3. Find Your Power

Sample Ideas for Actions & Events

IDEAS FOR ACTIONS & EVENTS

Tips for Taking Action:

  • Explore these ideas as a starting point to get your brainwaves flowing—feel free to make them your own.
  • Mix up the levels, so that you have a variety of actions and events.
  • Tap into your team: share the workload. Once you get connected to other students (especially through oneon-one meetings), allow others to lead specific projects. They may not turn out exactly as you had in mind, but sharing responsibility increases club engagement and lightens your load.
  • When your club is just getting started, mainly stick to Level #1 and Level #2 actions and events.
  • As you gain more experience, take on Level #3 actions and events, if your members feel up to the challenge.

For all levels, plan ahead and have all necessary supplies on hand!

We already have the knowledge, tools, and skills to get there!

Level #1: BITE SIZE

Allows you to get people engaged at the drop of a hat.

Plan in Level #1 activities to keep things rolling without a huge commitment.

Pro Tip:

Experiment… Mix it up! Plan actions and events of all levels

LEVEL #1: SAMPLE IDEAS:

  1. Do an easy, collaborative art project with Climate as the topic.
  2. Call, send an email, or write a postcard to local policy-makers during your club meeting. Ask them to take a specific action (ex. “Vote Yes on the Green New Deal” or “Don’t take money from fossil fuel companies”).
  3. Post on social media about why action on climate crisis matters.
  4. Pledge to tell 5 adults in your life about the climate crisis and why it matters to you. Report back.
  5. Pre-register to vote (if you’re of age) and vote for candidates who support climate friendly policies.
  6. Write a blog for your club’s website.
  7. Paint a banner as a group project with a pro-climate message.
  8. Watch a video and discuss how you can use in your club. (See Resources section or website for ideas.)
  9. During your lunch hour, go out in pairs to hand out flyers or hang posters.

Level #2: EASY, ONE-DAY EVENTS

Easy, one-day events: take a bit more preparation and planning than Level #1, but relatively easy to pull off.

LEVEL #2: SAMPLE IDEAS:

  1. Hold a climate-friendly meal demo.
  2. Organize a club kick-off event.
  3. Organize a rally or strike.
  4. Show a documentary film.
  5. Host a clothing swap.
  6. Table at club fair day.
  7. Host a vegetarian potluck.
  8. Host a picnic.
  9. Meet with your principal to talk about ways to educate other students or make a specific change on campus.
  10. Visit your local council member’s office to voice your concerns about climate change.
  11. Host a lunch-time event with music and speakers.
  12. Organize a hike.
  13. Register classmates to vote.
  14. Pledge to adopt an individual lifestyle change.
  15. Attend a beach clean-up as a club or just pick up trash together!
  16. Create art on climate justice & post at your school.
  17. Organize march to call attention to climate crisis.
  18. Hold a zero-waste party.
  19. Speak in classrooms to announce your club or activities.

Level #3: SEMESTER OR YEAR LONG EVENTS

More complex actions & events: May result in big payoffs.Allow 4 to 8 weeks to organize a successful Level #3.

LEVEL #3: SAMPLE IDEAS:

  1. Organize “Fridays for Future” events or climate strikes.
  2. Organize a “sit-in” or “die-in” to expose an organization with unfriendly climate practices.
  3. Host an Earth Day Festival at your school.
  4. Start a Bike or Walk to School Campaign for your school or district.
  5. Help write policies on climate to bring to your school board.
  6. Start an environmental education program at a local elementary school with weekly or monthly meetings.
  7. Organize a conference with speakers and a panel at your school.
  8. Start a campus-wide composting system started.
  9. Start a campus or community garden.
  10. Get local or plant-based foods into school lunches.

Find Your “Happy Place”

Successful actions & events: which are the right fit for your club?

Verify:

  • Does the idea appeal to your members?
  • Does it fit with your high-level goals?
  • Logistics: is it do-able?
  • Will it make an impact?

Happy Place:

Activities that are do-able and make a difference

  • Use ONE-ON-ONE meetings with your crew: Find out what they want to do. Zero in on an event they’re excited about and ask them if they will help out. Start them off with small, easy tasks and go from there (see page 83).
  • Be flexible with your actions and events. Go back to your Roadmap and adjust as needed.
  • If you get stuck, go back to brainstorming mode: Use the Creative Collaboration process to get the creative juices flowing (see page 12).
  • Talk to your mentor: get guidance on what’s achievable and how much you can take on.

Activity #3A:
Choose Specific Actions & Events

Aim for one or two actions & events each month. Start with a Level #1, add in some Level #2. With a strong team, consider taking on a Level #3.

THEME EXAMPLE:

If your club members are interested in climate change and food systems, you could:

  • Show “Kiss the Ground” documentary
  • Hold a vegan baking demonstration
  • Plan outing to a regenerative local farm

Pro Tip:

Use a theme to organize actions and events for a month or semester.

  1. Think of at least 3 specific actions and events club members would like to organize for the year.
  2. Make your goals SMART: For each goal, fill out the SMART chart tool on the next page.
  3. Once you’ve gotten your actions and events SMART, plug them into your roadmap where they makes the most sense (see page 29).

