Inspiring children to protect the planet through solar power

 

Currently, from a climate change perspective, things are looking very bleak indeed. Concentrations of CO2 levels in the atmosphere are rapidly rising, weather extremes are getting more and more erratic – take back to back storms Doris and Ewan for example and we are utilising natural resources at a rate of 1 ½ planets a year – completely unsustainable!

Throughout history, humans have been very adept at finding solutions to problems, and now more than ever the challenges posed by climate change require a multi-pronged and multi-faceted approach in order to significantly change human behavior and recalibrate societies values. Clearly however, the existing tried and tested communication messages aren’t working, so what could be a catalyst for change?

The answer could be as simple as children! If you educate, inspire and empower children to be aware of the need to protect the only planet we live on - then this generation has the capability to become real ‘agents of change’. Not only from the perspective of influencing their values and priorities but also in influencing their parents and wider generations too!

The impact of positively engaging with children can be seen on a smaller scale with Solar for Schools. Solar for Schools Community Benefits Society was set up with a clear mission in mind - to enable schools in England and Wales to access and benefit from clean, renewable solar energy, reducing energy costs and most critically empowering hundreds of students to learn more about their environment and understand how they can act more sustainably to safeguard the planet for years to come. Currently, Solar for Schools works with 55+ schools, and with over 23,000 located across the UK, the potential to create scalable clean energy which large proportion of those schools can access is significant.

To find out how investors are making it possible for solar power to be installed in more schools click here.

“The children decided this [solar energy] was what they wanted about three years ago. We had some solar-powered toys, and when they saw you could make electricity from the sun, they decided solar panels would be good for the world. They are only 3-7 years old but it is great to see them take up new ideas, and we try our hardest to make it happen!"

Cheryl Chatburn, Head Teacher, Rice Lane Infants – A Solar for Schools School

 

What’s particularly inspiring about the schools and students who are already actively involved with the generation of solar power via Solar for Schools, is that despite the lack of government policy incentives to stimulate the uptake of clean energy, they are completely accepting and already engaged in the important need for schools to decarbonize their energy production as a first and critical step in protecting the environment.

 "… It [this project] has a vital role to play in helping students understand how long-term global challenges, like climate change and protecting our environment, are affected by personal, local and national initiatives and that by using power generated by the sun, we are actually playing our part in contributing to change for the better."

Barry Kitto, Business Director, High Arcal School – A Solar for Schools School

 

Creating a scaleable solution to engage and inspire thousands of children

As with most social and environmentally focused companies, one of the main inhibiting factors for growth is the availability of investment. Solar for Schools is aiming to accelerate its growth plans through the issuance of a new 5 year bond offer. Investors in the bond will play an important role in enabling Solar for Schools to install many more solar panels at school locations throughout England and Wales and perhaps most importantly – engaging the interests of thousands more children in the importance of clean energy as a primer for more effective action on climate change.

Find out more about how Solar for Schools are supporting student education and learning with bespoke resources

To join other investors making solar power possible for more schools click here

The experience of Solar for Schools highlights just how important it is to inspire and engage children in the climate change debate. If this approach could be expanded throughout the UK and replicated globally, then ‘pester power’ has the potential to be positively harnessed to protect the planet not just for the next generation but for many more to come.

 

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