Resources for a Sustainable Future

Want to take action, but don't know where to start? Start here! The following is a list of organizations that support both teachers and students in their efforts to create positive environmental change.

Want to take action, but don't know where to start? Start here! The following is a list of organizations that support both teachers and students in their efforts to create positive environmental change.

Earth Charter Youth Initiative
Earth Charter Youth Initiative works with youth to promote the use of the Earth Charter as an educational tool. Their website features ways to participate in this initiative, and it lists examples of youth actions. You can also download the Earth Charter brochure, which features the entire text.

EarthForce is a national, youth-driven organization whose goal is to help young people, ages 10-14, improve the environment by developing citizenship skills and addressing environmental issues in their communities and across the nation.

Facing the Future: People and the Planet
Facing the Future: People and the Planet offers curriculum materials and teacher training workshops on global issues of poverty, population, and consumption. Their website features a service learning project database, with dozens of project ideas.

Global Citizens for Change
Global Citizens for Change organizes international volunteer projects for young people and provides resources for teachers who want to bring global issues into their classrooms.

Global Exchange
Global Exchange provides educational tools and resources aimed at promoting corporate responsibility, improved international relations, and human rights campaigns.  Their website includes a listing of companies and organizations that support fair trade practices.

Institute for Children's Health and the Environment
Institute for Children's Health and the Environment sponsors the Healthy Schools Initiative, which seeks to reduce children's exposure to toxins. The Healthy Futures Project involves young people in environmental action.

Student Environmental Action Coalition
Student Environmental Action Coalition is a national network of young environmental activists who are sharing resources and developing action projects nationwide. They offer a packet that guides students through a clean energy campaign and provides resources on energy audits, green building, and clean energy purchasing.

Taking it Global
Taking it Global connects young people in over 200 countries through a Global Youth Action Network and Service Day. They provide a Youth Action Guide to help young leaders turn their ideas into action.

World Affairs Council
World Affairs Council involves community members, teachers, students, and international visitors in forums world affairs. Their Global Classroom Program offers professional development for teachers, connects teachers and students with international visitors, and promotes student leadership through the Model United Nations program.


Bringing it home...

Adopt A Watershed
Adopt A Watershed uses a local watershed as a living laboratory in which K-12 students engage in hands-on activities. Curriculum is designed to fit core science standards. The program combines classroom learning and fieldwork.

Alliance to Save Energy
Alliance to Save Energy offers information on energy efficiency for consumers, educators, and policy-makers in areas such as insulation, lighting, building, and financing energy efficiency. They run a green campus program as well as state efficiency initiatives.

Campus Ecology
Campus Ecology assists students and faculty with practical conservation projects, provides training and incentives, and helps to document lessons learned. They offer resources and case studies online, and publish an annual Campus Environmental Yearbook that highlights positive student work being done at campuses around the nation.

Children's Landscape
Children's Landscape is the archive of Norwegian architect Frode Svane's work with youth in city planning, landscape and school architecture, and designing school grounds, green schools, and “nature” schools. The website is a resource to improve natural and urban environments and encourage art in public places.

Give Water a Hand
Give Water a Hand is a national watershed education program run by the University of Wisconsin.  Their Action Guide and Leader Guidebook for youth leaders and teachers are easy-to-follow, illustrated guides on effective action-oriented local projects.

Local Harvest
Local Harvest has a public directory of small farms nationwide, providing people with direct contact to farms in their area. It also lists food outlets that support local farms.

World Wide Biome Project
World Wide Biome Project is designed to have students learn about ecosystems in their locale and share their findings with students worldwide through the internet. Classes do a local habitat evaluation and send the data to the World Wide Biome Project.

Challenge yourself!

Association of American Geographers
Association of American Geographers invites youth from middle school, high school and university levels to work to create sustainable development solutions using the tools and concepts of geography. This project is in celebration of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

Brower Youth Awards
Brower Youth Awards are awarded yearly to six individuals who have produced results in the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the environment. The winners receive $3000, a trip to California for the award ceremony, to Yosemite for a camping trip, and opportunities to work with Earth Island Institute.

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes honors people ages 8 to 18 who have shown leadership and courage in public service to people and the planet. Winners are chosen for their work to protect the environment and for work helping their communities. Ten winners each receive $2,000.

Goi Peace Foundation
Goi Peace Foundation holds an annual essay contest that challenges young people to help create a more sustainable future. First prize winners will receive a cash award and a trip to Japan.

River of Words
River of Words holds an annual contest in which students, ages 5 to 19, are invited to submit poetry and art related to the topics of water and watersheds. 100 finalists and 8 grand prize winners are selected each year.

SustainUS is a national youth network organizing in schools and communities around the World Summit on Sustainable Development. SustainUS has an annual Agents of Change program for youth and convenes conferences, both in the United States and internationally, on sustainable development.

Download a PDF version of the resource guide (490 KB)

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