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7 Ways to Make Climate an EVENT on your Campus in April 2024

After the hottest year humans have ever experienced, can your entire campus focus on stabilizing the climate? How can you involve more than the “usual climate suspects”—the 30 or so students and faculty who usually show up to a climate talk or movie?

Here are seven tried and true ways to get started, None of these events require much budget, and they can be organized by a determined team of three to five people.  For any of these events, you can go international by partnering with other schools in our worldwide network to organize joint events. Reach out to us for more information and ideas.

The best antidote to climate depression is taking climate action. Sure, we are all busy. But the world can’t wait. This April, thousands of volunteers will be engaging tens of thousands of students at colleges across the world, as part of the Worldwide Climate and Justice Education Week. Join us.

  1. The Three-Hour Climate Teach-In

The best way to involve lots of students in a climate event is to involve lots of faculty. The three-hour teach-in mobilizes dozens of teachers—mostly NOT climate experts, but increasingly climate-concerned faculty—to participate in multiple panel discussion on climate solutions fro different disciplinary perspectives. Each teacher talks for only 5 minutes about how climate intersects with their subject: for example, a psychologist on climate despair, an artist on artistic responses, a chemist on how chemistry is playing into climate solutions and a business professor on climate-friendly business. If you get 4 teachers on 9 panels in three hours, and the faculty all require/inspire their students to come, you get 300 students participating! We’ve done this many times over the years, and it is always a success. All the details you need are here.

  1. 5-minute Climate Plays, with discussion

Here are three short, provocative climate plays. Perform them, then discuss them. You can do this on campus radio, or on a podcast as well. Reach out to climate-concerned faculty in the theater department to find students to take the lead.

  1. Feature Jobs and Internships at Mocktails+Supper with Community Climate Leaders

Learn to be a climate repair person! Invite people from local solar companies, regenerative farms, climate and justice non-profits to a mocktail party with students, followed by a low-carbon dinner. Students can learn about jobs and internships. Keep it low cost too—students can cook up great vegetarian chili with cornbread.

  1. How to Blow up a Pipeline: Screen this movie or other provocative films with discussion.

Spark a discussion about the tension between radical and reformist political responses to climate change with the 2022 feature film, How to Blow Up a Pipeline, Rotten Tomatoes reviews here. Other great climate films are here. Other film resources are Bullfrog Films, Common Ground, and Wild Hope with discussion guides and some virtual conversations with film makers

  1. Faith-based Events

Reach out to your school’s office of the Chaplain (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, other) and ask them to kick off your week of events with an event about climate change intended for campus communities of faith. See Climate Faith Week and our Faith model.

  1. Art |Art |Art | Art |Art |Art

Who are the climate-concerned art faculty on your campus? See if their classes want to take on producing public art. See this inspiring example from Bangladesh.

  1. Climate Game Nights

For board and card gamers, there are an increasing number of great climate options: Climate Fresk, Climate Call, and my favorite Energetic—where players compete to decarbonize NYC by 2040. You can also see  10 Climate Change Games for the Classroom | SubjectToClimate. 

Sign Up Your Campus Event Today!

The good news on climate is that we know how to change the future. The problem is no longer economics or technology— it is about overcoming the grip of fossil-fuel-funded politics keeping us locked on a path towards climate destruction. To do this, we all need to be talking about climate change solutions, all the time. Sign up your campus today to be part of WorldWide Climate Justice and Education Week. You don’t need to know exactly what you are going to do— you can edit your profile with details as you go.  But the seven ideas above are great places to start. Plant your flag today! 

About the Author

Eban Goodstein

Eban Goodstein

Dr. Eban Goodstein is an economist and the Director of the MBA in Sustainability and the MS and MEd programs at the Center for Environmental Policy at Bard College. He is known for organizing national educational initiatives on climate change, which have engaged thousands of schools and universities, civic institutions, faith groups, and community organizations in solutions-driven dialogue. Goodstein is the author of three books and numerous journal articles focused on climate change, sustainability and green jobs.