Green Schools Campaign Materials

Investigate your school’s/school district’s status as an emitter of greenhouse gases.
How to transition to 100% renewable energy? Advocate for 100% renewable energy.

The Green Schools Campaign’s mission is to transition every school in the world to 100% renewable energy by creating a diverse, global network of young activists ready to fight fossil fuel companies in their local communities. We have a solid approach to transitioning schools to 100% clean renewable energy. It all starts with students, and then we guide them through building broad community support and pushing leadership while building an understanding of the local energy landscape.

Use these resources from the Green Schools Campaign to help your STF chapter get started today!

STF Action Handbook (click to open)

Simon Aron, co-founder of the Green Schools Campaign, developed this Action Handbook to guide high school students through the process of advocating for schools to transition to 100% renewable energy. Download the STF Action Handbook to train your STF Chapter members on how to launch your campus advocacy efforts!

Your Climate Story (click to open)

Sharing your climate story can provide context to WHY you’re concerned about climate change. Your climate story:

  • Is a personal story about you and your experience with climate change.
  • Can be as short as 50 words, up to 150 words.
  • Consider these questions to get you started:
    • Where has your passion for the environment come from?
    • Was there a pivotal experience you had in life that made you realize how serious climate change is? (i.e., having to evacuate your home because of fires, somebody you know has asthma, seeing a film about climate change, a news report, a science class, etc.)
    • Are you worried about your future? Why?
    • How have the current effects of climate change affected your life?
    • Why do you want to transition your school to renewable energy?
    • How would it make you feel if your school made the commitment to transition to clean, renewable energy?
Hi everyone, my name is Josiah Edwards. I’m an STF intern and this is my climate story. As a child, I always had difficulty breathing. That’s mostly because I had asthma, but it was made even more difficult because of the environment I lived in. Los Angeles County is ranked as one of the worst places in terms of air quality and air pollution. That means that I had difficulty breathing every day as a consequence of the horrible, horrible pollution in our air. That means, I didn’t get the chance to enjoy beautiful days like this one, and I don’t think that’s right. No child should have to suffer because we don’t know how to deal with pollution. That’s why we need to tackle this climate crisis, with the full force that we possibly can muster, in order to ensure that children don’t have to suffer like I did. (Click to watch, 0:57)
Hi, my name is Erin Vinson and I attend Santa Monica High School. I believe my passion for the environment is an accumulation of everything I’ve witnessed in terms of photos of our dying planet, as well as tangible experiences I’ve had with it. David Attenborough’s “A Life on Our Planet” truly struck me as a thundering call to take action for our environment, providing a voice for our melting glaciers and our dying animals who are soon to take their last breaths if we don’t take action now. Rising sea levels and climate change itself makes me feel as though I’m trapped inside a small room that’s rapidly losing air, like I’m suffocating. This feeling was amplified by the all too recent California fires. In many instances, I felt like I couldn’t breathe even weeks after they had been put out. If my school made the transition to clean, renewable energy, I’d feel as though the air would be seeping out of that room just a bit slower, and I’d feel able to have a short moment of relief, because any step of any size towards a cleaner present is progress. (Click to watch, 1:04)
Hello, my name is Abdullah Rafique. I am a senior at Sierra Canyon and this is my story. Cracked desert land had replaced lush farms which had once covered the hills surrounding my grandparents home in Pakistan. The drive which was once full of beauty was now only a reminder of what once was. The land had been destroyed. My uncle described how excessive use of fertilizers caused this grand scale of destruction. While this was not directly caused because of climate change, the lack of environmental care which was fueling climate change was present here as well. Thus, I doubled my efforts to become a better climate advocate. (Click to watch, 0:48)
Hi, my name is Lila Bragard and I’m from Culver City High School. I inhaled the dark brown air around me as I walked through the smoke to get to school. My cousins were evacuating. The Torahs from my temple were being evacuated. My favorite forests, my friends’ homes, my favorite trails and campsites were all burning. This was not nature’s fault. This was not normal. When neighborhoods near me were burning, when I learned that animals were going extinct 114 times faster than usual, when half the world population is supposed to be homeless by the time I’m 65, when there are more environmental refugees fleeing from environmental disasters than political refugees fleeing from wars and other conflicts, when my ability to simply live in a habitable world is at risk – how could I focus on anything else? I fight climate change because it’s real, because not enough is being done about it, and because my life depends on it. I fight climate change because in twenty years when it’s too late, I don’t want to look back and regret that I didn’t do more. Will you regret that you didn’t do more? (Click to watch, 1:14)
“Since I have not always lived near my LAUSD schools, there were years when I would have a two to three hour car commute home. I was uninterested in these time-consuming rides, having nothing to play with and constantly getting car sick. Looking out the window held my interest, there were endless things to see. It was not until I reached middle school that I realized I had been occupied by the trash on the ground, the foggy and unclear air, the wild amount of cars on the road, and the unnecessary signs and lights I saw daily. There are millions of people surrounded by an unhealthy environment without even being aware of it. It has been normalized and hidden in plain sight.” – Victoria Valdez, 9th grade, Hamilton High School

