Global Action: Girl Scouts Tackle Climate Change
As Girl Scouts, we work to take action in serving our communities and making the world a better place. The Global Action Award encourages Girl Scouts to do just that by exploring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set in 2015 by global leaders worldwide. These Global Goals work toward a more sustainable development in three key areas: economic, social and environment. Each year Girl Scouts focus on a different goal for the Global Action Award, and this year we are taking on Goal 13: Climate Action.
To help girls explore the many ways we experience climate change and the multitude of factors believed to be contributing to climate change, we have compiled some resources, tools and ideas focused on this important topic. We highly encourage girls to dive deeper as they work to develop a climate challenge while working to earn their Global Action Award.
The EPA reports carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases to be the biggest factors in the effects of climate change. Though that is important to know, we looked into what industries are contributing most to the climate crisis. Electricity and heat production, industry and agriculture, forestry and other land use are the top threats with each representing more than 20% of global emissions.
This is not an issue we can address or fix overnight, but as Girl Scouts, we know the power of taking action and we encourage girls to do just that! Here is just a few small ways Girl Scouts can make a change in their lives and inspire their family and community to do the same.
- Assess your energy use. Look for renewable energy sources and use by switching to energy efficient bulbs and appliances.
- Minimize food waste. Consider growing some of your own fruits and veggies and incorporate more meat-free meals into your diet. A lot of energy goes into the production of food, and approximately 40% of food is thrown away into landfills. Not only that, but livestock is a contributor to methane emissions.
- Shrink your carbon footprint. Learn more about your family’s carbon footprint by using this calculator from the EPA.
- Use what you have. In an era of fast fashion and having nearly anything you want available at your fingertips, consider sticking with your threads and decor! Get creative in how you reduce or reuse. If you are in need of a wardrobe upgrade or new decor, check out your friend’s closet or consignment and thrift shops in your area and look for creative ways to customize to your taste.
- Cut down on plastic, especially single-use items. Bring your own straw and utensils when grabbing some take out and say no to plastic grocery bags; opt for reusable totes instead.
- Speak up! Girl Scouts are encouraged to speak up against environmental injustice and take action toward a more sustainable future.
- Identify your climate hero. Women have long been key in environmental activism, including Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Gordon Lowe, who felt so strongly about caring for the environment that it’s part of the Girl Scout law, “use resources wisely”. Right now we are seeing a surge of young people at the forefront of the conversation around climate change, and there are Girl Scouts all over the country and globe joining in. We encourage you to identify and learn more about some of the incredible climate heroes from the past and present. What inspiration will you take away from the work they have done as you work to become a climate hero?
As you continue to explore climate change and global sustainability, we encourage you to check out these global organizations and look for organizations working locally toward a more sustainable future. Don’t forget to share what you have learned and what you are doing to make the world a better place. We are always excited to hear what our Girl Scout sisters are up to!