Youths switch off to save the planet

CASEY youths have saved more than 52,000 litres of water and more than 100 hours of electricity after successfully taking part in the inaugural Youth Eco-Challenge.
The challenge, the first of its kind in Australia, resulted in 25 young people aged 14 to 25 attempting to reduce their impact on the environment over a six-week period.
To celebrate the success of the program, the group visited Hillsmeade Primary School and Kambrya College last week to exchange 750 showerheads with the students.
The challenge – run by Environment Victoria – came at the end of a six-month program of workshops and field trips that taught young people how to save water and energy and reduce waste.
Environment Victoria’s regional sustainable living project officer Rob Ball said the initiative gave young people the skills and capacity to act as role models and leaders in sustainable living.
“The participants should be proud of themselves,” he said.
“While some found the challenge moderately difficult, it was easier than they had expected.
“In other words, while it takes some effort, being green is not as difficult as teens might think.
“One participant even reduced his shower time from 30 minutes to two minutes in the six weeks. On average the length of participants’ showers was 3.8 minutes instead of 13 minutes, saving 1200 litres of water per day collectively,” Mr Ball said.
Other results of the Eco-Challenge include:
INSTALLING 21 water-saving showerheads, which will save 420,000 litres of water a year.
PLANTING 25 trees.
SAVING 108.5 hours of powered light with natural light.
87 per cent of participants opting for fans instead of air-conditioners.
67 per cent choosing locally produced fruit and vegetables rather than imported food, saving resources such as petrol.
“This shows how young people can act as role models for people of different ages and lead the way for future generations in sustainable living,” Mr Ball said.

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