Gobar Times
Green School

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With 2015 been designated as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies by the United Nations, it is time to save before you switch. Since most of your waking time is spent in schools, GT throws light on measures you can take to ensure this precious resource is not unnecessarily wasted. Here’s how.

The year 2015 brings more reasons to celebrate. Though not to celebrate with light but celebrate “light” instead. Light is life! It starts from photosynthesis and goes on to illuminate everything around it. Life, as we know, would be very difficult and unusual without light; it would be natural and artificial. Although we do realize the importance of light but most of the time, we take it for granted. It has taken hundreds of years to convert it into electricity that is now used at home, in modes of transport and almost everywhere else, simply at the click of a switch.

The United Nations recognizes the importance of raising global awareness on how light and light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. That’s why 2015 was proclaimed as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) during the 71st Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly’s 68th Session.

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IYL 2015 is an enormous occasion to raise awareness among schools about the advances in the field of light technology and its problem-solving potential. For example, an innovative lighting solution like LED reduces energy consumption while also reducing environmental impact.

So how do you think you can contribute as a school to the celebration of the significance of light and its application in 2015?

Awareness: The science of light is actively taught in every senior class. Photonics opens a world of unknown and far-reaching possibilities limited only by the lack of imagination. Based on lectures on the science of light, schools should hold a talk in the morning assembly on “How it is made?” The main focus should be the immediate advantages of innovative lighting systems and its environmental benefits. Schools can also host photography or drawing/painting competitions on lighting; displaying paintings on the campus walls for general viewing will also further this cause.

Information: Take charge of all the bulletin boards in your school. Assign bulletin boards to senior classes; give them themes like light and development in health, education, science, transport and so on. The topic can be written about in the school’s almanac to involve parents in the campaign.

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Action & implementation: The world is discussing climate change and solar energy is one of the most probable and low-cost solutions for mitigating it. Over the past years, we do know that the use of solar energy has increased tremendously to make way for a cleaner and sustainable energy future. Many “Green Schools” have reported using solar power in schools to cut down their technology costs; solar-powered classrooms are a reality now!

However, the first definite step would be to audit energy consumption. After which you can decide a plan of action to reduce your energy consumption by using innovative lighting solutions. The GSP energy audit will also help your school monitor energy consumption and potential of saving energy by introducing new technologies.

An audit is an approach to determine the differences between the current and desired situation. For more details contact CSE’s Environment Education Unit to participate in the Green Schools Programme and kickstart your waste audit. Write to ranjita@cseindia.org or ajanta@cseindia.org

“Photonics underpins technologies of daily life from smart phones, laptops, the Internet, medical instruments to lighting technology. The 21st century will depend as much on photonics as the 20th century depended on electronics”

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WHAT IS PHOTONICS?

Photonics is the science and technology of generating, controlling, and detecting photons, which are particles of light. Photonics underpins technologies of daily life from smart phones, laptops, Internet, medical instruments to lighting technology. The 21st century will depend as much on photonics as the 20th century depended on electronics.

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DID YOU KNOW?

Civilizations have struggled to the vulnerabilities of darkness. The electric lighting grids were only invented 100 years ago to power homes and streets.

“The first definite step would be to audit energy consumption. After which you can decide a plan of action to reduce your energy consumption by using innovative lighting solutions”

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