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A project by YEper Kerstin Dörner

Heating costs a lot of money and releases great amounts of carbondioxide. Especially schools need big amounts of heat to maintain the temperature in cold months. The recommended class room temperature is 20°C. Often it is warmer.

The idea behind the project „Cuddling for Polar Bears“ is to turn down the heating to 19-20°C in the week from the 8th till the 12th of February: on the one hand in order to save energy on the other hand to create awareness.

19-20°C isn’t cold, no one should be cold. Wearing warm cloths, when it is cold outside, shouldn’t be a problem. We act for the protection of the environment, less CO2, means less global warming. The money we save hereby should flow back into environmental projects.

However the project shouldn’t only be realized at one school, but at as many schools as possible. We need to create awareness among people, whether tall or small. Not only tropical deforestation or China’s industrialisation, but our own heating behaviour causes global warming.

Just by right ventilation and closing doors of heated rooms or turning down the heating in unused rooms a lot of money, oil and gas as well as CO2 can be saved and conserved.

Our world is in danger; this becomes obvious looking at polar bears. Global warming causes the melting of the polar ice caps. Their habitat is shrinking.

We all hear, learn and know a lot about it, but do we act? Exactly that would be important. We can move thing, if we move ourselves!

Here a short instruction of what you should do and what you could do optionally.
If you have a problem, feel free to contact me, I’ll help you for sure.

You should do the following:

Simply make sure that the heating will be turned down.
1. Inform your headmaster; find friends and teachers who support you
2. Figure out, who is responsible for your school heating and regulates it. See that the
heating will be turned down from 8.2. to 12.2.2010. The room temperature should be 19-20°C.
3. Inform students, encourage parents to join, inform the local press.
4. Inform me, that you join, so I can keep you updated. Just send an email to [email protected]

What you could do (optional, but then it’ll get really interesting

1. Gather information about your heating. Keep records about the regular usage, CO2 emissions, year of construction, the regulation… Some school heatings aren’t turned down during the holidays. That has to change. For assistance I attached a questionnaire.
2. Ask the classes before the project week to measure the temperature in the classrooms. Document as well how and how often the windows are opened. You can use a normal thermometer. With these data you can draw a map which displays the warmth in your school. Then you know exactly on which level you are. Moreover you can share this with others. Additionally the measuring shows quite plainly how warm it often is in classrooms. T-Shirts are barely appropriate winter clothing. I also attached a questionnaire for that.
3. Maybe you have an infrared camera at your school or you can organise one. With these cameras you can actually uncover where energy and worth gets lost. On this basis possibilities of improvement and solutions can be found.
4. Speak to the classes ask for support, draw posters, shoot videos, write an article for the pupil’s magazine. Be creative! How do you inform as many students as possible
5. Involve as many as possible. Speak to teachers; ask them to teach about topics of the environment. Whether geography, biology, chemistry or physics, in many subjects environment and climate are in the curriculum in any way. Talk to your teachers, write an info letter to the other teachers. Maybe some of the
teachers make posters with their classes. You can hang them up in your school. Although it sometimes doesn’t seem like it: posters attract attention, especially when many appear at the same time.
6. You should moreover inform art teachers. Climate change and environment can be used as topics in classes of all ages. These works can be shown during the project week.
7. Organize a campaign evening. Invite parents, students, but also the general public, press and politicians. The forms of these evenings can vary. Mini-Presentation by different classes or by the organizers themselves about different environmental topics. Report why you do this project, how much you cut down and how. If you shot a video, you can show it. Same for photos. Try to motivate people to believe that they themselves can change and achieve something. Make them act for our planet. Maybe a little roleplay?
Maybe you know an expert who can say some words or you accompany the evening with music played by your school band or the choir,….
8. By reducing the amount of thermal heat you can save money besides CO2 and oil. This money should flow back into environmental projects, perhaps planting trees or protecting the rainforest. The carbondioxide, which we emit, is fixed again. Schools most of the time are managed by the community or the city. But your secretary or headmaster can for sure tell you who to contact.

Sounds too complicated?
If only the heating gets turned down you reached a lot already. Of course it would be awesome if you could realize some other points of the list.
Do you have other ideas, critics or suggestions? You come across problems?  Let me know.

We can move a lot! So let’s start! The more that join in the better! Tell it to everyone you know, so as many as possible participate in this project!
Our environment is our future!

Heating Infomation questionnaire


Classroom temperature chart

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