patrick Gedders "To think globally - to act locally." In 2021, the Climate Summit was again held in Scotland. And the youth initiates the rescue of the Climate and resources!


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