Malaspina taking part in Lights Out Canada event

Malaspina taking part in Lights Out Canada event

April 19, 2013

Mark Nielsen

Students at Malaspina elementary school will definitely be in the dark on Monday.

The school will be among 384 nationwide – although the only one in Prince George – to participate in the Lights Out Canada event as part of Earth Day on April 22.

And after going for one hour during last year’s version, the school is aiming to survive the whole day on as little electricity as possible.

The idea is to show that “one small change can make a big difference if enough people do that one small change,” school principal Anjula Corbin said Thursday.

The day will start with an assembly in the school gym where the lights will be completely out.

“And in the assembly, we’ll be talking about climate change and how even though electricity can seem like a renewable resource, building dams or windmills to create that electricity uses non-renewable resources and puts carbon in the atmosphere,” Corbin said.

“So using less means we can reduce our usage of non-renewable resources and cut down on the carbon emissions for climate change.”

It also simply promotes a good cost-saving habit, Corbin said, in that turning off lights and other electrically-powered items when not in use saves money.

The rules for participating allow for some wiggle room.

“We can still use our projectors and our computers and if it’s not feasible to have all the lights out, then having the lights down or putting on only half the lights is also part of that,” Corbin said.

The students will also spend part of the day outside picking up litter.

Now in its eighth year, Lights Out Canada was founded by Keleigh Annau when she was a Vancouver Island high school student. It has grown to the the point where 135,000 students across Canada are participating this year. For British Columbia, a record-setting 157 schools are involved.

Corbin said she’s surprised Malaspina is the only Prince George school registered and hopes more will sign on next year.

“This is a school that works hard to be socially responsible so I think this one more good thing that Malaspina students and community are being involved in,” Corbin said.