The SJF Green Team is a student-led environmental club that strives to educate ourselves, educate others, and incite action around environmental issues. This year, we are a force of over 20 students from grades 8 to 12 who are looking for climate justice in Yellowknife, the Northwest Territories and around the world. We want to help reduce
pollution, create eco-friendly initiatives, and get more people involved in environmental issues. We love to work in unison with other organizations and politicians to incite as much change as possible.
The SJF Green Team’s Climate Action Project was dubbed #YkYouth4Climate and involved a three-pronged approach. Our primary goal was to fundraise for an environmental organization that could make efficient and effective use of our money to address the climate crisis. After researching, the students voted to support the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). To make best use of our money, we offered to match (up to a maximum of $1000) any donations made through the Canada Helps fundraising page we created. We promoted this fundraiser through social media (our Facebook and Instagram accounts) and worked with our school and district to forward and promote our efforts. Ecology North (EN), a local environmental organization also helped to promote our fundraiser by sharing our posts.
The second part of our project involved making presentations to younger students about the climate crisis. During Earth Week, we made over 45 presentations (virtually and in-person, in French and English) at every elementary and middle school in our district. We spoke to the younger students about the climate crisis, invited them to our Walk for Climate, and had them create posters to show their support for climate action. We encouraged them to take their posters home (they had all the information about our fundraising and our Walk for Climate on them) and then bring them to the walk. As part of our coordination with Ecology North Earth Week’s events, our posters also became a part of their colouring contest.
The last element of our project was our Walk for Climate to raise awareness of and show support for the need for urgent climate action. This, too, was organized in collaboration with Ecology North. Our walk was supposed to take place outside of the NWT Legislative Assembly on Sunday, April 25, the last day of Earth Week. We had anticipated having younger kids showcase their posters and being able to further promote our fundraising efforts at the walk. We had already confirmed attendance with several members of the NWT Legislative Assembly and the Mayor of Yellowknife. Unfortunately, Yellowknife experienced its first COVID-19 outbreak and we had to postpone, and ultimately, cancel the walk.
All this said, we were able to raise $682 for the Nature Conservancy of Canada through our Canada Helps page and we are planning on more than doubling that with a $700 donation of our own. In total, $1382 were raised for NCC.
Reflection & Celebration
Even though it was disappointing that we were not able to fully realize all of our activities (because we were 100% ready for it), the SJF Green team is really proud of what we were able to accomplish. In addition to pulling off a really big, and really complicated project with many moving parts, the students learned a ton about event planning, organizing, publicity, and presenting. What’s more, we are excited that we have a successful model that we can re-use in coming years – the students are keen to replicate an initiative like this next year.