Take over Social Media with Green Actions during Earth Week!
A student group will lead this LAUNCH social media challenge toolkit that provides simple daily actions and activities that can be implemented at your school or in your classroom during Earth Week or any week, because as we say at Grades of Green… every week is Earth Week!
*NOTE: Please follow your school’s rules regarding cell phone and social media use while at school
This toolkit address the following Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) within the Performance Expectations of NGSS for Grades: 6-8 and 9-12
- Asking Questions and Defining a Problem
- Planning and Carrying out Investigations
- Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
- Obtaining Evaluating, and Communicating Information
- Students will analyze their school and environmental footprint
- Project Management
- Students will practice leadership skills by delegating tasks to each other
- Students will keep track of their positive environmental impact
- Evaluation and Assessment
- Students will track and evaluate the impact of their project
Why Is Earth Week Important?
Earth Day was founded on April 22, 1970 for the purpose of educating people about environmental issues. We now celebrate Earth Week as a time to take action and/or encourage others to take action towards a greener planet. It can also be a great time to take on a new eco habit!
What You Will Accomplish
You’ll learn about the Climate Crisis and complete at least 5 actions to alleviate the impact they have on Earth. Students can also use this toolkit to earn community service hours; contact Grades of Green (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include any paperwork that needs to be signed.
Why Should You LAUNCH Earth Week?
The resources provided can be shown as a slideshow or printed out as individual worksheets for students to learn.
The Climate is Changing
Due to human activity, global temperatures have risen 1 degree celsius in the last century. Our actions have led to melting polar ice caps, world-wide habitat destruction, and rising sea levels. If humankind does nothing to alleviate our negative impacts on the planet, these issues could become irreversible. That’s why it’s up to us to take action and fight climate change. 
Trash in our environment is very harmful to humans and the health of animals because it leaves behind chemicals and tiny pieces of plastic, called microplastics. Each year, over 1 million land animals and 100 million sea animals die because they eat or get stuck in pieces of trash. For humans, those chemicals and pieces of plastic can get into our air and water. They can even get into the soil where we grow our food and affect our health. 
Today, fossil fuels (energy sources such as oil, coal, and gas) make up 80% of our energy use. Their use often releases chemicals and greenhouse gasses into the air. This causes air pollution and makes the air hotter, which is called climate change. 
Cars are one of the biggest polluters of fossil fuels on earth which means walking/biking to school can greatly help. On top of the personal benefits of walking/biking to school, taking this action also helps the people around you. Roughly 10-14% of cars in the morning are students/student’s parents making their way to campus. In the United States alone, that is roughly 14 million cars everyday! 
Taking care of the planet is an Environmental Justice Issue
Environmental justice is defined as the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some individuals feel the effects of climate change more than others based on where they live. For example, communities that are located near landfills and oil refineries feel the negative effects of climate change more than others. This is really common in communities housing the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) population and communities with lower income levels, and a high rate of unhoused individuals and families.
Watch these two short videos to learn why it’s important to care for the planet!
Think About It!
- What environmental issues do you notice in your school and community?
- How can these issues be addressed by hosting Earth Week activities at your school?
- What are some organizations you can connect with to support your Earth Week activities and events? (i.e. local stores and restaurants to provide prizes for student participants, join in your challenge, and promote it to the community)
Take Action: How to LAUNCH Your Earth Week
Follow the steps below to set up a successful Earth Week Daily Actions Social Media Campaign! Need help? Contact us!
TRACK YOUR METRICS AND SUBMIT YOUR IMPACT AFTER IMPLEMENTING THIS TOOLKIT in order to receive your community service hours. Your feedback also helps keep our programs free for all across the globe.
Step 1. Gain Participants
Determine who and how many students/staff are participating using the Earth Week Sign-Up Sheet or create a team from an existing group of students such as a class or Student Council. A whole class or the whole school can also participate!
What roles will each student have? Use our Team Organizer resource to help get organized!
- Social Media Administrators
- Prize Managers (for getting prizes and distributing them)
- A group of students can lead their classmates in each activity
- Host an Earth Week competition between classes or grades to see which class has the most participants each day and/or at the end of the week.
