Pick Your Project
Now that you have chosen a topic and you understand how it relates to environmental justice it’s time to pick a project and set your goal. Below are some project ideas to get you started. Feel free to use one of these or get creative and come up with your own.
More Project Ideas
- Educate and inspire the public to reduce their use of single-use plastics (bags, water bottles, utensils, take out containers, face masks) and use reusable options instead
- Advocate to businesses, campuses or restaurants to switch from plastic single-use food service items to sustainable, biodegradable options
- Advocate to corporations to reduce packaging or switch to more sustainable packaging options
- Lobby your local or state government to enact or strengthen bans on commonly used single-use items
- Fundraise and advocate for a school or city to install water bottle filling stations to reduce single-use bottle use
- Educate the public on the harms of litter and host a litter pick up or Instagram litter challenge
- Educate the public about the harms of fast fashion and textile waste, and encourage responsible purchasing
- Host a used clothing drive or clothing swap.
- Educate the public about the harm of clothing microfibers on the environment and promote purchasing natural fiber clothing while using items that trap microfibers in the wash
- Host an E-Waste drive: at your school or in your community
- Meatless Mondays: Educate and inspire the public to go Meatless on Mondays or get an institution like your school, city, restaurants or other businesses to implement Meatless Mondays
- Including Vegetarian or Vegan Options: Get your school, restaurants or other businesses to offer more vegetarian or vegan options
- Palm Oil Public Education Campaign: Educate and inspire the public about problems associated with palm oil and promote sustainable alternatives
- Promote Organic Food: Educate and inspire the public to buy Certified Organic food or get an institution like your school, city, restaurants or business to switch to Organic products
- Home and School Gardens: Educate the community on the benefits of home gardens and growing your own food or advocate for your school to add a vegetable garden.
- Encourage the public to support and purchase community supported agriculture (CSA) boxes or purchase from organizations that sell surplus/imperfect produce
- Compost: Educate and inspire the public to start composting at home, start an onsite composting program at school, or encourage your community to participate in existing municipal composting programs.
- Food Donation: Start a food donation program in your community or school, or advocate to local grocery stores, businesses or restaurants to donate surplus and leftover foods.
- Home Food Waste: Educate and inspire the public to reduce food waste at home by purchasing only what they will eat and using leftovers and food scraps to make stocks/soups.
- Plant Trees! Host a community tree planting event at your school, in your neighborhood, in a local park or wilderness area.
- Plant a pollinator garden to attract and support beneficial birds and insects.
- Restore Habitats! Work with a local conservation group to organize a habitat restoration project.
- Fundraise for Forests! Educate and inspire the public to raise funds for an established reforestation or forest protection program.
- Advocate for Forest-Friendly Purchasing! Call on your school, district, or city to commit to purchasing Forest Stewardship Council certified products.
- Advocate for Institutions to Use Tropical Forest Friendly Products: Convince an institution like your school or restaurants to buy certified tropical forest friendly products
- Be a Water Saver! Educate and inspire the public to make water efficient changes, such as shorter showers and turning off the tap in addition to retro-fit changes like switching to low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets. Furthermore you can install greywater systems for laundry and landscape irrigation, station rain barrels, and implement rain/native gardens.
- Host “Fix-A-Leak” Week: Educate and inspire the public to fix the common household leaks in faucets, shower heads, and irrigation that account for nearly 10,000 gallons of wasted water a year.
- Waterway pollution: educate the public about common water pollutants such as pesticides, fertilizers, micro plastics, petroleum products, pet waste, etc. and how they can prevent them from entering our rivers, lakes and oceans.
- Replace grass or water thirsty plants with drought resistant alternatives on your campus and/or in your community
- Go Renewable! Campaign for your school, district, or city to commit to 100% renewable energy!
- Energy Savings Education: Educate and inspire the public to make energy efficient lifestyle changes, including switching to LED lighting, motion sensor lighting, smart thermostats, power-strip use, etc.
- Conduct an Energy Audit in your home or school to identify and reduce wasted energy
- No Idle Zone : Educate and inspire the public about reducing emissions and turning off their vehicles when stopped. Advocate to make your school drop off and pick up areas “No Idle Zones”
- Educate and inspire the public to walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation instead of driving
- Electric Vehicles & Infrastructure: Educate and inspire the public about the benefits of purchasing and driving electric vehicles or advocate for a Greener Fleet / Charging Station / Prioritized Parking for electric vehicles in your community
- Educate and inspire the public to reduce car emissions by shopping local when possible
Set Your Goal
Once you have settled on a project, you will set an effective goal to guide you in building out the project details.
An Effective Goal for your Climate Solutions Project should:
- Be well defined
- Be measurable and may include the amount of greenhouse gas your project aims to reduce or prevent (if applicable)
- Be time bound with a set start and end date
- List specific actions taken to ensure success
It is important that your goal is measurable because you will want to be able to calculate the environmental impact you have made when the project is finished. The measurable part of your goal could include things like, how many actions you took (ex. 100 trees planted), how much greenhouse gas you reduced (ex 1.3 tons of C02 reduced), how many people your campaign reached or inspired (350 people saw our presentation or 300 people signed our petition), or how much waste you diverted (400 pounds of food waste composted).
Generic vs. Effective Goal
Here are two examples of goal statements. The first is generic and unlikely to result in success, while the second contains all the components of an effective goal and is much more likely to result in a successful project:
- We want to educate 75% of our school community (measurable) on the harms of single-use plastics and how to avoid them (well defined) by conducting a Public Education and Action Campaign by holding three Zoom webinars in the month of March (time bound), that teach the students how avoid and upcycle plastic (specific action).
- We will improve air quality at our school (well defined) by holding a bake sale and fundraising (specific action) for 25 maple trees (measurable) which we will then plant on the south and west sides of the playground during the month of March (time bound).
Connecting with an expert on your topic can help ensure you’re on the right track with your project and the best way to benefit your community. They can provide insight into how your topic impacts your community and which projects would be most needed. For instance, if you want to plant trees in your city, you may want to contact a local arborist who can tell you what trees are best suited for your climate and where there is need for them in your community. Experts can include non profits or businesses who specialize in your topic, community or district leaders, local government, and city employees.
Congratulations on finishing Phase 1. You know the goal you’re working towards and you’re ready to put a plan in place to make it happen. Before moving on to Phase 2 complete the Phase 1 form. Copy and paste the answers from your Phase 1 worksheets.
Having trouble viewing or completing the form below? To view in Google Forms click here – Phase 1 Form
NEXT STEP: Learn About Campaign Types and Target Audiences
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