Hello! I’m forming a local Chapter team for (Bay Area/California) under the Start With You network.
This is a virtual volunteer opportunity for high school students who are looking to help save the environment and make a difference in their future and the future of the people around them.
The aim of our Chapter is to first understand the environment-related challenges and execute strategies to mitigate our environmental impact through collective action in our daily lifestyle choices.
The two main obstacles to making environmentally sustainable lifestyle choices in our households are:
How we are related to issues of the climate crisis, deforestation, biodiversity loss, etc. is often a concept that is too abstract for most of us to understand as we go about our daily lives, so we do not pay much attention to the impact our choices have.
Sustainability at an individual level often boils down to choosing between what is beneficial for the environment and what is more convenient for us in the short-run. Seeking comfort, we go with the latter option
Our goal at the chapters at Start With You is, in addition to raising awareness, to address these 2 basic problems and give people practical ways in which they can reduce the harmful impact they have on the environment.
To make our impact less abstract and more tangible, we will use numbers- such as water footprint or consumption, electricity consumption, and carbon footprint- to show residents how everyday actions can change those numbers. This will not only help them track their progress but also if your chapter team works effectively enough to reach out to several households in your locality, these numbers can be used to compare the per-capita impact of different homes, perhaps fostering in a spirit of healthy competition in this regard (which will be the advanced stage when individual action becomes a sustained, grassroots phenomenon)!
To make the shift from passivity to action, we will focus on giving people the most convenient ideas to act on in their respective situations. Small steps are the way to go.
Of course, you can’t STOP showering to save water, but you CAN try to cut your showering time by half or take bucket baths instead.
It’s fine if you can’t put solar panels on your rooftop, but you CAN make a difference by simply switching off electrical appliances when you leave the room, or turn down the air conditioner or thermostat when it is not necessary.
It’s hard to run a political campaign to get your government to help with waste segregation, but you CAN simply keep a separate bin for kitchen waste at your home.
You get the idea.
As a Chapter, we can also research as to what impact these choices have locally.
This is the overarching team that supports the functioning of different chapters and core volunteering teams and deals with administrative work.
These are the central teams established in each chapter. They carry out activism, awareness, environmental damage reduction drives, among other functions in their respective locations. The network of chapters forms the backbone of the organization.
Core Volunteering teams
These are 3 teams that work within the organization as a whole and aren’t affiliated with any chapter in particular. These include:
Writers and researchers on anything related to environmental sustainability, ranging anywhere from lifestyle tips to analytical articles.
Social media and outreach experts who would be integral to showcasing the mission and its accomplishments.
Artists, musicians, singers, poets, dancers, anyone with a creative streak who would like to express and promote the cause of environmental sustainability through art forms!
The following are some recommended delegations for each chapter team to follow. These will give you some insight into what work your team will be expected to do and some idea of how you could possibly divide those tasks.
The Outreach Head plays the integral role of engaging with the residents of the community and working to implement the plans the Core team formulates as a whole.
The Marketing Head will primarily conduct recruitment (to whichever extent possible) for the Core teams as well as for the Chapter team if needed.
The Secretary will be responsible for meeting facilitation and coordinating documentation for social media/outreach as well as progress reports to be submitted to the Executive Board every 2 weeks.
The Data Management Head essentially is in charge of surveying the community (in initial stages) and coordinating impact calculation (in later stages of the project) for the residents.
Volunteers will work primarily as the point of contact in local housing communities and help in effective communication and data collection. They may be recruited after other Chapter Team members have been designated.
Do note that these delegations are mere suggestions, and you are welcome to work with your chapter as suits your context and preferences.
Let me know if you are interested in joining me or have questions!
For details about this opportunity, email Raghuwable@gmail.com