World Book Day is on 5 March, and schools around the country will take part in the event to promote reading at all levels and age groups. You can expect talks from leading authors, downloadable worksheets and literary games, plus 14 million tokens for £1 books to be given away.

The annual event also coincides with a virtual event for teenage readers on the evenings of 4 and 5 March. Popular young adult authors will host live web chats, and there will be plenty of tips for budding authors. You can find more information about World Book Day as well as links to resources on their website.

What can schools do?

If your school is planning to celebrate World Book Day, why not make it an energy saving event? Make sure your administrators, teachers and students are all aware of your energy saving goals as a school, and give them practical tools to help you reach your targets.

According to the Carbon Trust, UK schools could reduce their energy costs by up to £44 million each year. That would prevent the release of 625 tonnes of CO2 and save schools a considerable amount of funds. Luckily, there are some easy strategies to implement that can help you make big savings on your commercial electricity and gas bills.

The Carbon Trust found that schools spend around 50% of their energy costs (pdf) on heating and a further 20% on lighting. That means that focusing on savings in these areas alone can have big rewards.

Heating

• Make sure you’re only heating areas of the school that are in use at any one time. Take a careful look at timetables and consider setting your timer systems to be operational in line with when staff and students are in the building. Don’t forget to factor in school holidays
• Check the location of your thermostat. Make sure it’s not affected by draughts or sitting close to a radiator
• Have your boilers and heating systems serviced regularly to ensure that they’re working at the optimal level
• Ask your staff and pupils to let you know if any area of the school is too warm or too cold.

Lighting

• If light coming through the windows is too bright then consider installing daylight blinds. They let light in, but re-direct it towards the ceiling so you have a more natural and softer light source
• Hold an assembly to talk about ways to save energy and the importance of turning off lights and electronic equipment where possible.
• Consider fitting motion-sensitive lights in areas of the school that aren’t in constant use
• Upgrade the bulbs you use to more energy-efficient models. Fluorescent lighting tubes come in lower wattage options, which can provide 8% savings and last longer than traditional fluorescent bulbs
• ICT equipment and science labs tend to use high levels of energy, as can art studios. Remember to consider switching computers off and power them down rather than leaving them on standby. A single computer and monitor left on standby for 24 hours a day can cost up to £45 a year. If you have a computer suite then the costs can mount up quickly.

How to get the word out

You can make sure your staff, students and administrators are all informed by making the energy-savings scheme a school challenge. Teaching students about energy savings can provide a valuable lesson in environmental impact and taking responsibility for everyday choices.

British Gas’ Generation Green is an education program for students from Key Stage 1-3. It aims to get kids more involved with saving energy and to make learning about energy and sustainability worthwhile.. They also offer educational experiences exploring what a sustainable energy system might look like.

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