This letter is just too good not to share!
The Story of the Developing Virtue Girls’ School & the PV Solar Shutter
Why use electricity from depleting resources when we have limitless sunshine that can provide what we need? Solar energy can supply us the electricity we need to power our school; in addition, it saves money and helps the environment.
My friend and I have always wanted to promote environmental awareness in our school. When we were elected president and vice president of the Association of the Student Body Club (ASB Club), we announced to everyone that one of our goals was to go green. I suppose we have been influenced by our community and classes. Our community recycles, compost, and advocates saving water and electricity, but we feel we still need to do so much more. The earth is so important to us, to everyone! It is the only home we have, and right now we are not taking care of it. If we do not start thinking of the future, then it might not be a good one; therefore my friend and I are driven to spread the word: save the earth, save yourself, go green.
We got to know about the solar shutter at the West Coast Green Conference. We once considered obtaining solar panels for school, but our roof did not fit the requirements. Surprisingly, we saw this solar shutter in one of the booths in the conference. The owners of the company welcomed us and demonstrated the functions of the product. My friend and I were fascinated because it was a perfect replacement for the solar panel we wanted to purchase! Yet we were troubled by the cost of one solar shutter. However, the company promised to pay half of the prize for the shutter. We were very moved by their generosity and support, it showed us how much they cared for the environment, how they put sustainability before profit, we rarely see that in most companies.
We started to raise money for the solar shutter after we came back from the West Coast Green
Conference. We first asked for approval, and then we sent out emails to teachers and faculty members. For awhile nothing happened, and we began to worry. But suddenly, on the Friday before Halloween we received a very generous donation from two teachers that amounted to $600. Both of us were jumping with joy. Then, a couple weeks later, we had our friends walk around the dorm and ask for more donations, and that amounted to approximately $300. When we raised enough money, we immediately organized the purchase of the solar shutter.
We installed our shutter in a teacher’s room upstairs, actually. There are couple reasons for this decision. First, the window presented the most sunlight than any other in the school. Second, we were afraid that if we put the solar shutter in a classroom, our students might damage it somehow. Third, it was a nice place to put it. The most rewarding moment after installation was the applause from the students. Our community gives us so much support. It is really nice to see our friends and teachers and parents cheer for our accomplishment. It really shows us that we are not against the world; there are people out there who want to help the planet as much as we do. We need to get together and start acting upon a solution, because it only takes ten to fifteen percent of the population to make a big change in a society.
We did calculate the money saved if the shutter was installed, and we came to the conclusion that we would begin saving money after eight years. It is a long term project, but we all have to think long term when it comes to the future. We could be wrong with our calculation, so be free to check with your information. But perhaps a “money-tracker” would be a useful device to have. I can ask my principal if she thinks it is a good idea.
Having one solar shutter in the school might not reduce an enormous amount of our ecological footprint; but we believe that our small difference that will help our planet. We just really want to say thanks to the people who have guided us through this process, especially Ruth and Dan. The people in the business have really helped us; they were friendly, supportive and generous. Thank you times a million! We hope your business thrives! We wish you all the luck!
By Ruth Curran