August 2019
Your monthly dose of good news
about climate change.
Don't you just love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and democracy? This month we're highlighting the youth-led climate strikes along with tips to join or start your own. Also learn about packing climate-friendly lunches and how to help your local school fight climate change. Your homework is to forward this issue to a teacher for resources to teach climate change in the classroom.
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Welcome Back To School!
Now Turn Around And Walk Back Out.
Follow The (Youth) Leaders
Climate Strike September 20

Millions of kids left their classrooms last year to protest climate change, and now youth organizers are asking kids and adults to disrupt business as usual for a Global Climate Strike on September 20. The strike kicks off a week of actions to elevate the climate emergency. 




The UN Climate Action Summit on September 21 will highlight climate solutions created by young leaders from around the world. If you can't sail to the summit , participate virtually and reduce your carbon footprint.
The Climate-Friendly Lunch Box
Photo by Flickr User OMGponies2, CC By-NC-ND 2.0
  • Use reusable lunch boxes and snack containers 
  • Bulk up on fruits and veggies
  • Reduce meat
  • Buy local, seasonal produce
  • Pack leftovers to reduce food waste
  • Include reusable silverware and cloth napkin
  • Compost leftover scraps
How To Help Your Local School Fight Climate Change
Start the school year with some climate action. These pointers will reduce emissions and make kids healthier. Around here, that’s what we call a #ClimateTwofer! And you don't have to have a child in school to become a climate leader.
Start A Food Waste Challenge
Your school district could become champions in reducing, recovering, and recycling food waste by registering for the USDA’s Food Waste Challenge . You could even turn the cafeteria into a living classroom by involving students to identify problems and find solutions! That’s a win that deserves a varsity letter of its own.

Join The In-Crowd: No Bus Idling Allowed

Exhaust from diesel school buses pollutes the air, wastes fuel, and harms kids’ developing lungs. Parked outside school buildings, the exhaust can enter the school through open windows and doors. Check if your school district has diesel buses and suggest they create an idling policy to protect health and curb climate change. 
Plant A School Garden

It’s a great way to connect kids with nature, help them stay active, and teach them about preparing healthy food. Growing a school garden can also empower kids to teach their parents about keeping the planet—and their diets—healthy. Here’s a how-to guide to get started.

Advocate for Healthy School Buildings

By the time a student graduates, they will have spent more than 15,000 hours in a school building. The Harvard Chan School’s Healthy Buildings Team reviewed over 200 studies to understand how a healthy school building can improve student thinking, performance, and overall health, then created this report . Check it out to learn how buildings influence chronic absenteeism, academic performance, and health. If your school is up for repairs or renovations, now is the perfect time to share it with the administration.
Teachers Teaching Climate
A study earlier this year found that over 80% of parents wish their kids learned about climate change in school, and a teacher poll found 86% in support of the idea but also found that two obstacles included not knowing enough about it nor having the right materials.
  
If you're a teacher and want to make a difference, you don't have to dive into the deep end like this teache r who wore the same outfit every day to draw attention to the carbon impact of fashion. You can just dip your toe into the melting glacier water to get started slowly.

There are plenty of resources to help! For lesson plans and interactive activities, check out the PBS Learning Database to find kid-friendly lessons on climate change by grade level. And for more resources to educate kids on climate science and action, as well as tools to help them become climate leaders, check out the Alliance for Climate Education
Too Cool Hot For School?
This year, K-12 students are going back to school amid excessive heat warnings . Higher temperatures increase the chances that children get sick, which is why we created a tip sheet and video to help you identify heat-related illness to keep young students healthy in a warming climate. 

If you know a child who plays sports, check out this guide from the Centers for Disease Control for student athletes who are particularly susceptible to extreme heat. 
It's Back To School For Us, Too
Our first project of the new school year is our Transportation, Equity, Climate, and Health Study (TRECH Study). Together with some of the world's leading public health researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health and the University of North Carolina, we are analyzing the potential health and equity benefits of transportation policies aimed at curbing climate change. The TRECH Study is made possible thanks in part to support from the Barr Foundation.
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