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2024 EARTH  DAY  COMPETITION

Challenge, Change, Inspire

PROJECT
MISSION

We hope to engage, educate and empower the local community to create meaningful change. Gen-Zers are among the most educated about the climate crisis, yet we find ourselves helpless in the face of government inaction. For us, the solution is often to drive our own path of change, but without a common denominator to glue everything together, these paths often lead to nowhere. Through our 2024 Earth Day Competition (EDC), with theme of "Challenge, Change, Inspire", we hope to encourage students to take collective action towards local environmental issues. 

PROJECT
DESCRIPTION

Environmental clubs, student councils, or student leaders from Ontario high schools can register their high school to compete against other high schools and/or middle school in one of these three streams: community clean-up, pledge to go green, or CO2 reduction challenge. Student leaders who register their high schools will lead a school wide event in order to win amazing prizes, while advocating and taking action for the environment. This competition will be start on Earth day, April 22nd, and run until April 26th. 

PROJECT
IMPACT

HNP Ontario’s 2024 Earth Day Competition will allow Ontarian youth to create a larger impact through collective action. We expect to give roughly minimum of 29,000 high school and middle school students an opportunity to take environmental action. Unlike previous events of HNP Ontario solely targeting the GTA area, 2024 Earth Day Competition is expanding our reach across Ontario, improving accessibility. EDC is also expected to help schools recognize environmentalists in the local school community, while earning volunteer hours.

How does this competition work?

Each school's student leadership, whether it is an environmental club or a student council, will represent the school and organize environmental events in honour of 2024 Earth Day. Schools who register to compete will be asked to engage their school’s student population in one of these three environmental streams:

Community Event

Run a student-led community clean up within or around your school community.

Pledge To Go Green

Educate your school’s student body and have them pledge to commit to making the school more eco-friendly.

CO2 Reduction Challenge

Engage the student body to collectively reduce your school’s carbon emissions and track progress using the Commit2act platform.

Why care about each streams though? 

Community Event

  • Build a sense of unity between your community and school! Brings all kinds of people together— strengthen social bonds and community pride

  • Raise awareness about important environmental stewardship!

  • A great educational opportunity to teach the impacts of waste management. 

  • The average amount of steps a person will hold a piece of trash for before they litter is 12 paces. How would this affect YOUR school and environment?
    (Visually Article, 2023)

  • Almost 10,000 tonnes of plastic debris enter Ontario’s lakes and rivers each year according to the Government of Ontario
    (City of Mississauga, 2022)

Pledge To Go Green

  • Allows for the circulation of information about environmental issues and sustainable practices among students

  • A study in 2021, found that individuals who publicly commit to pro-environmental behaviours are more likely to follow through with those behaviours such as signing pledges and engaging in petition
    (Journal of Environmental Psychology, 2021).

  • Social norms and peer influence play significant roles in shaping sustainable behaviours among youth, highlighting the potential impact of peer-driven initiatives like the "Pledge To Go Green" challenge.
    (National Institute of Health, 2018)

CO2 Reduction Challenge

  • Canada is one of the top emitters of greenhouse gasses globally, will emissions primarily coming from the energy secretary, industry and transportation (Government of Canada, 2020)

  • By mobilizing as many students from your school as possible, the CO2 Reduction Challenge leverages collective action to achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions

Eligibility Criteria

Waterfalls

Must be a middle or high school student in Ontario willing to lead their school

Laptops

Must have access to internet and be willing to work with a team of other students. 

Students Sitting on Staircase

Event organizers must be student leaders (ie. on student council, eco-club etc.) 

 Timeline & Important Dates

April 5th-7th
Representatives from registered teams attend a virtual information and orientation session with the HNP Ontario team. 
April 22nd-26th 
Participants will hold the planned event or campaign as part of the competition.
May 11th-12th
Virtual award ceremony & recognition for each competing high school.
April 3rd @ 23:59 EST
Deadline to register your school to compete. 
April 8th-21st
Prepare for competition by advertising to school community (posters, Instagram content etc.) and gathering supplies.
May 4th @ 23:59 EST 
Deadline for schools to submit an event report for HNP Ontario to determine winners.

How are the Winners Determined?

Registration deadline
has been extended to
Tue, April 9th 23:59 EDT! 
Community Events
number of people who participated in the community clean up

Total number of pounds of garbage collected 
Pledge To Go Green
Determined using Commit2Act platform— the school with most amount of carbon conserved
CO2 Reduction Challenge
Number of students who 'pledged' to make school more eco-friendly

Why should you participate? 

Pledge To Go Green
By participating in the 2024 Earth Day competition,
you will have opportunities to earn the following...

Develop your leadership skills.

Bring recognition to your school!

Be the catalyst of positive environmental action within your community.

Win awesome prizes that are up to $300 worth!

Showcase your passion for environmental advocacy.

Earn up to 30 hours of volunteer hours and a certificate of recognition.

What kind of resources  are available?

HNP Ontario team will be holding multiple virtual information & orientation sessions between April 5th-7th. Student leaders or a representative from each registered school can attend a session that works for them to learn more about the competition itself!

INFORMATION & ORIENTATION 

SESSION

HNP Ontario has partnered with TakingITGlobal, a Canadian Charity focused on empowering young people to understand and act on local and global challenges, who will be providing student leaders with the Commit2Act app that can be used to measure environmental impact.

COMMIT2ACT APP TO MEASURE IMPACT

TAKINGITGLOBAL

CLASSROOM GRANTS 

Environmental committees, councils, clubs and student leaders who are interested in participating in HNP Ontario’s Earth Day Competition will also have an opportunity to apply for funding through classroom grants offered by TakingITGlobal. More information on how to apply for these grants will be made available at the information and orientation sessions.

In collaboration with TakingITGlobal, students who register to compete in the CO2 reduction challenge stream will be receiving a video guide on how to: 1) use the platform, 2) join/create a group and 3) log an action item. 

GUIDE TO USE COMMIT2ACT PLATFORM

As an environmental committee, council, club or student leader part of the Earth Day Competition, you will be paired with an executive team member from HNP Ontario who will be serving as your mentor and supporting you with your project.

COMPETITION SUPPORT

 COORDINATOR

HNP Ontario will provide a communication platform among participants to make the competition more engaging and to build community. You will be able to connect with like-minded peers who are just as passionate as yourself and share ideas.

COMMUNICATION

PLATFORM FOR SUPPORT

To Learn more ...

Please reach out to general@hnpontario.org for any questions or concerns you have. We hope to see you at the orientation!
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