Here is my short list of topics and challenges that I hope striking students (Middle School and High School) will take on (in some cases continue to take on):
What is the energy consumption at my school? Has it been changing over time? Will the utility company or school district share this information with us? Students in many cities (Chicago, New York, Washington DC) have this information about their schools, why don’t we?
What is my school’s target temperature in late Summer? Are we using the AC too much?
What is my school’s target temperature during the Fall, Winter, and Spring months? Are we overheating the building during the cold weather months? Maybe we can check how the school is doing by looking at a wall thermometer and report back to school leaders. How can energy be conserved in our building?
Are the school lunches climate-friendly? Can we think of some vegetarian meals that would be acceptable to students?
What is my carbon footprint? Is it higher or lower than the average in my town or in America? What can I do to reduce our family’s emissions? What can we do immediately? What can we work on over the coming months?
How does airplane travel affect my family’s footprint? Do I know anyone who does not fly because of their environmental values? What are some fun places that would make a great vacation near my hometown? Can I advocate for going there instead of flying somewhere farther?
My school is asking me to fly to another city on an “enrichment trip.” It sounds fun but should my school be asking us to go on these trips? Will I go?