On Friday, thousands of children and young adults around the globe will skip school and march, in the name of raising awareness around the climate change crisis. The march might turn into one of the largest protests in environmental history, based upon the predicted turnout numbers below. But for those who are no longer in school and want to know how to support the students’ climate strike, the first thing you can do is learn what it’s all about.
The upcoming march is a branch of the #FridaysforFuture movement, which started last year when 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, an activist in Sweden, started skipping school on Fridays to protest her country’s inaction on climate change at the time, per CNN. Now, the movement is set to take place on every continent this Friday, according to Vox. Per CNN, students from over 90 countries and in more than 1,200 cities will be joining the protest.
In an open letter published on March 1 by The Guardian, an anonymous group of activists representing the movement shared the goals of their mission, writing in part,
We finally need to treat the climate crisis as a crisis. It is the biggest threat in human history and we will not accept the world’s decision-makers’ inaction that threatens our entire civilisation. We will not accept a life in fear and devastation. We have the right to live our dreams and hopes. Climate change is already happening. People did die, are dying and will die because of it, but we can and will stop this madness.
We, the young, have started to move. We are going to change the fate of humanity, whether you like it or not. United we will rise until we see climate justice. We demand the world’s decision-makers take responsibility and solve this crisis.
Here are some ways you can contribute to their cause:
Raise Awareness On Social Media
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If you can’t attend the protest yourself, you can always spread the word on what’s going on, and why it matters. Consider retweeting the photos, videos, and accounts of the march. Or you can share some not-so-fun facts about climate change: consider these 11 facts on climate change by Conservation International, to get your creative juices flowing.
Use The Day To Re-Assess Your Own Environmental Impact
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You don’t have to get out onto the streets to show your support (though that’s definitely an ideal option): you can also take the movement’s mission to heart. Take the day on Friday to think about what small habits you can change in your life to be more environmentally friendly.
This can be as big as changing your diet, or as small as deciding to buy a few dish towels to use and wash, rather than buying a ton of paper towels. Consider some of these tips by Life Hack to make your world a little bit greener, in honor of these students (and the planet).
Call Your Representatives To Tell Them You Support Climate Change Legislation
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The goal of the march is to raise awareness and amp up the pressure for lawmakers to start acting on climate change initiatives. So, you can help these kids bring it home by reaching out directly to lawmakers in D.C., both in the House and the Senate.
Per the Youth Climate Strike website, here are a number of issues the kids are striking around, any of which you can bring up to your lawmaker when you speak to them:
- Voting for a Green New Deal
- A halt in any and all fossil fuel infrastructure projects
- All decisions made by the government be tied in scientific research, including the 2018 IPCC report
- Declaring a National Emergency on Climate Change
- Compulsory comprehensive education on climate change and its impacts throughout grades K-8
- Preserving our public lands and wildlife
- Keeping our water supply clean
Share This Open Letter Signed By 100 Scientists Supporting The March
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Since this march is organized by children under the age of 18, one major way you can help their cause is by shining a spotlight on their legitimacy. One direct way to do that is to share this open letter of support for the march, signed by over 100 scientists.
The letter reads in part, “Students’ demands for bold, urgent action are fully supported by the best available science. They need our support, but more than that, they need all of us to act. Their future depends on it; and so does ours.”
Donate Supplies, Climate Change Resources, And More To Local Schools
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The public school system in America is woefully under-funded — and yet these children are rising to meet what they view as their generation’s greatest challenge. To thank them, or simply to support their education, you can consider reaching out to your local school system and donating supplies, climate change resources and information, and more. You can even ask the school what they’re lacking, and base your donation off of that.
Children across the world are speaking out, and if you believe it’s your job to answer, there’s no wrong way to help the cause. Show up, speak up, or offer up some of your time, funds, or social media savvy to help spread the message on Friday.