Smart Chart Tool

Activity #3B:
Make Your Actions & Events SMART

Give yourself a reality check to ensure your idea:

  1. Is aligned with your club goals
  2. Can be achieved by your club
  3. Will make a difference

Pro Tip:

Use the SMART Chart, for more successful events and actions!

Initial Goal Idea Example: Hold a letter writing campaign

S

Specific
What do you want to achieve?
Look at numbers:
How many letters?
How many people to address them?
How/when will you deliver them?Who will do them?

M

Measurable
Is your goal measurable?
How will you know you’ve met your goal?

A

Achievable
Is your club capable of achieving the goal with the resources you have on hand?

R

Relevant
Which high level goals does this fulfill?

T

Timely
Can you meet the due date?

Smart Goal

Examples
– Hold a letter writing campaign asking the school district divest from fossil fuels.
– Include at least ten students, of which two are new to our club.
– Deliver at least 25 letters to school board.
– Write the letters during the second of January meeting, and deliver during third meeting in person

Activity #3C:
Make Your Actions & Events SMART

Sample Roadmap

Month Action Topic/Goal

September

Find Your People
• Table at Club Fair

Increase Membership

October

Kick-Off! Event
• Documentary

Create Awareness:
Focus on Fun!

November

Letter writing campaign during club meeting

Take Action on Policy

December

Vegan Baking Demo

Have Fun/Educate

January

Documentary
• Organize a Training

Build Skills

February

Event: Put Training into Action

Build Skills and Outreach

March

Climate Ribbon Project
• Presentations

Education & Build Skills

April

Attend Youth Summit
• Organize Earth Fair
• Organize Climate Strike

Education, Build Skills, Take Action, Have Fun!

May

Show Documentary
• Elect club leaders for
next year

Have Fun/Educate
Build club

June

End of Year Celebration

Sense of Completion

July

Team “Retreat”: debrief and have fun together

Have Fun,
Strengthen Club

August

Meet to get head start
on upcoming year

Get Organized

MAKE IT FUN!

It’s important to plan in social time for socializing club activities. Even when tackling difficult topics, it’s especially important to include a balance: CommunityBuilding, Meaningful Action, and Fun. Often, a single event will fulfill all three categories

1. Social: Going for Fun!

  • People like coming together on issues they’re passionate about. Meeting like-minded people is key!
  • Keep them engaged by scheduling time for socializing and fun—if it’s just all down to business, you’re going to lose people.
  • Just about every action & event can include an element of fun.

Fun can look like:

  • Sharing a meal or snack
  • Going out to a movie (on topic or not)
  • Making something together
  • Hosting a clothing exchange
  • Holding a cooking demonstration

2. Meaningful Action

Moving into meaningful action allows your club to make a serious impact. Don’t confuse IMPORTANT with TIME-CONSUMING… you can plan an important action that is easy and quick!

Meaningful Action

  • Organizing a Walk-Out at your school
  • Joining with another club or non-profit for a one-day direct action campaign
  • Speaking in front of your school board or City Council members
  • Voting (when you turn 18, if you are eligible)

3. Community-Building and Outreach

When you build community, you also build up your team and learn how to work together: critical for a strong club. Being intentional about community building is also a way to reach new members.

Community-Building Events might look like:

  • Beach clean-up
  • Collaborative, team-building exercises
  • Fairs and public education events
  • Documentary showings
  • Art projects on the climate crisis
  • Appreciations: be sure to give personal thanks to your team. At meetings, publicly recognize one or two people for their efforts (example: “Thanks to Roger for bringing food!”)

Meet: Aaron Masipik, Olympian High School, Chula Vista

HOT TIP:

“Be consistent with meetings along with other club activities, as this is important for maintaining member attendance.”

WHAT I’VE LEARNED:

Understand that while the task you may be taking
on is daunting, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice, whether it be from your members, teachers, or other mentors.
.”

Aaron, president of the ‘Eco Club’ at Olympian High School, organized their climate strike in 2019.

Activities: Planning environmental awareness events, educating members on various environmental issues and solutions, and motivating other teens to take action.

Highlights: Creating multiple PSAs on different environmental issues (i.e. palm oil) as well as having a school-wide event on the day of the 3rd Global Climate Strike

Quick Guide #3

  • START WITH THE KICK-OFF!:

    Plan something fun.

  • CONSIDER THE SIZE OF EVENT:

    Keep your club strong: Allow others to take the lead on an action/event. Use ONE-ON-ONE meetings to find out how they want to be involved.

  • EMPOWER YOUR TEAM:

    Keep your club strong: Allow others to take the lead on an action/event. Use ONE-ON-ONE meetings to find out how they want to be involved.

  • PLAN ONE OR TWO EVENTS AHEAD:

    People stay engaged and interested if you have the next event lined up. Hook people at the current event into next event.

  • BE STRATEGIC:

    Take advantage of cross-collaboration and regional events, such as Climate Strikes. Other clubs or organizations organize, you attend for a win-win. Put these events on Your Roadmap and make them your own.

  • BE FLEXIBLE:

    Plan to revisit Your Roadmap throughout the year. Make changes based on what you learn as you go along.

Consider school holidays, finals, AP testing and activities that affect your planning.

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