“I have always been obsessed with nature and the environment, finding fulfillment in being surrounded by nature and animals. I love standing on the beach, enjoying my feet in the sand, the cold water crashing into my shins, but am devastated when I turn around and look helplessly at the massive oil field. I imagine what it would be like to not know there is a rapidly shrinking window to protect the natural world I hold so dear. But it’s a truth we all have to face. I hope future children won’t have to carry the same environmental concerns as youth today. That’s why I’m using my privilege to fight for the environment, for animals and their rights, for future children, for plants, for minorities and the oppressed/unheard, for everyone. We are all impacted by the destruction of the environment, therefore we must all fight for a sustainable future.” – Dane Pearson, 11th grade, Culver City High School
“People have debated climate change my whole life. Deniers ignore the fact that temperatures are hitting record-levels and that entire species are dying faster than new ones evolve. One climate change topic important to me is environmental racism. I have learned about fast fashion: how large, Western corporations exploit third-world countries, their manufacturing wreaking havoc on the local communities, degrading their environments because it’s cheaper to build factories there than in the West. STF intern Josiah Edwards’ video highlighting environmental racism in my own community opened my eyes to how climate change is affecting my friends, family and neighbors. Raising awareness and education in my school community, in the town that I’ve grown up in, is the first step in taking action for our future on this planet.” – Noelle Guzman, 12th grade, Carson High School
“Growing up, I had no idea about the urgency of the climate crisis, until a girl my age spoke up: Greta Thunberg. As I saw youth take center stage in environmental activism, I decided not to shy away or stay silent. I have traveled internationally. I have had the opportunity to cherish the colorful, strong-scented streets of Mexico City and the lush, green forests of England. I wouldn’t feel the same about climate change without these experiences. Climate change makes me feel a range of emotions: relief that people are coming together and spreading awareness; and uneasy about the alarming rate at which these dangers are increasing. I also feel inspired to make a difference. This planet should be seen by every person as a source of happiness and hope. As Greta Thunberg says, ‘You must not gamble your children’s future on the flip of a coin. Instead, you must unite behind the science. You must take action. You must do the impossible. Because giving up can never ever be an option.’” – Isabel Umekubo, 12th grade, Da Vinci Schools

Building Allies for Renewable Energy (click to open)

Download and personalize your “Ally Presentation” for your ally audiences.

Use this Google Doc to track your STF Chapter’s outreach progress.

Collect signatures on this petition to encourage your school to transition to 100% renewable energy.

Ally Presentation Goals:

  • Recruit on- and off-campus partners who want to support the transition of our school to 100% renewable energy.
  • Share and distribute information about the Green Schools Campaign.
  • Provide opportunities for others to get involved and take action.

Think Through:

  • What is your message? How can you make it impactful and memorable? A compelling organizing narrative will help you successfully connect with your audience about the transition to renewable energy. Consider the following:
    • The Climate is Changing. So should We.
    • Safer, Cleaner and Greener.
    • Wind, Water and Sun = Energy for the Long Run.
  • What is your mission statement? Consider the following:
    • [School name] must commit to energy efficiency, transition to 100% clean renewable energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal) and focus on environmental justice and equity by [a specific date].” 
  • What type of support are you asking for?
  • How will your message be modified for science teachers, on-campus clubs, PTAs, etc.?
  • How do you secure a time to give a virtual presentation to any of the above?
  • How do you conduct your virtual presentation?

Final Reminders for Your Meetings:

  • Use STF sample slideshow to accompany your meeting (coming soon). Personalize it for each ally presentation.
  • Briefly introduce yourself, the Student Task Force, and our “Human Rights and the Climate Crisis Campaign”, emphasizing the connection between human rights and climate change.
  • Sharing why you are personally motivated to take part in this advocacy effort will help personalize the campaign for your potential ally.
  • Don’t forget to emphasize ways the ally can support or be part of the campaign (i.e., sign our petition, make a phone call to our school administrators/school board members voicing your support, etc.)
  • Welcome feedback/questions/comments/concerns regarding the issue. If you’re asked something you can’t answer, let them know you’ll find out more and follow up. And then actually follow up!
    • Don’t be afraid to make this a conversation and ask them questions too, including asking if you can provide additional information they need (i.e., doing research about an issue of concern, or rallying more community support for the issue).
  • Leave behind supporting materials you want them to have (i.e., copy of slideshow, list of opportunities to get involved, 100% renewable energy fast fact sheet, etc.)
  • Send a thank you email that also recaps the meeting.
Facilities Directors and School Administrators Survey (click to open)

Download the “How Green is Your School? Survey” for facilities directors and school administrators.

