FIRST is an impactful part of the lives of all of its participants. For this reason, the Youth Council feels that it is crucial to highlight and represent what is important to the youth today. One of our biggest concerns and passions is the state of our environment. To address this, Project Green aims to help robotics teams and the FIRST community become mindful and conscious when it comes to environmental initiatives; this subteam promotes sustainability, climate justice, and everything Earth-related. Informative posts, combined with action items for students, allow Project Green to have an eco-positive impact on our community.
Project Green all started in 2019 after The Girls in STEM Weekend. At the time, Vice- president of FIRST Canada, Kim Cooper, wanted to get a group of people to help out with her new idea called, ‘Project Green’. After many meetings that summer, Project Green became one of the first initiatives in the newly formed FIRST Canada Youth Council. The big idea around Project Green was to hold a Clean Up Day in the fall of 2019. This event turned out to be extremely successful as loads of teams from all over Canada and even from the United States participated using #FIRSTProjectGreen. This kicked off the momentum for Project Green and started our spark!
Due to the success of the Clean Up Day we knew we had to continue to find more ways to share the importance of Project Green to our community. In February of 2020 we decided to post daily tips to encourage teams to be more environments at home and on their teams, we called it Tip 4 Teams. This included encouraging teams to; use reusable cutlery and plates, use G.O.O.S. paper, clean up your community, carpool to meetings, etc.
After our Tip 4 Teams campaign, we didn’t want to stop the momentum of Project green and created a sticker. This sticker was made out of eco-friendly materials and was given out during competition to promote the use of reusable water bottles. When people came up to the swag table at FRC competitions and showed Swaggy P their reusable water bottle they got a sticker to put on it!
Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit our initiative stubbled a bit as we needed to figure out what to do next. We thought it was important to recognize Earth day because it was a great opportunity to remind the community about ways they can be sustainable and help out our environment. In 2020, we decided to make a bingo card for people to fill out with a bunch of easy things they can do throughout the day. Then at the end of the day people posted on their Instagram stories how many spots they crossed off. This year we decided to do a bit more of a challenge and created a week-long ‘Earth Week’ where each day we posted a new challenge and participants had till the end of the week to compete.
Currently, Project Green is running a fun Instagram campaign with the #FIRSTProjectGreen. In this campaign, we post information and tips about how to be more eco-friendly!
Project Green has been a big success and we are excited to see it continue to expand and influence more members in the FIRST Community! In the future, we plan to grow the Project Green movement and collaborate with other councils. In the future, we would love to host more events such as Clean Up Day (when safe to do so) and organize more social media campaigns. When competitions are able to safely run, we will continue to spread Project Green and its values with stickers that will be passed out at every Ontario competition.