Young people play a key role in drawing awareness to climate change, supporting renewable energy, and helping advocate for the planet.
With the most at stake in climate policy and a limited voice in direct decision making, youth involvement in City sustainability reflects the growing need to address equity disparities and direct climate action. SLCgreen wants to empower our City’s youth as they help make their schools, homes, and communities more sustainable.
Below are some useful resources for Salt Lake City’s youth and educators.
Proper recycling and composting is one of the best ways individuals can help reduce their impact on the environment. But what’s recyclable changes from place to place due to the technology and financial resources available for processing your recyclables.
Help Salt Lake City go zero waste by recycling and composting. If you don’t live in Salt Lake City, find out about the recycling and composting programs in your neighborhood and help others recycle right!
- Why is recycling important?
- Recycling saves trees, landfill space, water, and energy.
- Recycling also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
- Why is composting important?
- Compost keeps materials out of the landfill and reduces methane emissions while creating nutrient-dense soil.
- In Salt Lake City, residents can help make compost by using the yard waste bins or by making your own at home.
- If your recycling and compost are collected by Salt Lake City’s Waste & Recycling team, these signs can help your friends and family recycle and compost properly! Check with your city, school, office, or apartment building to find out who collects your recycling!
- Do a Waste Audit! Here are some examples of recycling audits for classroom settings:
Test your skills! Play the Recycling Game!
Can you properly sort all of the waste materials? Put your recycling skills to the test.
Play the Game!
Check out more recycling & composting games from SWACO.
Going Green in Your School
Want to learn more about the science of climate change? Check out these links for some fun and interesting activities:
- NASA Climate Kids helps everyone learn about climate change, weather patterns, atmospheric science, and the planet.
- Learn more about energy and how it affects climate change on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Energy Kids page.
With your climate knowledge, you can help make your schools more sustainable.
Get creative about going green! Here are a few things to consider for your classroom:
- Does your school have a two-sided printing policy?
- Does your school practice the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)?
- Do your classmates and teachers know what’s recyclable and compostable at your school?
- Does your school have an Idle Free sign in the parking lot and pick up area?
- Does your school provide access to locally grown food?
Going Green in Your Community
You can take what you have learned and make things better for the planet. Here are a few ways to make your community more green!
- Volunteer! Find an organization near you working to protect the environment and lend a hand.
- Improve your home’s energy efficiency with these Household Energy Actions.
- Calculate Your Carbon Footprint and take steps to reduce your impact.
- Salt Lake City Parks Department’s Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights programming will help you get outside and celebrate nature with your family.
- Help remind your family members and friends who drive to be Idle Free to protect the air.
- Learn more about how what you eat effects the planet. Eating locally produced food, limiting food waste, and going vegetarian are great ways to cut down on your carbon footprint. Learn more about Dining with Discretion.
Youth-led Climate Movements
There are many youth-led climate organizations out there. Get involved with your local organizations and become a champion of social justice and sustainable policy:
Fridays for Future International is taking the Climate Strike online with a weekly webinar series. You can access the webinars from home live on social media. Videos will be shared on YouTube afterwards. Stay connected to the climate movement!
Curriculum & Classroom Resources
Teaching students about climate change and sustainability can happen in every classroom. These organizations are here to help:
- Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE) provides teaching trunks on environment-related materials as well as workshops, core correlated materials, and other in-depth guides for environmental education.
- Clever Octopus Creative Reuse Center specializes in the 2nd R: Reuse. With workshops, minigrants, and resources for classrooms and art projects, Clever Octopus is a great resource for parents and teachers who want to build creative and sustainable classrooms.
- National Energy Education Development (NEED) gears their resources towards energy-related education.
- The Nature Conservancy Nature Lab has curriculum help and virtual field trips available for all ages.
- Scholastic teamed up with the EPA to develop classes related to climate change and the environment for elementary and high school.
- NASA Climate Kids is a kid-friendly, interactive website that links climate and environment with atmospheric and earth science.
Become a Utah Green School! USEE’s program aligns with national programs such as the Department of Education National Green Ribbon Schools, Green Schools Alliance, Project Learning Tree Green Schools, and the NAAEE. Utah Green Schools exemplify environmental literacy, health and wellness, and sustainable facilities. Find out more on USEE’s Utah Green Schools page.
Salt Lake City Youth Programming: YouthCity
For more information about youth programming available to Salt Lake City families, please visit Salt Lake City’s Youth & Family Department’s YouthCity page.
SLCgreen was thrilled to participate in YouthCity’s 2019 Science Summit and assist with the development of that year’s theme: Energy. Find out more about the 2019 Science Summit and the YouthCity participants’ projects here.