Survey Advocacy Goals:

  • Find out what, if any, are the current actions being taken on campus to transition our school to 100% renewable energy.
  • Find out what the next steps need to be to transition our school to 100% renewable energy.

Think Through:

  • What is your message? How can you make it impactful and memorable? A compelling organizing narrative will help you successfully connect with your audience about the transition to renewable energy. Consider the following:
    • The Climate is Changing. So should We.
    • Safer, Cleaner and Greener.
    • Wind, Water and Sun = Energy for the Long Run.
  • What is your mission statement? Consider the following:
    • [School name] must commit to energy efficiency, transition to 100% clean renewable energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal) and focus on environmental justice and equity by [a specific date].” 
  • What are you asking for?
  • How will your message be modified for principals/admin, facility managers, sustainability directors, cafeteria staff, janitorial staff, etc.?
  • How do you secure a time for a virtual meeting with any of the above?
  • How do you conduct your virtual meeting?

Final Reminders for Your Meetings:

  • Briefly introduce yourself, the Student Task Force, and our “Human Rights and the Climate Crisis Campaign”, emphasizing the connection between human rights and climate change.
  • Thank them for meeting with you and ask a question that will allow them to introduce themselves.
  • Explain the vision for 100% renewable energy schools and why it is beneficial.
  • Acknowledge the progress (if any) that has already been made and the benefits to the school community.
  • Share why you are personally motivated to take part in the Green Schools Campaign. You can refer back to your personal “Climate Story”.
  • Present deliverable (i.e., sign our petition, commit to supporting our work by scheduling monthly meetings to share updates on progress, etc.)
  • Welcome feedback/questions/comments/concerns regarding the issue. If you’re asked something you can’t answer, let them know you’ll find out more and follow up. And then actually follow up!
    • If they are supportive of the vision, ask what more they could do to show their support and move the issue forward (i.e., adding this topic to an upcoming school meeting, speaking at an upcoming local event, connecting you with other potential supporters, etc.)
    • If they need more convincing, ask what you can do to provide the information that they need (i.e., doing research about an issue of concern, or rallying more community support for the issue, etc.)
  • Set up meetings or next steps as needed. Provide contact information for who is following up and clarify expected response time. 
  • Leave behind supporting materials you want them to have (i.e., copy of slideshow, copy of 100% Clean Energy School Districts Handbook, 100% renewable energy fast fact sheet, etc.)
  • Send a thank you email that also recaps the meeting.

How Green is Your School?
Moving Toward 100% Renewable Energy Survey

Date of Interview: ____________________________

Name of Person Interviewed: ______________________________________

Role of Person Interviewed: _______________________________________

Questions (Update questions depending on role of person interviewed):

  1. We’d like to better understand the energy picture on campus. We want to learn information on current energy sources and uses, costs, etc. at our school.
  2. How many kilowatt hours (kwh) (electricity) does our school use each year? (Can the district agree to communicate this amount regularly with our school automatically?)
  3. What is the annual cost of electricity at our school? At what rate does our school pay for electricity and gas?
  4. Can we get the historical energy data for our school so that we can then see the high and low for ourselves, and also connect it to our school’s population as it changes?
  5. Is improving energy efficiency and/or sourcing clean energy a current objective for our school? Why or why not? What can students do to support energy efficiency and clean energy?
  6. What policies and plans are in place and in the pipeline? Have any equipment or facilities recently been upgraded to improve efficiency?
  7. Are there energy saving behavior education programs in place at our school?
  8. Has the school district carried out an energy audit at our school? If so, when? May we see it?
  9. How are decisions about energy made? Who makes them at the district level and at our school?
  10. What do you see as the main barriers to expanding clean energy solutions at our school? What obstacles to achieving 100% clean energy do you see?
  11. How can we support you in reducing energy costs at our school?
  12. How can students get involved in the decision-making process?
  13. (Optional extras) More specific questions to answer along the way, if not addressed in this meeting:
    • What is the district’s current annual energy usage? What is the annual electricity cost for the district?
    • Do you have any more information on how the electricity use breaks down specifically? (i.e., heating and cooling, lighting, appliances, etc.)
    • What is the energy source for heating units at our school? (i.e., electricity, gas, etc.)
    • Do any of the district’s buildings have solar power or other forms of renewable energy?
    • What is/are the electric utility/ies serving the school district? Is the district participating in any clean power projects offered by the utility company? Does the district get a special discount on energy usage?
“Hey Adults: Repower Our Schools with Renewable Energy” by Greenpeace USA (Click to watch, 1:59)

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