How to Start a School Environmental Club in 8 Easy Steps!
Have you recently come to Sierra Outdoor School and want to continue the fun?
Did you write an earth pledge in our Raptors and Conservation class and want to follow your dreams of helping the planet?
Are you coming to Sierra Outdoor School in the future and are wondering how you can prepare for an awesome experience?
Then creating an environmental club at your school may be the perfect idea for you!
Making a club at your school can sound like a lot of work, but with our easy 8 step guide you'll have it up and running in no time!
Step 1) Gather your friends!
Get a group of friends together and talk about your goals and dreams for an environmental club. Are there things you learned about protecting the planet, saving the animals, and reducing your earth footprint at Sierra Outdoor School that you want to continue doing at school?
Did you get inspired by the story of Olivia's Birds (http://www.oliviabouler.net/), who raised over $200,000 to help the birds in the gulf oil spill?
Or did The Wolves Are Back, a story about how returning one species to an ecosystem can help all the plants and animals that live there, make you want to help the wolves and all the animals in the world?
Well then an environmental club is a perfect place to get started!
Make sure you have at least 8-10 people interested in starting a club, then all you need to do is get a teacher or parent advisor!
Step 2) Get a Teacher or Parent Advisor!
All clubs need an advisor or supervisor, but this person does not need to be a scientist or expert in ecology, they simply need to be enthusiastic about helping students and the planet! Getting help and advice from school administrators and teachers can be helpful as well, they may even have some ideas as to what projects could be done to help your school be more sustainable!
3) Come Up With a Goal!
You don't need a lot of members to start your club, but you do need some good goals for your club! Coming up with a clear mission statement is a great idea, as well as a plan for how to recruit more people to join the club.
Here are some ideas for a mission statement from a great resource on starting an environmental club:(source: https://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Docs/env_club_guide.pdf)
The mission of the environmental club is to:
· provide students with the opportunity to learn more about their surroundings and participate in service projects at school and in the community
· promote environmental awareness and develop social and life skills
· increase student awareness of environmental issues and give them the ability to make a change
· provide opportunities for students to become directly involved in a variety of projects relating to the environment
· promote awareness of environmental issues and the responsibility and opportunity each of us have to make a difference.
Your mission statement can include many things, but make sure it's something that everyone can agree on and get excited about!
4) Have Your First Club Meeting!
This is a great way to gather support for your club, promote it to new members and come up with some ideas for projects you might want to do as a club. Post flyers around the school, make announcements over the PA system, and maybe even bake some cookies to share with everyone that comes to check out the club.
Don’t give up if only 5-6 people come- remember that they will tell their friends and word will spread- and who knows, maybe someday you could even have 100 members of your environmental club!
5) Promote Your Club!
Hold events at your school! Get the word out at school spirit events, sports games, and other special events. Ask a local store to donate ice cream and then give it away to everyone that takes a quiz to find out their ecological footprint!
Organize a lunchtime or after-school event to celebrate Earth Day on Friday April 22!
6) Find a Project To Do!
Here's a list of ideas to get you started! Remember, it's always a good idea to talk to your principal and administrators first because they might have a project that they may want your help on to make your school more sustainable and green.
· Have a “wear green” day to raise awareness!
· Show an environmental film and hand out free popcorn!
· Gather all your friends and create a green school mural!
· Create a school-wide "green" newsletter with tips, advice and announcements so everyone can go green!
· Go on an environmentally-focused field trip- some good destinations include community gardens, landfills, recycling centers, and local non-profits serving the community!
· Perform skits/songs with a green message at assemblies!
· Create environmental tips for your school website, newsletter, or bulletin board!
· Start or promote a recycling or composting program at your school!
· Start a school garden!
Many local businesses are excited to help students accomplish their goals and would love to offer donations in the form of snacks for meetings, supplies or projects or money.
It’s always important to thank businesses that support your club, and a fun way to do this is to make t-shirts for all club members with a list of sponsors on the back.
8) Keep the momentum going!
Make sure that you write down meeting minutes, all the projects you accomplish, and a list of all the sponsors, teachers, parents and students involved because some day you will graduate and a new group of students will want to continue the great work you started!
You may even inspire other schools in your town to start environmental clubs of their own!
Remember that there are endless projects that you can accomplish to help your school go green, educate and inspire your friends and classmates, and help the planet!
As Olivia says in her book Olivia’s Birds:
“We are the future generation, and even though one person can make a difference, together we can change our planet. Thank you to everyone who is working to help out environment.”