It’s time to learn about the Climate Crisis, explore the 5 key areas that contribute to climate change and choose the topic you and your team are excited to focus on. 

The Campaign Path: Phase 1

An Overview of the Campaign Process

Phase 1 – Learn | Task List

5 weeks & 15 points 

  • Watch the Climate Crisis Recap video (Earn a Bonus Point).
  • ✅ Watch the Climate Solutions Shark Tank Topic video.
  • ✅ Explore the Deep Dive on one or more topics.
    • Energy, Transportation, Food, Waste, and Trees.  
  • ✅ Decide which topic to focus on for your project. Complete the “Phase 1.1 – Climate Solutions Topic” questions.
  • ✅ Create your team’s vision statement. Complete the “Phase 1.2 – Vision Statement” questions.
    • Get Bonus Points for being creative with your vision statement! 
  • Check in with your Advisor.

The Climate Crisis: What’s at Stake

Before we get started, let’s go over a quick recap of the Climate Crisis: what it is, what causes it and who it impacts the most.


Get “Pitched” Five Climate Solutions Topics

Welcome to the Climate Solutions Shark Tank! In this video, you’re the “Sharks” who will be pitched five Climate Solution Topics that you can choose from for your project. Click below to start the episode.

Ok Sharks…

You’ve heard from our five environmentalists. Which climate Solutions Topic has ignited your passion and convinced you to learn more? Think about their arguments, review the following summaries, deep dives, and possible project ideas, and then complete the ”Phase 1.1 – Climate Solutions Topic” questions below! 


Climate Solutions Topic Summaries

Check out the summaries below of each of the five different Climate Solutions Topics outlined in the Shark Tank video. Skip to the ones you’re most interested in by clicking one of the topics below or explore all five!


Climate Solutions Topic: ENERGY

Interested in climate solutions related to Energy? Great! Read the summary below to learn more and click to open the Deep Dive to get all the details.

Key Concepts

  • Energy production is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases.
  • Most energy is currently produced by the direct burning of fossil fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas.
  • Fossil fuel production unfairly impacts low-income communities and communities of black, indigenous, and people of color where the residents are exposed to higher rates of pollution and toxins.
  • We can reduce energy related greenhouse gas emissions by calling for renewable energy, making buildings more energy efficient, and conserving water.

Key Stats

  • Buildings use 36% of all the energy that is generated each year. (UN Environment Global Status Report 2017)
  • Every year the U.S. uses enough water to fill 88 MILLION Olympic-size swimming pools to generate energy!  It also takes A LOT of energy to pump, treat and move water. Saving water saves energy. (Energy and Water).
  • 80% of the greenhouse gases driving the climate crisis are the result of burning fossil fuels, and most is burned to produce energy.  (EESI Fossil Fuels).  

Solutions

  • Advocate for the Transition to 100% Renewable Energy
  • Increase Energy Efficiency
  • Save Water to Save Energy

Click here to find a list of sample project ideas related to energy.

Next Step: Read the Energy Deep Dive

The next step is to learn more about Energy issues in our Energy Deep Dive. There, you can re-watch the Climate Solutions Shark Tank Pitch and find a treasure chest of statistics and facts to use in your project materials. You’ll also find a list of project ideas to inspire you!


Climate Solutions Topic: TRANSPORTATION

Interested in climate solutions related to Transportation? Great! Read the summary below to learn more and click to open the Deep Dive to get all the details.

Key Concepts

  • Transportation contributes significantly to the steady rise in the earth’s temperature.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are increasing.
  • Transportation systems routinely benefit affluent communities at the expense of low-income communities and communities of black, indigenous and people of color who must bear the burden of the resulting poor air quality and negative health impacts.
  • We can reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging electric cars and charging stations, organizing carpooling, mass transit, biking and scootering, and new laws.

Key Stats

Solutions

  • Reduce Idling Emissions
  • Promote Alternative Modes of Transportation
  • Promote Electric Vehicles
  • Reduce Shopping Miles

Click here to find a list of sample project ideas related to transportation.

Next Step: Read the Transportation Deep Dive

The next step is to learn more about Transportation issues in our Transportation Deep Dive. There, you can re-watch the Climate Solutions Shark Tank Pitch and find a treasure chest of statistics and facts to use in your project materials. You’ll also find a list of project ideas to inspire you!


Climate Solutions Topic: FOOD

Interested in climate solutions related to Food? Great! Read the summary below to learn more and click to open the Deep Dive to get all the details.

Key Concepts

  • All activities related to our food system, including production, transportation and managing waste, produce greenhouse gasses and contribute to climate change.
  • Plant-based diets lead to a significantly smaller greenhouse gas footprint than meat-based diets.
  • Transporting food far distances results in greenhouse gas emissions, so buying in season, local foods is a better choice.
  • Farming practices often create conditions that negatively affect the health of workers and nearby low-income communities and communities of black, indigenous and people of color.  Communities of color also often have less access to healthy, sustainably-produced foods. 
  • Wasted food often ends up in landfills where it decomposes and releases the greenhouse gas, methane.

