What time would you go to bed if you didn’t have electric lighting? Would you be able to get dressed properly in the morning in the pitch dark? Have you ever tried reading or doing your homework by candlelight? Can you imagine your life without electric lights? Do you sometimes forget to switch them off?
Your challenge this week is to become the family ‘light zapper’. Can you make sure ALL lights are switched off when they’re not needed - before you leave the house? After you’ve used the bathroom? After watching TV? Do you even need to switch them on at all in the morning – if you open your curtains when you first get up you might be surprised how bright the sunlight is!
Lights use electricity, and electricity is normally created by burning fossil fuels – which releases carbon emissions causing climate change. So the more you ‘zap the lights’ the more you are doing to help combat climate change.
When you have successfully zapped lots of lights then don’t forget to HIT THE RED BUTTON!
Did you know this week is British Science Week? The theme this year is ‘innovating for the future’ – coming up with new and better ways to do things. Can you think of any innovations that have been in the news recently? What sorts of skills do you think you need to be an innovator or an inventor …. Curiosity? Imagination? Being good at discussing and sharing ideas with other people? How about perseverance? Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb said ‘our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’
Innovation is helping to tackle climate change in all sorts of ways. New light bulbs – like LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) really help reduce your carbon emissions. And innovation in energy means that renewables – including wind power and solar - now generate a third of UK electricity. If you’re interested in seeing a ‘live’ snapshot of how much electricity is being produced by renewables, at this exact time – you could have a look at this website: https://gridwatch.co.uk/renewables/percent/
Bill Gates, the computer software innovator, has just published a book arguing that we need to keep innovating to tackle climate change. You can hear him talking about his ‘wild ideas’ for computers and his belief that it is our power to invent that makes him hopeful about tackling climate change.
We also need to be innovative in ‘scaling up’ existing technologies to make them widely available. 600 million people in Africa do not yet have access to electricity in their homes, despite the potential for solar energy on the continent. You may like to watch this great video that tells the story of an 11 year old Tanzanian boy, and his new solar light. SolarAid is a charity that provides access to renewable solar lights in some of the most remote regions of Africa – particularly Malawi and Zambia.
Can you find out about other innovative ways to tackle climate change? Please don’t forget to turn the lights off when you leave the room and HIT THE RED BUTTON at www.youngclimatewarriors.org to tell us when you’ve stepped up to be your family’s ‘light zapper’!