Workshop 2: Green Change in Schools
Big Idea: Creating ‘effective’ green change in school
In this workshop, we will explore the importance of school-based initiatives in the overall environmental scheme and then move into ways in which you can judge your school’s attitude to the environment and from there, how to find the most meaningful methods to effect green change in your schools.
When you embark on your very own Green initiative, it is important that you continuously understand and reflect on what you (as a CCA/interest group/individual) wish to achieve and the situation you would hope to change. This PRIDE planning framework provides a good guideline for some questions you should ponder over throughout the execution of your green efforts. The aspects to consider, as seen in the diagram, can be broken down into 5 main parts: Purpose, Reading the Ground, Influence, Delivery, and Evaluation. Zoom into the diagram to read more!
Rationale: The entire idea of enacting green change and promoting environmentalism is huge and it is sometimes overwhelming when you look at implementing green change. Hence, it is important to have a clear goal and purpose in mind when pushing out ideas and working towards green change, both for your benefit when figuring out what events to hold, and for the school population to understand where all of you are coming from
Breakdown and elaboration of diagram:
I. Methods to engage your school population
Educate: Raising awareness about the climate crisis and the need for climate mitigation. It will mainly take the form of information dissemination but you can be creative as to how you go about it!
Appealing: Engaging the school population. This will involve having more active initiatives that students take part in such as quizzes, or social media challenges. Having good publicity is key and it is essential for more in-depth planning and execution for it to have the greatest impact! People are usually only concerned with themselves, so try and organise activities that benefits or is relatable to people. One suggestion is to coordinate with your school admin/teachers to make it a compulsory activity which demands participation from every student.
Inspiring: Getting others on board environmental change and activism. This will involve a lot more dedication and the school population should already have some level of interest in the environment (cultivated from the top 2 methods). There is no standard way to do so, but a key part would be to always stay true to what you promote, walk the talk, and share not just facts, but stories of people who work in the environmental scene.
(e.g. “Everyday Advocates” is an Instagram series @hc_green which features stories of students involved in the environmental scene)
II. Possible environmental issues to consider
It would be good to choose 2-3 aspects of the environment to focus on and really promote in your term in school. You can decide on which to focus on based on a few factors such as…
– Any current trends/hot topics
– What your school is interested in (from gathering reading the ground :P)
– How receptive your school is to green efforts: if receptiveness is low, it would be good to focus on more ‘visible’ issues such as zero waste, fast fashion, energy use which are more interactive and obvious. If receptiveness is higher, you can focus on some intangibles and activism-based initiatives
Even as you focus on some key issues, don’t forget to remember the bigger picture of the entire climate crisis, that ultimately, what is most important is collective action and collective interest in the environment.
It is important to strike a balance between focussing on a topic and promoting the bigger idea of the climate crisis such as by linking the significance of individual action to the overall movement.
You should ultimately aim to empower the school body towards green change.