Key Stats

  • Food production and processing are responsible for approximately 26% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Our World In Data).
  • 40% of all food produced is wasted (Yale Climate Connections).
  • About 11% of all the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the food system could be reduced if we stop wasting food (World Wildlife Foundation).

Solutions

  • Reduce Meat Consumption
  • Promote Tropical-Forest-Friendly Foods
  • Promote Sustainably-Produced Foods
  • Reduce Food Waste

Click here to find a list of sample project ideas related to food.

Next Step: Read the Food Deep Dive

The next step is to learn more about Food issues in our Food Deep Dive. There, you can re-watch the Climate Solutions Shark Tank Pitch and find a treasure chest of statistics and facts to use in your project materials. You’ll also find a list of project ideas to inspire you!


Climate Solutions Topic: WASTE

Interested in climate solutions related to Waste? Great! Read the summary below to learn more and click to open the Deep Dive to get all the details.

Key Concepts

  • The manufacturing, distribution, and use of the goods and food we rely on all require energy that predominantly comes from fossil fuels, which are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Waste from our global products eventually needs to be disposed of through recycling, incinerating, or landfills.
  • Waste facilities like incinerators, landfills, and waste treatment plants are almost always located in communities of black, indigenous, and people of color whose residents experience the negative health impacts of the resulting increased pollutants and toxins. Each of these three options results in the production and emission of greenhouse gases.
  • Using less and reusing what we already have is key to reducing climate change caused by waste.

Key Stats

  • 29 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions come from the provision of goods produced within the United States and managing the waste from those goods represents 1 to 5 percent of US greenhouse gas emissions (US EPA).
  • Globally we use about 150 million tons of single-use plastics each year and only about 7 percent of plastic is ever recycled (Columbia.edu).
  • If plastics production and incineration increase as expected, greenhouse gas emissions will increase to 49 million metric tons by 2030 and 91 million metric tons by 2050 (Yale Climate Connections).
  • Methane is a greenhouse gas that is up to 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide and is a driver of climate change. Landfills are the United States’ third largest source of methane emissions (climatecentral.org).

Solutions

  • Reduce Single-Use Plastics and Promote Reusable Items
  • Reduce Litter
  • Reduce Clothing/Textile Waste
  • Reduce Electronic Waste
  • Promote Reuse

Click here to find a list of sample project ideas related to waste.

Next Step: Read the Waste Deep Dive

The next step is to learn more about Waste issues in our Waste Deep DiveThere, you can re-watch the Climate Solutions Shark Tank Pitch and find a treasure chest of statistics and facts to use in your project materials. You’ll also find a list of project ideas to inspire you!


Climate Solutions Topic: TREES

Interested in climate solutions related to Trees and Deforestation? Great! Read the summary below to learn more and click to open the Deep Dive to get all the details.

Key Concepts

  • Trees store carbon and release stored carbon when they are cut down and processed.
  • Forests the size of a football field are cut down every second. (Yale Environment 360).
  • Deforestation occurs in underdeveloped areas to produce products that are consumed by the developed world.
  • Heat Islands are commonly found in low-income communities and communities of black, indigenous, and people of color, where residents have the least access to resources for keeping cool and healthy.
  • Forest preservation and restoration could potentially capture as much as 1/3 of the greenhouse gases we need to remove from the atmosphere by 2030 to keep the earth’s temperature rise to 1.5C (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
  • We can reduce deforestation related greenhouse gas emissions by supporting preservation and reforestation programs, planting trees, and committing to purchasing sustainable products. 

Key Stats

  • Only about 30% of world’s forests are still standing today. (National Geographic)
  • Since 2016, we’ve cut down about a football field of forest EVERY SINGLE SECOND, and at this rate it is estimated the world’s rainforests will be gone in 100 years. (The World Counts).
  • Deforestation currently accounts for about 20% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions and unless we protect and restore forests, deforestation is projected to increase up to 80% by the year 2100 (GlobalChange.gov)

Solutions

  • Increase Urban Tree Cover
  • Protect Tropical and Old Growth Forests
  • Combat the Urban Heat Island Effect

Click here to find a list of sample project ideas related to planting trees and fighting deforestation.

Next Step: Read the Tree Deep Dive

The next step is to learn more about Trees and Deforestation issues in our Trees Deep DiveThere, you can re-watch the Climate Solutions Shark Tank Pitch and find a treasure chest of statistics and facts to use in your project materials. You’ll also find a list of project ideas to inspire you!


Climate Solutions Topic Deep Dives

It’s time to dig a little deeper! Click on a topic or two (or all!) to learn more about that topic. Once you’ve explored the Deep Dive, your team is ready to choose the topic that you’ll focus on when developing your Climate Solution. Remember, you can always come back to this page to check out the other topics at any time.  

Having trouble viewing or completing the form below? To view in Google Forms click here – Phase 1.1 Form

NEXT STEP: Write Your Team’s Vision Statement

Click Here: Move on to the next step: Phase 1.2 – Vision Statement

Looking for Another Page? Head over to the Campaign’s Table of Contents.