How to form an eco-club or Green Club
                
   
How to Form an Eco-Club or Green Club
 

FORMING A GREEN CLUB
 
What is a Green Club?
It is a voluntary group which promotes the participation of students in learning about, and improving their environment. Top
     
Why start a Green Club?
People today, especially the young people, are concerned about the environment. A Green Club is a means by which students and youth can organize themselves to learn more about this issue, and also take action to improve their immediate environment.
 
For teachers, it is a wonderful opportunity to create awareness, build attitudes and help students take up activities in real world, in a way in which the constraints of the classroom and curriculum will not allow.
 
A Green Club can thus help to extend the boundaries and scope of the formal educational system, encouraging creativity, and empowering students for constructive action.  Top
 
How can a Green Club help in environmental education?
Green club activities can help the teacher to meet the objectives of Environmental Education, which are to:
*         Create awareness and sensitivity among individuals and social groups to the total environment and its allied problems.
*         Impart knowledge to help individuals and social groups gain a variety of experiences in and acquire a basic understanding of, the environment and its associated problems.
*         Build attitudes to help individuals and social groups acquire a set of values and feelings of concern for the environment, and the motivation for actively participating in environmental improvement and protection.
*         Teach skills to help individuals and social groups to identify and solve environmental problems.
*         And lead the students towards action to participate in appropriate action to help solve these problems and avoid future problems.   Top
 
Who can start a Green Club?
Any group of concerned people can start a Club which gets involved in improving the environment. Clubs can be set up by groups of students within a school or college, by a group in a neighbourhood, or a section within some other social organization.  Top
 
Is there any support for such activities?
Yes the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India has initiated the National Green Corps scheme to encourage the setting up of such Clubs. There are also several other eco-club programs run by other agencies. Here is information about some of them:
Some Ecoclub Programmes in India
    
National Green Corps of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt of India
Under this programme, Eco-clubs are being set up in 250 schools of each district of the country. The programme is implemented in each State/UT through the Nodal agency appointed by the State/UT Govt. The Government of India provides financial assistance for establishment of Eco clubs @ Rs.2500 per Eco-club, Training of Master Trainers, teacher training and distribution of resource materials. More...
        
Nature Clubs of India of Worldwide Fund for Nature India
Nature Clubs, WWF-India's pioneering conservation programme, was started in 1976 to inculcate an appreciation for nature among young people through a participatory approach. More ...
        
Green Schools Programme of the Centre for Science and Environment
The Green Schools Programme is an ‘inspection’ or ‘survey’ of the school done by its students on its environmental practices (which we call environmental auditing). The students form teams and go around the school on an exploratory journey and find out what’s happening – to the water, energy, land , air and waste in the school. How is the school managing these issues? More...
   
EnviroClubs by TERI
Member schools can participate in the workshops, field trips and other activities. Schools can interact with experts on various environmental issues, prepare school environment improvement projects and network with other schools. More ...
     
BEACON of Bureau of Energy Efficiency and The Energy and Resources Institute
TERI under the aegis of the BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency), Government of India, is implementing a school education programme – BEACON (Building Energy Awareness on Conservation) – across India.
The programme targets students from classes 6 to 9 from 10 selected schools in one city/town from two states of each of the five zones: North, South, East, West, and North-East. More ..
  
Paryavaran Mitra by CEE, Arcelor Mittal and Ministry of Environment and Forests
A nationwide initiative to transform 2 crore students into Paryavaran Mitra through participation in curricular and co-curricular activities and projects. A Paryavaran Mitra student demonstrates environmental leadership qualities through positive change in behaviour and action at individual, school, family and community levels. More...
    
Eco-Clubs in Selected Schools in Three Districts of Tamil Nadu, India by Annai Genetic Garden, Tamil Nadu
Inba Seva Sangam, a voluntary organisation, has facilitated the setting up of Eco Clubs in the Karur, Trichy and Dindigal district schools around the Ayyalur Reserve Forest range in the Eastern Ghats. More ..
      
Environment Service Scheme by Environment Dept, Govt of Maharashtra and CEE
The Govt of Maharashtra Environment Department has recently launched this scheme to support environmental conservation and sustainability oriented action by schools. The scheme is being implemented in 50 schools in 12 districts in a pilot phase starting 2011-12. Students are expected to carry out local environmental improvement and action projects in areas such as water, sanitation, biofertilizers, herbal gardens, composting, appropriate energy technologies etc. Selected schools will receive resource material, training and an annual grant towards such activities. CEE is the implementing agency for this scheme. More... (pdf of the Govt Resolution in Marathi)
       
Western Ghats Eco-clubs Scheme, Maharashtra by Environment Dept, Govt of Maharashtra and CEE
The Govt of Maharashtra Environment Department has recently launched a scheme for initiating Special Eco-clubs in 63 Talukas in 12 districts in the Sahyadri range in the state. 300 eco-clubs in 63 talukas are to be set up in the first stage. Clubs are expected to carry out local environmental explorations as well as issue-based action work in areas biodiversity, energy, waste management, tourism etc. Selected schools will receive locally relevant resource material, training and a small annual grant of Rs.10,000/- towards such activities. CEE is the implementing agency for this scheme. More...               Top
 
