School Energy detectives in action at a hotel.

This Entry has been submitted.

School Energy detectives in action at a hotel.

Hartbeespoort, South Africa
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Here in South Africa there are no strict law enforcement around pollution and environmental exploitation, therefor people like to stick with old ways, i.e. in the tourism industry it doesn't matter if electricity or water prices go up, they just put the price of accommodation up! Schools complain they never have a big enough budget, but they are ignorant in ways to reduce consumption and need guidance and assistance in that; which they definitely do not receive from government and dept education. More than 90% of municipalities in South Africa are declared corrupt and show no interest at all (we've been trying to get our local municipality involved in the above issues for more than 5 years, with no success). Here municipalities are in the business of selling electricity to the schools and not encouraging saving it at all. It is really difficult at this stage to convince hotels and schools to participate (although we offer these services to both instances for free, plus donate the solar parabolic cooker the chef use for preparing the meal for the children, to the school, cost approx 290 US dollar).
Holms and Friends hope to get business from the hotel after presenting to them their energy analysis; in the form of implementing solar applications in their buildings. The hotels can also use participation in this project in their marketing strategy by showing that they move to more sustainable ways of operating, as well as contributing to education and awareness raising.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Changing tourism accommodation in the private sector of South Africa to become more responsible and sustainable in their running operations and energy needs. Combine this with education by involving trained school children to do audits on electricity, water, waste and means of travel at the hotel, afterwards repeating the same exercise at school, helping the school to become also more sustainable and energy efficient.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Organising a fun Action Day at a hotel that are willing to participate, let the "Energy Detectives" (school children) take their measurements and observations while he chef of the hotel cook them a meal with a solar cooker to enjoy afterwards.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

1. Solar cooking: the chef of the hotel gets trained in an environmentally way of preparing food; 2. This raises awareness to solar cooking at personnel level, booked in guests and visitors present at that stage and the school children as well; 3. By doing the audit with the children, followed up by further measurements taken, we can analyse and present a strategic energy plan to the hotel that will help them save energy, reduce consumption and fight against pollution and exploitation of the environment; 4. We will use the trained school energy detectives to report back to the rest of their grade, thereby involving more children in doing the same exercise at the school. 5. We encourage and help the school to join an Eco schools programme as to use the changes we're implementing (i.e. reduce electricity consumption, harvest rain water, set up recycling activities, do composting with organic waste, green their co-curricular events, use bio-degradable cleaning products, use their solar cooker at school events), as show cases and achievements in this programme; 6. The suggested sustainable development projects will be integrated into the school curriculum as far as possible; 7. This change of behaviour at school level will hopefully wash over to these children's homes and being implemented in our community's lifestyle.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Different instances in the tourism industry that also tackle the issues under "Green Tourism"; people offering green solutions to businesses. I've already experienced resistance and huge lack of interest through the launch of the pilot project. It took 5 ½ months of intensive marketing to get a hotel interested to take part in our Action Day, plus a further 3 months to convince a school to take part.


Thea Holm's picture

Please come with suggestions (and funding!) on getting hotels and schools excited and interested in this innovation project!