Windsor-Essex students wear sweaters in class to cut down on energy consumption

The Sweater Day is part of a six-month eco-schools initiative taken on by schools across the Greater Essex County District School Board to reduce water and electricity consumption.

Last year, the school was reimbursed $715 through eco-friendly initiatives

Grade 5 teacher Lisa Hamelin and her students Kennedy Taylor, right, and Niamh Priest, left, are taking part in Sweater Day, where students dress warmly so the school can lower the temperature and cut energy costs. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Students at Lakeshore Discovery School were pulling on sweaters and tugging down toques Thursday as staff dialled down the temperature.

The Sweater Day is part of a six-month eco-schools initiative taken on by schools across the Greater Essex County District School Board to reduce water and electricity consumption.

Grade 5 teacher Lisa Hamelin said the temperature is only turned down by two or three degrees, but the savings for the school can be huge.

"Everyone is looking to bring those temperatures down, wear sweaters and lower our energy costs," she explained. "We want them to realize small little things that we do can make a really big impact."

Lakeshore Discovery School was reimbursed $715 last year by lowering its electricity and water consumption last year. (Jason Viau/CBC)

Ten-year-old Kennedy Taylor said she's always excited on sweater day.

"It's important because global warming is very bad for the environment and our ecosystems," explained the Grade 5 student. "The more we turn down the heat the more it will conserve energy."

Savings used to buy trees

Kennedy's classmate, Niamh Priest, said she brings some of the energy saving lessons she learned at school home with her, where she turns off lights whenever she can and asks her parents to turn down the heat when her family sleeps at night.

Schools that participate in the initiative can recover 25 per cent of their savings. Last year, Hamelin said the school saved 14,000 kilowatts of electricity and seven cubic metres of water by turning off the lights during lunches in January, wearing sweaters every Thursday until march and powering down during an earth hour in the spring.

The school's totals savings were $715 — this year she hopes that number is even higher.

All of the money saved will be used to buy trees, which will be planted to provide shade and shelter for animals in the schoolyard.