- Offer prizes such a extra recess, principal for the day, lunch with the principal or a gift card to a local business
Step 2. Organize Participants
Divide your team of students (students leading Earth Week) into groups based on the daily activity they’d like to lead most:
- Make a Pledge Monday (#GreenPledges)
- Trashy Tuesday (#TrashyTuesday)
- Waste Less Wednesday (#WasteLess)
- Transportation Thursday (#ZeroEmission)
- Green Fashion Friday (#GreenFashion)
Work collaboratively to discuss ideas and get help from one another. Use the Earth Week Daily Activity Group Organizer to record who is leading each day.
Step 3. Promote!
One to two weeks before Earth Week, use this e-flier so students, faculty and parents know what to expect. Some places to use the flier:
- School newsletter
- Teacher newsletter
- Print and hang around campus
- Morning announcements
Step 4. Plan Your Daily Activity
Based on their groups, student leaders can follow the steps to prepare and plan for the daily activity they are leading. Don’t forget to tag and # your school name and @gradesofgreen.
Make a Pledge Monday
Through Instagram or another social media platform, students and faculty can each pledge to do something beneficial for the environment on Make a Green Pledge Monday.
IMPORTANT: Use hashtags #GreenPledges, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen and tag your school and Grades of Green. This is how you will get your results for how many students participated.
Use this Supplemental Education Guide to learn why making a pledge is so important!
- Create your virtual “Pledge Board”
- Encourage students and faculty to make pledges on their social media accounts using #GreenPledges, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen and tagging your school and Grades of Green
- Create a real Pledge Board for those not on social media using the backside of a used poster board or old cardboard. Plan where you want to have the pledge board available. For example at class breaks/snack and/or lunch? Before/After school? Will you have a table set up with markers?
- Make announcements to let the student body know to post on their Social Media and when and where to find the Pledge Board and encourage them to sign it.
- I will pick up trash around campus, my community or at the beach when I see it.
- I will walk (or wheel) to and from school whenever I can.
- I will use a reusable water bottle at school and soccer/baseball/etc practice.
- I will take a reusable bag when I go shopping for food or clothes.
- I will sort my lunch waste carefully each day.
- I will remind my parents not to idle in their car longer than 10 seconds.
Use this time to promote the rest of the week’s activities!
- Talking Points for Students
- Today/______(first day of Earth Week) is the first day of Earth Week! With the help of the non-profit, Grades of Green, we will be taking a different action everyday this week to help the earth and learn why it’s important to take care of the Earth. We will be hosting a Social Media Challenge so be sure to post your actions each day after school with the associated hashtags.
- Today/Monday is Green Pledge Day and taking ACTION to help the environment can be big or small. Even small actions, when taken together, can have a BIG impact.
- Making a Pledge to protect the planet is one the best ways to get more people involved with the environment. By pledging to take actions like reducing your plastic use, saving water, or walking instead of driving when possible, you can show your commitment to creating a healthier earth and inspire others as well. Collaboration is not just beneficial, but necessary to protect the planet on a global scale.
- Social Media Challenge! Make your pledge on your social media accounts and use hashtags: #GreenPledges, #GradesofGreen, and tag ____________(your school name) and Grades of Green in your post so they can see all our pledges! (*Note: Please follow your school’s rules regarding cell phone and social media use while at school)
- Join us today/on _________(date) at ______________(time) in ______________(location – ex: quad, cafeteria, classroom, every class, etc) to make your Green Pledge in person!
- Find a prominent place on campus to display the finished Pledge Board so students can see it all week. Share social media pledges on the school’s social media.
- Have the Earth Week flier on display so the students can get inspired and curious by the daily activities
- Total up the number of students and faculty who participated via social media and wrote pledges on the Pledge Board.
- Include this number in your LAUNCH Toolkit Wrap-Up form at the end of Earth Week.
On Trashy Tuesday, students will learn why trash and litter are harmful to the environment. Students will pick up pieces of litter to beautify their campus/community and post a picture of themselves in action.
IMPORTANT: Use hashtags #TrashyTuesday, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen and tag your school and Grades of Green. This is how you will get your results for how many students participated.
