Network Initiatives


By making your global warming group part of the Youth Climate Action Network, you have taken on the challenge of working together with other groups just like yours towards accomplishing the aims of the various initiatives that the network is currently undertaking.  We currently have 8 GREAT network goals to work on!  Take a Look:

(Network Initiative 1)  Help support Youth CAN’s Massachusetts Education for Sustainability Campaign

(Network Initiative 2) 5th Annual Youth Climate Action Network Global Climate Change Summit at MIT – date to be announced, probably May 21  watch the BLS Youth CAN website for details  We’d love your input about what the summit should look like this year (ideas for content, activities, speakers).  Our focus is food and sustainability, and since the focus is food and it’s our 5th summit, we’re inviting the First Lady and Governor Patrick!!!  If you’re a network member, and you’d like to help us plan the next summit, let us know by emailing the student coordinator of the youth summit planning committee

(Network Initiative 3) Teach In on Global Climate Change – Organinzing a Teach-In on Sustainability and Global Climate Change is a way to focus your whole school on these important issues.  It will take place on January 31st at high schools and colleges all over the nation.  BLS Youth CAN holds a Teach In annually, encouraging all teachers to spend the day focused on issues related to climate change and sustainability.   Every year, we put up a 10’ tall faculty participation thermometer, send out faculty participation invitations, make announcements in all home rooms, post signs around the school, and provide materials and videos for educators to use.  We also organize an assembly.  In the past, we’ve had assemblies that presented a round table discussion with local politicians at which students posed questions; a climate change skit; street theater in the lunches; and presentations by the Alliance For Climate Education (ACE) who has a great FREE presentation for schools ( We encourage all Youth CAN groups to focus on integrating climate awareness into every part of the school day. We will provide and promote the use of relevant lesson plans for teachers in all disciplines (send us links that you find and we’ll post them on an educator’s page on our website where you may direct your teachers who want to access them.) The plan is to give every educator in Youth CAN schools the option of choosing to educate their students about global warming and climate action on the day of the teach-in.  It will be network members jobs to encourage faculty participation!  Consider screening a relevant film that day and invite the student body, invite a global warming speaker, have an Al Gore Trainee do the Gore slideshow presentation (we have a list of contacts), encourage students in your school to calculate their carbon foot print, or kick off some sort of an energy saving drive.  BLS Youth CAN has participated twice in the NSTAR SAVE A LIGHT fundraiser selling CFLs.  The first last year we raised $5,000.00, the second time we raised $7,400.

(Network Initiative 4) Think Outside the Bottle Pledge - The United Nations warns us that by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population – more than five billion of us – will lack access to water. Buying bottled water contributes to this problem and other environmental issues on several fronts:  First, because many people in the U.S. purchase one or more bottles of water in plastic water bottles every day, and then throw the bottles out when they’re done, they add to our ever-increasing mountains of non-biodegradable land fill waste.  Even those who conscientiously recycle their plastic water bottles cause problems, because the energy used to make the bottles, bottle the water, transport the water, and recycle the water bottles all contribute to emissions, and none of it is necessary!  The fact is, in the United States we already have access to good drinking water, it’s called tap water (besides, did you know that 40% of bottled water in the U.S. and Canada is sourced from municipal tap water?)  Finally, buying bottled water contributes to the privatization of our access to water world-wide.  There is an increasingly urgent water shortage in the world. By drinking bottled water, we’re exacerbating the problem by leaving less clean water for others do drink.  The network will be taking on the challenge of getting people to take the Think Outside the Bottle Pledge  and to stop buying bottled water.  BLS Youth CAN invites you to get creative and film a few 30 second Public Service Announcements to help promote the Think Outside the bottle concept.  We’ll post them on our website!  Or you can borrow the PSAs that we’ll be making.  Try having students at your school bring in and register their reusable, non-disposable water bottle with your Youth CAN members.  Reward homerooms who have full participation!  Start a trend.  Print out the Think Outside the Bottle flyers on the network page at

(Network Initiative 5) Help Grow the Youth Climate Action Network – There’s strength in numbers!  The fourth annual Youth CAN global warming youth summit at MIT was a great success last year (60 different schools attended), and many students left the summit with ideas for clubs. Some of those clubs are already under way!  Encourage friends who want to start a group at their own school to come to the summit.  It’s a great way to get a Youth CAN group off the ground.  We offer workshops on how to start a group, and provide starter kits for fledgling group

(Network Initiative 6) School Bus Idling and a Change to Bio diesel - Pretty self-explanatory. The smog released by idling buses is a major contributor to CO2 emissions. Although already banned by law, school bus idling has continued to be a problem. It’s frustrating that something that’s so easy to fix – just turn off the engine until the bus leaves – still hasn’t happened in many instances.  We suspect a respectful nudge is needed.  The network will be investigating ways to appropriately press the point!  Watch the

network page for downloadable info sheets and flyers that will help you raise awareness about the issue, as well as for sample letters that you can ask your members send to the appropriate legislators and administrators.  We also invite you to share your ideas on this problem with us at  In addition, we hope to begin to advocate for a switch to bio- diesel fuel being used in school buses, and will be launching an investigation into the merits and the means. 

(Network Initiative 7) - Other Events - In addition, there are a number of other events that BLS Youth CAN will be attending, and to which we encourage network member participation:

(Network Initiative 8) - Climate Counts and other organizations - For more information, visit  There are also several other organizations that you can contact to help, such as We Stay Cool, the Zerofootprint Foundation, and Eco Schools. For more groups, visit our Related Links page.

Current Network Initiatives