Youth are Today: The Earth Savers Support Eco Groups Across the Country

Sep 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Youth Blog

Youth are the future. In actuality, this cliché does not even begin to describe the unimaginable ingenuity and ambition of today’s young people. Youth are more than the future—they are today. This is exactly what the Greening Forward founders of the Earth Savers Club Program saw three years ago in 2008 when the first Club sprouted in Florence, South Carolina. Over the years, the program has grown organically into a global network of youth-led environmental clubs accomplishing amazing things.

“Small, but large,” is how Greening Forward Youth Council President and Collins Hill High School student, Dylan Estes, 15, would describe the program. Dylan continues, “Small enough—about 500 youth– so that we can provide the resources that encourage success in our youth’s projects very efficiently, but also just the right number of people needed to have insightful conversations and idea-sharing taking place.” These youth in seven states represent K-12 school or college groups like Mill Creek High School to youth-led civic groups like I.M.P.A.C.T. in Berkeley, California.

Earth Savers Club partners have access to a number of support tools and resources. Greening Forward distributes mini-grants and the Earth Saver Award. Moreover, for the more social activist-minded groups, the Earth Savers Club has social activism trainings (i.e. Youth Summits, webinars, and  action guides). Being a part of a national network makes it easier to mobilize huge campaigns like Moving Planet and petition campaigns. We can even work one-on-one with teachers to implement our environmental curricula. Our national network can present other spontaneous support tools like how singer-songwriter Emily Kate Boyd allowed us to use her music in our videos.

Earth Saver, Prashanth Ramakrishna, 15, of Greater Detroit admits he has long been looking for the benefits of being a part of a national network. His Bottle Boat Initiative is making progressive strides in Detroit, Michigan. His team built a boat made of bottles and launched the boat in the Detroit River to bring attention to our world’s addiction to plastics. Youth like Prashanth learn to work with the media, engage elected officials, build a team of volunteers, and raise funds.

Even Greening Forward, being a youth-led and youth-imagined project itself, had to create partnerships with adults to move forward. 350.org, Ashoka’s Youth Venture, Earth Force, Greening Youth Foundation, Youth Service America, and Zerofootprint Foundation are some of our amazing program collaborators. Moreover, our funders like Disney’s Friends for Change, Shaw Industries, and the Fairfax County Community Foundation are a few of our program contributors.

Last school year, Earth Savers Club youth saved 86,000 gallons of water, enough energy to power 5.21 homes for a year, and enough greenhouse gasses to take two cars of the road for a year. We cannot continue to do these amazing things without the support of the entire community. We are looking for an even stronger campaign for the upcoming school year. Learn how you can join the movement: http://www.theearthsaversclub.org/

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