The Energy Breakthrough program encourages participants to examine and use the latest technology while considering its impact on the environment and the way people live locally and globally. The ABC’s War on Waste series – which begins it’s second season tonight (July 24) offers a great vehicle for kids and adults alike – in schools, homes and businesses – to do just that. (pun intended).

We encourage you to visit the War on Waste website and the ABC’s Education website for some great resources and tips.

Here’s a few gems:

War on Waste Action Toolkit (ABC)

The ABC together with Good for the Hood have created a free War on Waste Action Toolkit to power community groups and waste warriors across the nation.
Read more >

Tips for a sustainable school (ABC)

Ways you can motivate students and your school community to minimise waste and recycle more.
Read more >

25 educational resources to help kids with the war on waste (ABC)

The ABC’s 25 educational resources to help students take a critical look at household, retail and farming waste, helping you take an active role in the issue!
Read more >

‘Breakthrough’ by name …

The ‘Energy Breakthrough’ name was actually borne around the first event way back in 1991 when the committee organising the inaugural edition came across this insightful quote from respected motoring journalist, Ralph Sarich, who was writing for Wheels Magazine at the time:

“I drive a Porsche 928. Enjoy it tremendously.
But I can see huge changes coming, with growing awareness of social and environmental responsibilities. We can’t keep on having inefficient cars.
I don’t believe the world can go on consuming fuel recklessly. Wasting fuel. Not just because of diminishing reserves but what it is doing to the planet. Spewing out pollution.
Vehicles have to be far more sensible in payload, much lighter, retain passenger comfort because you do need that, and be much safer.
It needs another breakthrough …”
~ Ralph Sarich, Wheels Magazine, February 1991

The second of our six Program aims of the Energy Breakthrough remains to this day:

“Encourage young people to explore solutions to environmental and transport issues.”

Here’s a few ways we breathe life into those aims in our Program:

Innovations in Technology

Our Innovations in Technology category is split into two sections: one where teams have to build a craft that will carry a soft drink can the length of a channel without using fossil fuels, the other a Junkyard Challenge where students must construct a crane using, yep, junk!

Energy Efficient Vehicles

The ultimate energy test – can we reduce our dependence on fuel and vehicles for the future? Not strictly ‘waste’ related, although the challenge to complete 24 hours with just 3 litres of petrol or a limited supply of battery encourages reducing consumption in the first place, which is all part of the bigger picture.
Case in point: Girton Grammar School’s solar-powered ‘Xception’ – the first ever pedal-free 24 hour Trial winner


From the earliest of days of the ‘Breakthrough, we have strongly encouraged and rewarded schools who have used recycled materials in the preparation and construction of their pushcarts. We see plenty of old ironing boards, recycled office chairs and off-cuts of timber re-worked and painted to become a fearsome pushcart!

Human Powered Vehicles

Again, students are challenged to think about the materials they use in the construction of their vehicles and to think through whether bikes and human powered vehicles could reliably replace cars for personal trips over long and short distances.

So, the War on Waste challenge has been set.

Will you join the War On Waste?
Have you already joined?
What is your school / family doing to be sustainable?

Let us know in the comments below or online on our Facebook page >