Nampa middle schoolers are unplugging to reduce their carbon footprint

Nampa middle schoolers are unplugging to reduce their carbon footprint
Posted at 2:47 PM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 15:42:13-04

South Middle School in Nampa is turning off its power to shed light on a bigger issue.

"Today we're doing a blackout for our school. It's to help save energy," said 6th grader Brianna Perez.

Students are unplugging from technology to learn more about their carbon footprints. School-wide, the hallway lights are flicked off, the heating and air conditioning units are off, and the menu contains cold lunch options only.

"I think just because the carbon footprint has a huge effect on the environment, and its really important that we have to save our environment so it'll last longer and then we won't destroy our earth. So doing something like this--even though its just one day--it still helps a lot," said 8th grader Ruby Shroll.

The school-wide blackout makes a statement to the administration's broader goal--trying to get students aware of the human impact on the environment. Besides unplugging for the day, the school also changed its H-VAC system, swapped lights to be more energy-efficient, and added a community garden.

"We recommend that the kids bring in flashlights or glow sticks or little camping lanterns, and the goal is to kind of bring awareness to how much we consume," said 8th-grade science teacher Madison Garcia.

The school's curriculum also teaches about the simpler ways to make an impact.

"All the energy we use, it has an effect. So just shutting off your light and not running the water while you brush your teeth--it helps in the long term effect," said Shroll.

While the lights turn back on the next school day, teachers say it's the little things they're learning during the outage that has a big impact.

"My hope is my students realize they might feel small and insignificant in comparison to every other person in the world and universe, but the efforts they make today can change their habits and eventually have a positive impact on their environment," said Garcia.