Program Outline

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Introductory Session(s) – Exploring the Concept of Sustainability

Facilitator: UNC Institute of the Environment Resource Program
These activities are designed to be interactive and/or visual in nature to appeal to a variety of learning styles. The goal of these activities is to stimulate the critical thinking skills necessary to enable students to assess the sustainability of products, services, and actions (including local government), and to empower them to make informed choices. Some activities might include reading The Lorax and discussing unsustainable business practices, evaluating the sustainability of a good or service, or calculating carbon footprints.

The New Green Economy

Facilitator: Community Partnerships
This session will explore activities at the state and federal levels which reflect positive changes towards a more green economy. Additionally, youth will hear from local business owners in a variety of markets (e.g., landscaping, car care, hospitality and restaurants), and learn how these businesses are changing practices and engaging their workforce to embrace the demand for “green.” The goal will be for youth to understand how sustainability is being implemented in the marketplace, and to learn more about the skills that business owners are seeking as a result of their efforts to “go green.”

Hands on Field Work

Facilitator: Community Partnerships
These activities are designed to engage students in real-world, sustainable business settings. Field exercises will be facilitated by local experts from within the chosen topic area (e.g., solar technology). The goal of these activities will be to expose the youth to the latest science and research within a given topic area, and to provide tools and training that they can then apply to their selected community service project and beyond. Potential topics include:
A. Building Science and Energy Audits
B. Green Building Design and Technology
C. Stormwater Management and Low Impact Development Practices
D. Community Gardening and Composting
E. Water Conservation – audits, retrofits and behavioral practices
F. Solar/Wind Technology and Installation
G. Sustainability Audits for Local Businesses (year-long)
a. Packaging
b. Recycling Waste
c. Energy
d. Water
e. Transportation
f. Procurement

Community Service Project

Using the skills and knowledge from the previous sessions, the youth will design and implement their own service project to address a community need for more sustainable practices. The community service project with engage the youth in sustainability and help them better understand how their own actions can better their schools, neighborhoods and communities.
To see how a community service project might look, please see the 2008-2009 Water Conservation Program.

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