Use this Supplemental Education Guide to learn why picking up litter is so important!
*For even more inspiration, guidance and resources, check out the Adopt-a-Spot LAUNCH Toolkit!
- Get permission to have all students pick up litter on Tuesday during Earth Week
- Determine when students will pick up litter:
- All at break?
- During class time? Think about planning a different time for each grade level so all students are not all out at the same time.
- Where will students pick up litter? Each grade level can clean a different area such as:
- Lunch area
- Break/Snack area
- Front of school
- Various halls
- Garden area
- Parking lots
- How will students pick up litter?
- Ask students to bring gloves
- Provide or ask for trash grabbers
- Have trash cans or trash bags accessible in each area
- Make announcements to let the school know when and where the litter pick up will take place
- The theme for today/Tuesday is Trashy Tuesday. As a school, we will be picking up litter and beautifying our campus.
- Why is picking up litter important? Scientists found that there are more than 13 thousand pieces of litter for every mile of American roadway. All together, there are about 51 billion pieces of litter on all US roads at any moment. When you count all of the trash in the ocean, there are more pieces of plastic in the seas than there are stars in the galaxy.
- Join us on ____________(date) at ______________(time) in your assigned location to pick up litter!
- Social Media Challenge! Make sure to post a picture to your Social media using #TrashyTuesday, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen and tag ________ (school name) and Grades of Green.
Use this worksheet to track how much litter you pick up and include this number on your wrap up form at the end of Earth Week.
Waste Less Wednesday
On Waste Less Wednesday, students can pack a trash free lunch and sort their lunchtime waste and post a picture on their social media pages.
IMPORTANT: Use hashtags #WasteLess, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen and tag your school and Grades of Green. This is how you will get your results for how many students participated.
Use this Supplemental Education Guide to learn why reducing and sorting our waste is so beneficial for the environment.
- Trash Free Lunches: for students who pack a lunch
- Before Wednesday, encourage students who pack a lunch to have no trash in their lunch. Examples:
- Reusable lunchbox, napkin, utensils, and water bottle
- Fruit and veggie scraps don’t count as trash! They can be composted, if available.
- Celebrate the wins – even one reusable item is a great start!
- Post a picture of your Trash Free Lunch using #WasteLess, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen, and tag _________(your school name) and Grades of Green
- Before Wednesday, encourage students who pack a lunch to have no trash in their lunch. Examples:
- Lunchtime Sorting: for students who get a school lunch
- On a day before setting up the sorting station- count how many landfill bags are filled at lunch (this is how you will know how much trash you diverted from the landfill on Waste Less Wednesday!
- Before Wednesday’s lunch, set up a Waste Sorting Station for those who get lunch from the cafeteria or have a small amount of waste in their packed lunch. Repurpose trash cans you already have on campus by covering them with different colored paper to show what they are being used for.
- Share box for sealed, uneaten cafeteria food that can be shared with other students or donated
- A liquid bucket for leftover milk/juice so the carton can be recycled (a custodial or construction bucket works great for this!)
- A recycle bin (can use a trash can covered in blue paper or decorated to show it’s for recycle)
- Compost for fresh fruit and veggie scraps (check if your school site has organic waste removal available!)
- Stack trays to stack cafeteria trays neatly so they take up less room in the landfill or recycle (use a desk or box to keep trays stacked neatly).
- Landfill (trash can) for anything leftover such as wrappers, leftover food, etc.
- Post a picture of your sorting station and sorting your lunch waste using #WasteLess, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen, and tag _________(your school name) and Grades of Green
- Make announcements to let the school know how they will be making less waste
- The theme for today is Waste Less Wednesday. Creating a lot of waste is bad for the earth. Did you know the average amount of trash a student in the US creates is about 67 pounds per school year?? That’s more than 40,000 pounds for the average size high school!
- So today we will be working on making less waste at lunchtime by sorting it and reducing it!
- Social Media Challenge! Post a picture of your Trash Free Lunch, or sorting your lunch waste using #WasteLess, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen, and tag _________(your school name) and Grades of Green
Use this worksheet to track waste diverted from the landfill. Include this number on your wrap up form at the end of Earth Week.
