Girls living at Howqua put their science lessons into practice by measuring their weekly energy use in their houses. Energy monitors were installed in each building to track consumption and each week the students find new ways to be energy smart and also record their weekly use. The girls had to consider the electricity, gas and wood they were using in their houses.

Environmental science teacher, Briony Davenport created a Black Balloons competition to mirror the program which equates one balloon to 50 grams of carbon dioxide emissions. Depending on the meter reading each week, the houses are measured according to the number of black balloons they produce.

The results from the weekly consumption are displayed in the dining hall, and the house that produced the lowest number of black balloons receives the ‘Green House Award’.  The program has led to a significant reduction in energy use, with approximately 500 less black balloons released each week.

This program was recognised in the recent ResourceSmart Awards and will continue at Howqua into the future. We hope it has a lifelong influence on the students’ energy consumption habits and stimulates ideas for other programs.