There are a number of ways your school can begin to take a leadership role and become a model for schools across the country. Here are some steps to follow:
First: educate yourself about the climate crisis. See Inconveinient Truth and read Mary Wood's amazing speech.
Here's a fantastic website called Climate Kids . . . perfect for elementary school!!
Second: teach your students in age appropriate ways. It is simply not fair to protect them from the issue that threatens their future when they can help do something about it now. An excellent resource to help you discuss this planetary emergency is called Climate Classrom. This is the perfect guide to talking about this issue at each grade level. They even have a powerpoint slideshow and presenters guide that you can download!.
It's All About Carbon is an excellent cartoon story produced by NPR that explains the essence of Global Warming.
Three of my favorite sites are Kids vs. Global Warming and Global Warming Kids and Global Warming Central: all kinds of great links and fun videos on this site.
Third, figure out your "carbon footprint". Here are a couple of websites to help you do this: Interactive Footprint Caluculator and Green Tags.
Fourth, see if you can make an effort to offset your schools carbon footprint. Here are a couple of sites to help you to that. It does cost money but there are interesting other ways to offset. Here are a few good places to start: Bonneville Enviornmental Foundation, Neutralize Your Pollution and Consumers Guide to Carbon Offset Providers.
Fifth, green up your lunch program and other school activities. There are several green school programs to guide you and will lead you to become a certifed green school. Here they are: WISE Program and Build Green Schools and The Green School Initiative.
Author, Barbara Kingsolver speaks of “the anguish of standing behind a child, looking with her at the road ahead . . . .” She writes, “The truth is so horrific: we are marching ourselves to the maw of our own extinction.” In the end, the destiny of our children comes down to actions taken by each one of us individually, and all of us collectively. Yes, the problem is big, and yes it seems insurmountable, but is it too big for you? Should you just turn away from it? Kingsolver says: “I do know the answer to that one: that’s called child abuse. When my teenager worries that her generation won’t be able to fix this problem, I have to admit to her that it won’t be up to her generation. It’s up to mine. This is a now-or-never kind of project.”
Finally, please find time to read the most inspiring speech of our time about our predicament with Global Warming, by Eugene Law Professor, Mary Wood.
It's 3:23 in the morning
and I'm awake
because my great great grandchildren
won't let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
Surely you did something
when the seasons started failing?
as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
what did you do