schools for climate action

Join the Drawdown EcoChallenge…Spring into Action with Team Solar Schoolhouse

Greetings!  Happy Vernal Equinox (aka 1st day of Spring).

Late last year we wrote about Drawdown – The Most Comprehensive Plan ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming – highlighting the top 100 solutions to reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and actually reversing global warming.  Then, last month in nearby Healdsburg,  we listened to author Paul Hawken share about how Drawdown came together, enlisting young scientists from around the world, and focusing on solutions.  Very inspiring! SSH-drawdownEcoChallenge2018banner

Now, I’m excited to share about the Drawdown Eco Challenge which runs from April 4-25, 2018.  This is something that you and your students can explore and be part of this next month. It’s also a way to become more familiar with Drawdown and all the different solutions that can help reduce GHGs and together reverse global warming.

I’ve created Team Solar Schoolhouse and encouraging you and your students (friends & family too) to join Team Solar Schoolhouse when you set up a personal profile on the Drawdown EcoChallenge website.  There are a wide variety of challenges to explore and commit to action, from Food, to Transportation, Clean Energy, Women & Girls, Buildings, Materials.  Anyone motivated to Spring into Action can join Team Solar Schoolhouse for the Drawdown EcoChallenge.

Win a cool Tshirt with the “Living the Solar Life” design….

Tshirt design. "Living the Solar Life". Top 5 point-earners on Team Solar Schoolhouse will receive a Tshirt.
“Living the Solar Life”. Top 5 point-earners on Team Solar Schoolhouse will receive a Tshirt with this design.

Here are some ideas for actions to consider.

1. Ask your School Board to adopt a Climate Resolution.  Here in Sonoma County (CA) ~ 7 school districts have passed resolutions in the past few months, thanks to the encouragement of Schools for Climate Action (SCA).  I’ve helped with one of these campaigns and was amazed at how receptive the school board was. SCA has several templates for resolutions, and recommended steps to take. Several resolutions also include Climate Literacy component, which the Drawdown resource can help fulfill.

2. Conduct a solar project in your classroom. explore different applications that are using solar energy in the world today.  Teach someone else about solar energy.   Example – in Glendale, CA, teachers, students, and myself will host the Solar Discovery Faire on April 14th. sharing solar energy activities with the community, and also solar rooftop options for homes. hosted at a school with it’s own solar array.   This is all about experiencing and then sharing. It can be replicated at any scale.

3. Food waste – is a big source of greenhouse gases.  learn why it’s important to recycle/compost food waste instead of putting it in a landfill. Research composting options with your own local waste company, then share what you find with others.

4. Transportation… is a big source of GHGs.  Explore walk, roll, carpool options for getting to and from school or work.  Learn about Electric Vehicles(EV), host a EV rally to share options with the community.  We just finished a 1500 mi road trip on the west coast in an all-electric vehicle (Bolt) (story to follow).  It worked and we were able to charge up along the way. zero emissions!

There’s lots more you can do…..check out the Challenges on the Drawdown EcoChallenge website, and commit to several actions. You can also read more information at the Solutions Page on Project Drawdown.  Then share with others.

Step ONE is to JOIN Team Solar Schoolhouse at Drawdown EcoChallenge.

Looking forward,


Tor- Fast charging the Bolt in Redding CA along the west coast electric highway.(March 2018)
 Fast charging the Bolt in Redding CA along the west coast electric highway.(March 2018)

Sebastopol USD passes Climate Change Resolution

Encouraged by Youth Activists, Sebastopol School District Passes a Resolution Recognizing Climate Change as a Children’s Issue

SEBASTOPOL, CA [2017.12.05]— At its December 4th board meeting, the Sebastopol Union School District board of trustees unanimously and enthusiastically approved a resolution recognizing climate change as a children’s issue and resolving to establish a Climate Change Committee to develop recommendations for taking action on climate change in the school district. The board’s action was encouraged by a group of young teens, parents and teachers in the Sebastopol area from a newly formed group called Schools for Climate Action.

In adopting the resolution, the board recognizes that the children of today will bear the burden of the impacts of climate change, and also that our schools have a responsibility to equip them with opportunities to respond with creative and bold action. The board also affirmed that institutions and
elected leaders at all levels have a responsibility to respond in constructive ways to the challenge of addressing climate change.

Sebastopol Union School District has a commitment to providing our students with an education that nurtures their development as globally-minded citizens,” said Trustee Lawrence Jaffe. “Putting this into practice by tackling climate change in our schools not only makes a contribution to reducing greenhouse gases but it provides real-world leadership experiences for our children and school community.”

The Climate Change Committee, which will be formed in January, may focus on topics such as energy efficiency and renewable energy, water conservation, waste diversion, and landscaping, as well as opportunities for education and student engagement. Membership in the Committee will be open to board members, school employees, parents, students, and community members.

“This resolution is a great step forward into a healthy future for generations to come,” said Joey Thompson, an eighth grade student at Brook Haven School who attended the board meeting along with several other students and parents to express support for the resolution. “Sebastopol Union is a role model for other districts to follow to make a cleaner, more sustainable world.”

The full text of the resolution is included here. Sebastopol community members, students and staff are encouraged to express their interest in joining the Climate Change Committee by emailing Trustee Lawrence Jaffe at
More information about Schools for Climate Action is available on their website.