Back to School is More than Books

by | Sep 2, 2019 | LTBLI news and updates | 0 comments

As September approaches, so do the looming pressures of all things “back to school.” Minds go straight to thoughts of homework, late nights and tests, but students also can leverage school as a platform for change and climate activism.

Youth and Climate Activism

My generation is experiencing change in a way that no other generation has. We have an endless stream of information at our fingertips – we see the ice caps melting and devastating forest fires. And, we hear how climate change is displacing people, leaving them with nowhere to go. What are we to do with this information, and, most importantly, what can we as youth do to advocate for change? First and foremost, we need to speak up – to get our friends to listen, to get our parents to listen, to get our government to listen. The Sustainable Development Goals are a good way to frame the climate discussion.

First Steps

As a young person, it can be intimidating to take the first step and engage in climate change activism. Maybe you’ve been told you are too young or don’t know enough to have a valid opinion. However, a school community offers a perfect opportunity to engage in a comfortable way. You could spearhead an environmental club like the recent environmental startups in schools all around Buffalo. You could do anything from organizing local garbage pickups to helping your school cafeteria begin composting. 

Another variant of this could be volunteering to start a campus-based Shine On Students Climate Action group. By hosting a solar-powered dance or a bake sale, your school group can raise money to send solar lights to vulnerable off-grid African communities. Most importantly, you’ll be taking the first step toward climate activism!

Be the Climate Change

You can inspire change in lots of other ways, too, for instance by writing an informative article about climate change for the school paper or by raising awareness about climate change by posting informative flyers around school. The most important thing is for us to keep trying! While we are often discounted as a youth, this is the world we inherit and it is imperative that we speak out on how climate change impacts our future. 

So, as the school year starts, look outside for a minute and think. Use any leverage you can to inspire change – from engaging a few friends to your entire school. Inspire change, because change is needed to fight climate change and save our fragile earth. As Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Sophia C. is a sophomore at City Honors High School in Buffalo, N.Y. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, embroidery, and volunteering.


My Summer Solar Internship

Hannah Schulman is this summer's Energy Poverty Intern at Let There Be Light International (LTBLI). She is a rising...

Brightening Lives in Amolatar, Uganda

Last month, Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) implemented one of its most comprehensive solar projects to-date. Working in cooperation with local stakeholders and another US-based nonprofit, LTBLI launched three (3) of its signature solar projects in the...

A Snapshot of our 2022 Solar Celebration

Click here to see the gallery as individual photos. Shine On! [gallery size="large"...

Reflecting on One Million Lives Impacted by Solar Lights

Eight years ago, Let There Be Light International (LTBLI) began solar programming in Uganda with its first official partner. 8 years later, LTBLI is marking a major milestone – One Million lives impacted by solar programming in 3 countries. You may wonder how we...

Solar Lights are Changing Lives in Salalira

Guest blog written by Olivia Owino, M&E and Training Consultant to LTBLI and Solar Health Uganda (based in Uganda). Let There Be Light International’s maternal and infant health project, Safe Births and Healthy Homes (SB+HH), has changed the lives of many mothers...

Lights4Literacy Shines During COVID-19

Guest blog written by Siriman Kiryowa, Solar Health Uganda Field Research Analyst.Lights4Literacy is an innovative solar project in Uganda. It is a collaborative educational program undertaken by Let There Be Light International (LTBLI), Kyosiga Community Christian...

Shine On: Campus Voices – Connor Flynn

Connor Flynn, an Environmental Studies student at The University of Washington, connected with Let There Be Light International while developing his e-commerce clothing brand, Transcendental Dreamer. In an interview with LTBLI Communications Consultant Rachel...

Celebrating Solar on World Energy Day

Let There Be Light International is marking World Energy Day by celebrating the hundreds of thousands of off-grid lives in Uganda, Kenya and Malawi brightened by our innovative solar programming! When LTBLI began working...

My Summer Internship

Written by guest author Annie Lee Inclusive Sustainable Development and Storytelling through Interactive Mapping Tools My name is Annie Lee, and I spent the summer of 2021 working as a Solar Intern for Let There Be Light International (LTBLI). As a rising Senior at...

An Earth Day Message

We all have our own capacities and talents and together we can save our home, the earth.