Report from Environmental Committee (2012 – 2014)
Co-Chairmen: Betty Chan and Mabel Mak
Z Carbon Pioneer
The Z Carbon Pioneer project was jointly organised by the Zonta Club of the New Territories, Zonta Club of Hong Kong, and Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Corporation with funding support from the BOCHK Charitable Foundation. The project adopts a new educational approach to raise students’ awareness on peak oil and climate change challenges. Using the global ‘Transition Town Movement’ as a reference, students are motivated to transform environmental awareness to practical actions for low carbon living.
The project aims to build the capacity of 50 student leaders from ten secondary schools in promoting community participation in low carbon living. These student leaders will be awarded as ‘Z Carbon Pioneers’ after the completion of training and organising educational activities at each school, out reaching to 50 Z Carbon Fans and pledging them to sign and act for low carbon living.
Project Summary and Recommendations:
A teacher seminar was organised in June 2013 to introduce the Z Carbon Pioneer project to 50 teachers from 23 schools and Zontians. The schools included Sacred Heart Canossian College, Z School of Zonta Club of the New Territories (with 12 Z Carbon Pioneer, 114 Z Carbon Fans and 42 Tonnes of CO2 saving), St Paul’s Convent School, Z School of Zonta Club of Hong Kong, and other schools. A total of 22 schools applied to the project and 176 students were nominated to attend the Zero Carbon Pioneer training programme. In view of the very positive response, the organisers decided to extend the quota of Zero Carbon Pioneer from 50 to 99 students of the ten schools.
Two training sessions were then organised in October 2013 for the student leaders. The first training session was held at Zero Carbon Building and provided an orientation for the student leaders to get an in depth understanding of the peak oil and climate change challenges. Students also went through a self-assessment of carbon footprint and learnt how to use the provided film resource to facilitate group discussion for low carbon living. A case study of the environmental design of Zero Carbon Building was conducted at the end of the session. 102 students and teachers attended the session.
The second training session was held at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) for students to examine ways of restoring Hong Kong’s resilience on organic resource recovery, energy, water and food supply through case studying of sustainable designs at KFBG. 85 students and teachers attended the session.
The student leaders then organised environmental education activities at schools and community to promote low carbon living over the period of October 2013 to January 2014. The organiser has provided a template to guide the participants looking into their potential in carbon reduction by making small changes in everyday life. The participants included classmates, family members, teachers and their communities who then signed a pledge for low carbon living to become Z Carbon Fans.
A total of 99 student leaders from ten secondary schools were awarded as Z Carbon Pioneers who have successfully reached out to 3,596 Z Carbon Fans and sought their commitment to reduce 7,917 tonnes of carbon emission.
In view of the limited quota set for this pilot project, the organisers did not promote the Z Carbon Pioneer project fully to all secondary schools in Hong Kong. However, there was still a 120% over-subscription of school applicants to the project. It is intended to extend the project to wider communities of the school sector in the future subjected to sponsorship.