When it comes to inculcating environment friendly lifestyle habits, ‘catch them young’ seems to be the mantra.

“As cities expand rapidly, the carbon footprint generated by them will be enormous, and this can be reduced to a major extent by making changes to our lifestyles,” Susanne Schultz, Sustainable Hyderabad Project representative, said on Thursday.

Pilot project

To address this issue, a pilot project, Education for Sustainable Lifestyle (ESL), was carried out by Sustainable Hyderabad members Lutz Meyere Ohlendorf and Savita Vijaykumar at five city schools - three private and two government high schools - last year.

As part of the project, students and teachers from these schools were asked to evolve corrective measures to reduce carbon footprint.

Simple does it

Citing the results of the project, its coordinator, Ms. Schultz, pointed out that reducing power consumption and conserving water could be achieved by inculcating simple habits.

Students conducted power audits and came up with suggestions to reduce power consumption.

The results were encouraging as power bills in their homes came down by Rs. 200 or more, she explained.

“Our endeavour was to impart sustainable lifestyle habits to the future generation. This would help them in taking better decisions in reducing wastage of natural resources and choosing better alternatives,” she said.

“The training programme helped us to understand the importance of plugging the leaks,” Jaya Lakshmi, a class 9 student at GATI Government High School (GGHS), Banjara Hills, said. The training involved aspects such as air pollution, energy and water conservation and effective waste management, she said, adding that they were imparting their new-found knowledge to other students and even to their neighbours.

ESL conducted a competition among the five schools, in which GGHS excelled by winning the ‘Green School’ award, apart from a couple of ‘Green Jersey’ awards and even a ‘Change Maker’ award.

“After our pilot project, we realised that there is huge untapped potential among students from government high schools to be the agents of change. To tap this potential, we have approached the Pollution Control Board with our model,” Ms. Schultz said.

The officials have promised to incorporate this model in their Green Corps curriculum, she added.