Green Clubs have taken high schools by storm with the emergence of more “woke” teenagers on the topic of the environment and sustainability.
According to the United Nations sustainable development goals, eco clubs in schools empower students to participate and take up meaningful environmental activities and projects. They are forums through which students can reach out to influence, engage their parents and neighborhood communities to promote sound environmental behavior.
Anyone with a platform on sustainability can agree that advocation is just as important as action, and with these clubs, both are possible.
There are different names for Green Clubs; I’ve heard Eco-Green Club, SAVE (Students Against Violating the Environment) Club and Environmental Club. I am currently a sophomore at East Brunswick High School and am the Vice President of the SAVE Club. Through my experiences with the club and seeing the impact we have made, I have compiled a list of how to start your own club.
- Start small and set goals
With starting a club, it is important to have an initiative and a series of goals. Have one main goal and then mini goals to reach the big picture. Having direction is the focus, begin with projects such as compost piles or recycling collections. You can see the success and student interest levels from these activities, and these projects will show administration the level of commitment.
- Seize surveys and feedback
Before each project, send out surveys to members to see the level of knowledge they have on that particular topic. You will be able to implement these tactics into your own ideas. Send the surveys to other parents and teachers so you can maximize your own knowledge. Along with this, collect feedback after your projects. This way you can understand what others viewed as successes/failures, what you can change for next time and overall what to do to guarantee better results.
- Advertise and grow your platform
The best way to do this is to recruit school/community members. Spread event information on social medias, create posters to hang in local hotspots and personally reach out to influential individuals. This can also lead to partnerships and donations. Other classrooms have seen success with this step, specifically with bird feeders, where they got local donations of seeds and building materials just by asking.
- Document your progress
Spreading information about growing the club also involves showing the world your progress as a group. Create a website to keep onlookers and participants up-to-date, and regularly upload to social media. If the public can see what you have accomplished, they are more likely to take your club seriously, consequently gaining more followers and growing your platform. Directly communicate with your audience and keep them involved every step of the way.
The biggest thing to remember is that you are putting in effort, and you need to be able to show results. The results may be small, but they will add up and eventually shape up into your main goal. Documenting your progress will tie all your hard work together, and you will capture unforgettable moments.
Follow this list and keep an eye out for my next blog post, where I will touch upon activity specifics for your Green Club!