Vote For The Planet

Voting and Human Rights

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21, voting is a human right. The United Nations General Assembly recently passed a resolution indicating that a healthy environment is also a human right. Now more than ever, we must vote with the future of our planet in mind. This toolkit provides resources for education and active participation in local, state, and federal elections with a focus on fighting climate change. Learn how to exercise, protect, and educate about these rights.

Why Vote For The Planet?

When we vote for the planet, we are voting for elected officials who shape the climate and sustainability policies of our schools, communities and businesses. Each vote is a vote for climate justice that protects future generations and those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Voters agree that in order to see systemic change locally and globally, climate justice must be addressed. In the United States:

  • Communities of color are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. People of color are more likely to die of environmental causes, and make up more than half of the population living near hazardous waste.
  • Historically discriminatory housing, education, employment, and healthcare policies have all increased the inequalities that place communities of color at higher risk of dangerous climate impacts. 

The best way to save the planet isn’t necessarily recycling… If you want to do one thing about climate change: Vote.

If you’re a kid and you can’t vote yet, make sure your parents vote.

Bill Nye, the science guy

Take Action: Click Each Image To Get Started

Voting Pledges

Candidate Outreach

Mock Elections

In a mock election, high school students get to experience voting using a simplified ballot after receiving background information on the issues. This year, STF’s mock elections are focused on climate policies through the lens of human rights. Invite teachers to bring their students to your mock election where they will hear a short presentation about voting for planet, enter voting booths to cast their ballots, and take action by signing voter pledges and pre-registering to vote.

Educator’s Portal–Lesson Plans

For educators interested in teaching students about their human right to vote, please explore the resources below. If you’re looking for climate education resources, visit our library here!

How to Stay Nonpartisan

This article gives strategies and ideas for educators who want to teach the election without showing favor to one side or another. Linking to numerous lesson plans and resources, Learning For Justice offers teachers a great launching point on this page!

Subjects: English Language Arts, Social Sciences

Grades: 9-10

Voting Voices Classroom

This curated collection features our best resources for civics education with a focus on elections and voting. The collection includes posters for students of all ages, along with videos, lessons, texts and student tasks for K-8 classrooms as well.

Subjects: English Language Arts, Social Sciences

Grades: K-12

Democracy Class

Democracy Class is a free, nonpartisan curriculum that educates high school students about the importance and history of voting and pre-registers and registers them to vote. Educators will have access to additional lesson plans on numerous topics.

Subjects: English Language Arts, Social Sciences

Grades: 9-12

Digital Literacy

The Learning for Justice Digital Literacy Framework offers seven key areas to support students in digital and civic literacy skills. Before we can teach students to become good citizens of the web, we need to teach them how it works and how it can mislead users.

Subjects: English Language Arts, Social Studies

Grades: 9-12

Contact the STF Team if you would like additional educational resources.

Photo credits: Jenna Wilusz (top image), Illustration by George Wylesol (phone illustration), Johnson Publishing Co. (Freedom Summer), National Council of Nonprofits (How to Stay Nonpartisan), Learning for Justice (Voting Voices Classroom), FangXiaNuo/Shutterstock (Democracy Classroom), Getty Images (Digital Literacy)

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