Youth Action Highlight: The Green Cause
Even today, when the news is constantly filled with new stories of environmental disasters – wildfires, hurricanes, floods – one can find hope in the knowledge that researchers across the globe, along with ordinary citizens, are working every day to find sustainable solutions to the many anthropogenic problems that now plague our world.
Some, like the Natural Resources Defense Council, unite lawyers, scientists, and policy experts in order to address both the social and ecological aspects of the environmental crisis (“Berkeley”). Others, like Fauna and Flora International, focus on meeting the immediate needs of endangered species and ecosystems. A few bring students together to both prepare them for environmental action later in their professional lives and help integrate environmentalism into our education system. Zero Hour, for instance, has been conducting “lobby days, climate summits, art festivals and climate marches” since 2017 (Moorman). Earth Uprising brings together youth who share “resources and opportunities to educate one another about the climate crisis”.
Another such nonprofit is The Green Cause, which was founded during the pandemic as a way to “spark urgency in the young generation that will soon take charge of the future” by partnering with local schools to establish environmental education lesson plans and programs (“The Green”). Though still a young advocacy group, The Green Cause has quickly spread to schools throughout New Jersey, and now hopes to form campus chapters across the country.
The organization’s efforts are guided by three pillars: “Engagement”, “Solution-Based Learning”, and “Considering the Impacts” (“The Green”). The “Engagement” pillar refers to the cause’s dedication to designing interactive, absorbing lesson plans including demonstrations and simple experiments. Just as importantly, the “Solution-Based Learning” pillar ensures that these lessons emphasize what can be done to address all the problems we face, instead of focusing only on their severity. The “Considering the Impacts” pillar pushes students to recognize the tangible effects of the environmental crisis in their own communities and avoid regarding the issues as abstract, distant ideas.
Though The Green Cause still has plenty of room for growth, environmental advocates of all ages can take guidance from its principles.
Berkeley Library. “Library Guides: Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs): Environment.” Berkeley.edu, 2019, guides.lib.berkeley.edu/c.php?g=496970&p=3427176.
Moorman, Katya. “Rising Voices: Discover 6 Youth-Led Movements Taking on Climate Change.” No Kill Mag, 20 July 2023, www.nokillmag.com/articles/6-youth-led-climate-change-activist-groups/. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.
The Green Cause. thegreencause.com. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.