The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) has announced the winners of its schools awareness activities for Earth Hour earlier this year when schools and students from all over Oman participated in energy saving and arts competitions to help increase environmental awareness all over the nation. Al Qala’a Elementary School in Izki was the most successful of 26 schools who entered into the energy saving championship and were recently presented with certificates marking their achievement by HH Sayyida Tania al Said, ESO President in Muscat. During the month of March the school managed to save a massive 48 per cent of electricity compared to the same month a year earlier — saving a total of 1,972 kilowatts of energy during the month. School Principal Salwa al Qasmi was very proud of the initiative by her students and received a trophy from HH Sayyida Tania al Said of the Environmental Society of Oman. Youngsters from the school were able to achieve this impressive target by undertaking a range of savings initiatives that included, using air-conditioning wisely, monitoring lighting systems and planting more trees. Salwa explained that this intensive awareness programme also had an impact on local residents in Izki as well as inside the school community. Meanwhile, 113 children from 22 schools around Oman entered ESO’s Earth Hour Art competition, where young people were asked to create art works with a powerful environmental and energy saving theme. Prizes were awarded to the first three places in four separate age groups with the first place winner receiving a Galaxy Tap from the Sultan Group, the second place received a camera from Photocentre and third place, vouchers from WH Smith. The first prize winners in each age group were Aatika Rashid Said al Rawahi from the Alawla for Basic Education School; Idrees Khalid Juma Alsabit from the Al Shma’ail for Basic Education School; Maimona Mustafa from Dorat Al Khaleej Private School and Turkya Aari al Raisi from the Dohat al Adab for After Basic Education School. Commenting on the success of the school and the individual students, ESO General Manager Bassma Rasasi said: “We have been delighted by the tremendous response from young people and schools all over Oman to get actively engaged in both saving energy or coming up with some highly innovative and artistic calls to action to illustrate ways to save and conserve energy and protect the environment. The Environment Society of Oman was responsible for the Earth Hour in Oman this year that took place on March 31 — that was a major success with the country uniting to save 53,430 kW of electricity as lights were switched off and power saved all over the Sultanate. Now that Earth Hour 2012 has been completed ESO officials are urging everyone in Oman to “think beyond the hour” and continue to be aware and find energy saving initiatives and adopt other eco-friendly initiatives in the weeks and months ahead.