  
Who takes the initiative in forming the Green Club?
Sometimes, the idea may come from a principal or school administration. Sometimes, an enthusiastic teacher may take the lead. There are cases when students have asked that they be allowed to take up these activities! In some cases, an outside organization like WWF-India or CEE may initiate the process of getting a Club going in a school.  Top
 
How many teachers should be involved in such a Club?
It goes without saying that at least one teacher is required. However, teachers often mention that it is very difficult to cope with all Club activities single-handle. Therefore, it seems advisable that there should be at least two teachers involved in the activities- a teacher in-charge and a supporting teacher. This also helps to maintain continuity–if the teacher–in-charge is on long leave or has to leave the school; the activities need not come to a standstill.  Top
 
Which teacher should be involved in the Club?
Any teacher who is concerned about the environment can take the lead in forming a Green Club. It could be a science teacher, social studies teacher, language teacher… Enthusiastic crafts teachers and games teacher are also running successful Clubs in school.  Top
 
How many students can form a Club?
A comfortable number seems to be 25-35. This number is both large enough for taking up and doing projects which can have a visible impact, and small enough to be manageable.
 
Teachers often mention that they if they register 40-45 students at the beginning of the year, they may be left 25-30 who are really interested.
 
The Eco-club guidelines drawn up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests require at least 20 students to be members before a Club can be registered.  Top
 
How should students for the Club be selected?
The most important factor of course is that the students should be interested and willing to participate in the activities.
 
Different ways may be used to gauge their interest: those who respond to the notice about the setting up of the Club may be the interested ones. If there are too many of these, the teacher may need to use some method of choosing.
 
He/she may use judgment and prior knowledge about the students. Alternatively, some task or project may be given and participation in this observed. Preferably, this should not be a competitive process, nor should it only judge information levels. The task should be such that it will show the student’s interest and commitment. For example, all students who show an interest in forming the Club may be asked to follow the newspapers for a week and clip out environment-related news and prepare a scrapbook. They may be asked to read and do book reviews of environment-related books available in the school library. They may be asked to do a survey of people in their neighbourhood to find out what people perceive as the major environmental problem of the area.
 
What needs to be looked at in the evolution of such projects is how the student approached the problem, rather than just the final product. Preferably, the students should not be told that the task is being given to them as a way of choosing Club members. Under such circumstances, real interest can be judged.
 
Where possible, all those expressing interest should be encouraged to become members. In some schools, two or three Clubs have been started to accommodate all interested students. Top
 
Should all the Club members be from the same class or different classes?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. If they are from the same class, the students will have the same timetable, free periods, etc., and co-ordination may be easier. However, so many students from the same class may not be interested in Green Club activities. In addition, there is no novelty or specialness if the Club group is an already existing one. Students will tend to play their stereotyped roles i.e. those who are ahead in academics may play a dominant role in Club activities also.
  
By bringing in students from different classes, there are new group dynamics which may lead to some children taking up different skills and abilities can come in. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that older children do not dominate the activities.
 
Many teachers prefer to have a few members from each section of standards 6, 7 and 8.  Top
 
What would be a good administrative structure for a Club?
Teacher-in-charge and co-teacher provide guidance and continuity to Club activities. Most Clubs find the need for four student office bearers.
 
These are student representatives who will function as:
*         President: He/she collects calls the meetings; liaises with the teachers, school administration, etc., on behalf of the Club; takes a leadership role in organizing events and in planning managing projects.
*         Secretary: Keeps the minutes of the meetings; sends copies of the minutes to concerned persons including Principal, parents, etc.; maintains the record of attendance of members; prepares the report of activities at the end of every school term and one at the end of every school term and one at the end of the year.
*         Treasure: He/she collects and manages all the money of the Club; keeps accounts of the funds received, spent, etc.
*         Materials Manager: Is in charge of the safe keeping of all the equipment, materials, books, videos, charts, etc., of the Club.
 
These office bearers could be elected by the members. In order to give more children a chance to take responsibility, office bearers could hold office for a period of six months, or one school term. Top
 
How can the Club members feel a part of something special?
Students will gain a special identity if their Club too has an identity. First, of course, the Club must have a name. This name could be selected by the students themselves at the first meeting.
 
It would also be nice if the Club could have a logo or symbol. This symbol can appear on all Club related items – e.g. dustbins made by Club members and put up in the school; pamphlets they distribute; the bulletin board allotted to them.
     
This way, other students, teachers, etc., immediately know that a particular activity has been undertaken by the Club.
 
They could also have a badge/belt/arm band, etc., which they could wear to school (everyday if permitted, or on the Club Meeting Days).
 
The Club could also have a pledge that all members have to solemnly take and adhere by. The pledge could be developed by the teacher-in-charge along with the members. Rather than being stated in general terms, like a pledge to ‘save the environment’, it would be useful to include in the pledge issues that concern the life and immediate environment of the child, and actions that are actually achievable.
    
Club members may also compose and sing their own club song. Top
 
Share information about your eco-club. Write to greenteacher@ceeindia.org
    
        
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