Festival During World Environment Week Sparks Youth Interest in Building Efficiency
ESKIŞEHIR, Turkey (June 7, 2017) — During World Environment Week earlier this month, WRI’s Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) led a series of innovative and youth-focused outreach events in Eskişehir-Sazova Park to spread information about energy efficiency and sustainability. More than 500 children, from 7 to 15 years old, played several efficiency-themed games to better understand the basic concepts of building efficiency and the opportunities to improve energy use in their own lives.
The event began with a performance by the EkoShow Rhythm Group, a group composed of sanitation workers who make music with recycled materials, to draw attention to waste and recycling. Following the show, children played games designed by the BEA team in Eskişehir. As an incentive, kids received energy-related prizes for playing certain games, including bags with a building energy graphic, a portable energy wheel game and pencils packed with plant seeds to encourage sustainability.
The games included:
Energetic Hopscotch: Players received basic information on energy efficiency, energy labels, buildings and associated equipment. Then they played a version of the well-known hopscotch game, starting with the lowest energy label, “D,” and winning by hopping their way to the highest energy label, “A+++.”
Wheel of Energy: Children turned the wheel, which featured different materials pertaining to building efficiency, including green roofs, solar panels, double-glass and others, and when it stopped, tried to select the corresponding material from the table. The game facilitator then explained the material and what it does for building efficiency.
Protect Energy: The goal of the game was to be the first to make it to the center of the board by throwing dice and moving accordingly. If players landed on squares related to energy efficiency (such as using an energy-saving light bulb), they moved ahead a certain number of spaces; however, if they landed on squares representing wasteful actions (like washing the dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink when you only have a few), they were sent back a few steps. In some cases, the children answered efficiency-related questions. After the players answered, the host provided a more detailed explanation. Some steps were designed to encourage interaction by including singing and dancing.
Making Energy a Child’s Hero: To peak children’s interest, the team created an “energy hero” cutout. The hero’s feet represented the lowest energy class, while the head represented the highest. Children took photos with the cardboard hero while BEA team members provided information on the energy classes, describing each level as it corresponded with the hero’s color scheme. The festival demonstrated how effective it is for children to learn through games and entertainment. Some children became familiar with the terms and concepts of building efficiency just through watching others learn the games. One of the teachers accompanying the kids said she would use the games to teach her classes about energy efficiency in the future.
The BEA Eskişehir Project
The Building Efficiency Accelerator is a sub-platform of Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll), a global partnership to create healthier and more livable cities through improving energy efficiency in buildings. Eskişehir became a part of the BEA network in June 2016. Within the scope of BEA Eskişehir, the Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality will be responsible for policy development, pilot project design and implementation with technical support from the WRI team in Turkey. Beyond awareness campaigns like the youth outreach conducted during World Environment Week, which is important to generate demand for energy-efficient buildings, goals of the project include:
- Developing a policy mechanism ensuring new buildings in Eskişehir are constructed at Class B or above
- Developing, publicizing and realizing an incentive mechanism structure
- Organizing vocational training programs/seminars for engineers and architects
- Localizing suitable financing programs to support investments in building energy efficiency practices
- Fostering mechanisms that will ensure building inspections include energy efficiency
- Implementing a pilot building that will showcase innovations and best practices
Additional outreach activities upcoming from BEA Eskişehir include a free documentary week for university students and adults this autumn about building efficiency, building design and sustainable cities. Banners will also be placed around the city to draw attention to different concepts of building efficiency. Last but not least, the Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality is creating a new page on their website about building efficiency. This page will include information about climate change, energy and building efficiency, conservation tips, energy performance certificates, related regulations and more, along with some content on BEA Eskişehir, the BEA network and progress made so far in the city.