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Bean Pod

The Kitchen

Resources for cooking up great

environmental campaigns

Boys trim plant AC4370


How to start and run a succesful green club.

There is no end of advice out there on how to start such a club, but here are a few tips they may not give you..

  1. Make sure the administration, at least one key member, is behind you, preferably from the very start. You will need someone to advocate for you when you come up with a campaign that needs special resources, or clearance for a special field trip, for example.​ One way to do this is actively to find out what the club can do to serve the school's goals and take on such a pursuit as one of your first activities.

  2. Of course, a green club works best when you have a group of students who are passionate about the environment. You cannot always have this, but encouraging students who are less enthusiastic, but capable, to take on leadership roles within the group is a good way to build such commitment. Have different students lead smaller activities or portions of a larger campaign. Offer encouragement, guidance and praise. 

  3. Aim to make your first few campaigns extremely achievable and fun to run. Once students are seasoned a bit, they might be reader for more challenging goals. Likewise, making the first campaign or two highly engaging and visible within the school can lead to other students wanting to get involved and build the reputation of the club as visible and effective. 

  4. We cannot all live in a place where the environment greets us each day outside our door. But it cannot be overemphasized how valuable it is for green club members to visit an area where the air is clearer and the geography is at least invigorating, if not inspiring. Find ways to get your club out into "the environment" on occasion to recharge their batteries for the often thankless work of convincing others to have concern or change their behaviors.

  5. Make a connection with some organization in your community that is working on an environmental issue and see if there is an opportuity to collaborate, or at least for your students to contribute labor or participate some other way in their activities. Working on authentic issues in the community helps students realize the real-world impacts of human behavior and gives them a sense of being part of the solution. You could also consider looking into a group that is not working explicitly on green issues, but social justice topics like helping refugees or the homeless, and explore with your group how these issues, also, have ties to the "environment." 

Many hands pick berries AC2451


Try these ideas for fabulous campaigns!

  • Have an idea? Send it to us to include here!
    All we need is a brief, clear description of your idea. And if you have run this project successfully, consider if we might feature it in the Garden blog! (It's especially good if you have pictures of the project in action.)
  • Upcycling Contest and Gallery
    Run a contest in your community for creative ideas for upcycling. Have people submit their best examples with a photo and brief description. Create a gallery walk of all the entries and then choose a winner in carious categories such as Best Use of Resources, Most Creative, and Best Overall.
  • Boost GOOS Use
    Make sure there is a GOOS box to hold "Good One One Side" paper wherever paper is used, especially by copiers. Also post instructions for how to insert paper and set settings to use GOOS. The GOOS box itself can ask for "whole, flat and unfolded, unstapled, non-confidential one-sided" paper that can be most easily used.
  • Build a Display to Show Resource Use
    Tie this idea to any campaign, for example, a campaign to reduce paper use. For this example, you would research the amount of water, fuel, wood, chemicals and other resources used to make one ream of paper. Gather a suitabe amount of wood, gasoline containers, a water tank and other items to illustrate this set of resources and create a display in your school with explanatory information posted.
Girls pulling tree AC4382


Resources to help make your club as effective as possible.

This space is for additional resources to help make your club better, including links to outside information that we have found effective. Look here to get greenspyred with new ideas.

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