On Transportation Thursday, students can make an eco-friendly choice of transportation to and from school and post a picture of themselves in action on their social media.
IMPORTANT: Use hashtags #ZeroEmission, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen and tag your school and Grades of Green. This is how you will get your results for how many students participated.
Use this Supplemental Education Guide to learn why transportation choices affect air quality and how each alternative can benefit the planet.
- Encourage students and parents to turn off their cars!
- Those who live close to school can walk, ride a bike or scooter to school. Make it fun by getting a group of friends together!
- For those who have to drive, turn your car off in drop-off and pick up lines to reduce your carbon footprint and create cleaner air around the school.
- Choose to park farther from school so you can join in with other classmates in walking, biking, or scooting!
- Have lead student monitors tally how many cars were turned off and did not idle at drop off/pick up. Count how many students walk, biked, or scootered to and from school as well.
- Post a picture and use #ZeroEmission, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen, and tag _________(name of school) and Grades of Green on your social media.
- Make announcements to let the school know how their families’ transportation choices affect the environment:
- The theme for today is Transportation Thursday.
- Did you know that studies at school’s have shown that many parents leave their cars on when waiting to pick up their students and there are high levels of air toxins during these afternoon pickup times? Teenagers’ lungs are especially sensitive to air pollution, limiting idling can dramatically reduce these pollutants and children’s exposure to them.
- It’s time to turn your car off by not idling at school drop-off/pick-up or getting out of your car completely to “stroll or roll” to school!
- Social Media Challenge! Post a picture of yourself strolling, rolling, or not idling and use #ZeroEmission, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen, and tag _________(name of school) and Grades of Green on your social media
Use this worksheet to track participants and include this number on your wrap up form at the end of Earth Week.
Safety is our priority!! Please be careful when traveling to and from school. Be sure to obey traffic signs, stay on sidewalks/designated bike paths, look out for traffic and stay alert. If in doubt, please ask your parent/guardian or school faculty for guidance.
Green Fashion Friday
On Green Fashion Friday, students can wear and post a picture of their thrift store/second-hand clothing and accessories and celebrate their actions all week by choosing one (or more!) green activity that they will adopt going forward.
IMPORTANT: Use hashtags #GreenFashion, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen and tag your school and Grades of Green. This is how you will get your results for how many students participated.
Learn about more Eco-Projects that students have done with this Supplemental Education Guide.
*For even more inspiration, guidance and resources, check out the Clothing Swap LAUNCH Toolkit!
- Plan an assembly or lunchtime event for students to show off their green fashion
- Display the Pledge Board from Monday
- Let a few students from each grade level share their favorite green activity and why they’re excited for their new eco habit
- Use your tracking worksheets to share the success the school had during Earth Week. Examples: Create a poster board to share your results, make a slideshow to share at an assembly, display the results so the students can see how impactful their actions all week have been
- Social Media Challenge: Post a picture of your “green fashion” and share what new eco habit you will continue with using #GreenFashion, #EarthWeek__________(YOUR SCHOOL NAME), and #GradesofGreen and tag _________(your school name) and Grades of Green
- Before you submit your “Wrap Up” form below to share your results with Grades of Green, use this Social Media Report to record the social posts from the whole week!
- Keep up the good work all year round and make every week Earth Week!
How’d It Go?
- Which day had the most participants on Social Media?
- What are some other ways you can “go green” at school?
- What personal changes will you make to reduce your impact on climate change?
Report Students’ Impact
Congratulations!! You’ve implemented Earth Week Activities! Don’t let all that hard work go unnoticed. Submit your results by clicking the green button below.
Project ongoing? No problem! Let us know what you’ve done so far.
By reporting your impact, Grades of Green can:
- CELEBRATE and elevate your students’ hard work and success.
- Offer our programs FREE for all students across the globe.
- AWARD stipends and certificates to hard-working educators and students.
Please take a few minutes to submit your results. Thank you!
Congrats on completing the Earth Week Eco-Toolkit!
Did you enjoy this toolkit? Find your next project here!