Members of It's Our Future presented the PlanItGreen Sustainability Report at the 8th Annual Leaders Forum on Dec. 10 at Cheney Mansion.
Young leaders present on PIG report card
Members of It's Our Future were in the spotlight during the Dec. 10 PlanItGreen Annual Leaders Forum held at Cheney Mansion. The OPRF students shared reporting on the nine focus areas covered in the 2018 Community Sustainability Report Card produced by SGA.

OPRF senior Grace Ledogar began by putting the climate crisis into context, with a reminder on the urgency to reduce global carbon emissions. "So what do we do? It all starts here," she said.

Sophomore Charlotte Meyer followed with her synopsis on the report card.

"One standout in education," said Charlotte Meyer, "is the River Forest District 90 three-year sustainability strategy, which contains implementation of hand dryers rather than paper towels in the bathrooms, starting students environmental clubs...and adding sustainability into the science curriculum."

In the upcoming year, Charlotte said, It's Our Future hopes to find ways to "spread information to all rather than preaching to the choir...and we also hope for other districts in Oak Park and River Forest to follow District 90's example."

It's Our Future is developing a podcast series and planning a community event on Jan. 31, 2020 that will be open to high school-aged students.
OPRF senior recaps Climate Conference

Back in Oak Park from her whirlwind week at the UN Climate Conference in Madrid , OPRF senior Roz Biele stood before a packed room in Cheney Mansion and described what the experience meant to her. Roz is a member of the youth-led climate action initiative It’s Our Future. One of the conference highlights, she said, was being asked to speak on a panel with other climate activists.

“I was so nervous,” upon hearing the accomplishments of others on the panel, Roz recalled. “There was one woman who started the youth strikes in Switzerland. There was a boy who started the youth strikes in the UK. There was a kid who started a nonprofit that brought scientists and economists together to have an open narrative. And then there was me.”

But Roz brought something the others could not—a real perspective of life in the U.S. “I really tried to represent the United States,” she said. She introduced other attendees to a narrative around environment racism, explaining how rich and poor people are affected differently by climate change.

Roz also reported on her experiences in real time, recording videos and photos that she shared on the It's Our Future Instagram feed .

To read more It's Our Future coverage from Madrid, including photos and video interviews, click here .
For more information about It's Our Future or to become a sponsor of this program contact To contribute to SGA to support its work with youth and schools, click the button.
SGA helps North Shore school go zero waste
Oak Terrace, a K-5 school with 520 students in North Shore School District 112, is the most recent to start a zero-waste lunchroom as part of the Zero Waste Schools-Lake County Program. Seven Generations Ahead in partnership with the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County and North Shore Gas implemented the program, now in its second year in the county.

Oak Terrace becomes the third school in D112 to join the program, following Red Oak and Braesaide, which were launched last year. SGA plans to bring zero waste to two more schools in the district before the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

SGA prepares Food Waste Reduction Toolkit for Illinois Schools 

SGA, together with its partners in the Wasted Food Action Alliance, is creating a comprehensive guide to help schools in Illinois and around the U.S. address the issue of food waste. Sections on measuring, prevention, recovery and redistribution, and composting will provide schools with the guidance and resources to implement a wide array of food waste reduction strategies.

The Toolkit will allow students, teachers, food service staff, lunchroom staff, parents, and administrators to jump in and find the ideas that work best for their schools. 

Click  here  to view a one-page overview about the Toolkit. Email  to request the Toolkit. 

Entry deadline approaching

Students grade school through college are invited to submit their entries for the 2020 Young Filmmakers Contest  by creating a well-researched 3-8 minute film about one of 6 sustainability topics: energy, food, transportation, waste, water, or open space and ecosystems.

Winners will be awarded cash prizes/scholarships ranging from $100 to $1,000 and have their film premiered during the One Earth Film Festival, taking place throughout the Chicago region March 6-15, 2020.

OEFF will also give a matching grant to an organization of each winner's choice.

Entry deadline:  Jan. 5, 2020.
Farm to School Institute

With 2019 USDA Farm to School Grant funds, the Illinois Farm to School Network has begun planning for a pilot of the Illinois Farm to School Institute. The pilot in June of 2020 and the first institute in summer of 2021 will be hosted by  Angelic Organics Learning Center  in Caledonia, Ill.

Participants will receive intensive farm to school training on building relationships with farmers, using local foods in culturally-appropriate meals, and integrating garden-based education with cafeteria programs.

This overnight learning opportunity will be aimed at Apple Crunch and Harvest of the Month participants who want to take their farm to school programs to the next level.
Don't miss out! Find all upcoming events from SGA and other sustainability events on our calendar .

This newsletter was created by Seven Generations Ahead

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