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Five steps to help you start an environmental project

Posted: August 3, 2022

You’re under 18 and motivated to make a positive impact on the environment, but where do you start? Follow these five steps to help get your environmental project underway.

 

1) Brainstorm ideas for your project

 

helping each other

 

What about the environment is important to you? Think of one specific environmental cause you want to contribute to. 

Ask yourself some simple questions: What do I want to achieve? How long do I have? Is there an organisation I’d like to get involved with? What critical global issues do I care about and how can I contribute towards them?

Jot down as many questions as possible, which can be used to help build your idea and grow the project. You’ll answer these questions as you move forward with your planning!

 

2) Start networking

 

u/18 conversation

 

 Maybe you want to create a food waste recycling program at your high school, or perhaps you’re proposing a meatless Monday in the cafeteria. You’re going to need to gain support. Asking friends and family for help and ideas is a great start to get people involved and feeling included. 

If you have a student union or council, it’s another great resource. Student councils are always looking for volunteers and fresh ideas to improve conditions at your school. Better still, student councils might be able to help with some funding or fundraising.

 

 

3) Start fundraising for your project

 

GVI staff give a presentation on the organisation's programs. Teens looking to kickstart their own volunteer projects should be willing to do similar presentations to raise funds and awareness.

 

Whatever your project, it costs money to build things, so you’re going to need to fundraise. 

If your student council doesn’t have enough money available to help with your project, you could also connect with students in other schools. Why not use the network you create to go out into the community and raise funds? You can even read this blog to get some ideas.

Or, join a town council meeting with a group of students, ask for an opportunity to speak and see if funds can be raised through your town or community treasury.

If all these funding ideas still aren’t enough, look to the internet. Crowdfunding is an amazing way to grow income for projects, INDIEGOGO or GoFundMe are all great websites to visit. You don’t have to be a marketing wizard to be successful. You just have to have a solid idea, and keep motivated! 

 

4) Implement your project

 

GVI participants maintain plants in a local community garden, as part of under 18 volunteer opportunities abroad.

 

 Congratulations! You’ve stayed motivated and reached your goal. The project funding is secure, the plans have been finalised and the workforce is ready. It’s time for you to begin your project. 

Step into the role of leader. After all, it was your idea. Help keep everyone focused and engaged on the project by sharing your passion and your vision for the intended outcome. Try to keep the project running on time and follow the plan.

Here’s a tip: Document your journey. Show off what is being created by taking pictures, creating a blog post, or writing a newspaper article. This might motivate others to get involved in projects of their own.

 

5) Reflect on your project

 

 

Once your project is finished, take a little time to look back at what you’ve accomplished. 

Did everything go the way you wanted? Is there something you would change for your next project? What were some of your favourite and least favourite things about running the project.

Reflection is important and shouldn’t be overlooked. When you take the time to look back on your project, it can help prepare you for future ones.

 

Take action with GVI

 

u/18 fun

 

Positive progress starts with an idea. It doesn’t have to change the tide, but even small drops in the ocean can eventually become rolling waves. 

And if you enjoyed running your own project and making a positive – or even if you didn’t but you’d still like to make an impact – why not volunteer with GVI and help make an impact while making beautiful memories in exciting countries around the world.

Take a look at our array of under- 18 programs that’ll help you make an impact!

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