Hop On Our Electric School Bus Campaign
We're rolling out our Electric School Bus Campaign and we'd like you to join us.
Are you interested in taking action in your school? Already involved and looking for more support? Have a story to share? Sign up to receive updates on our campaign and be part of our network.
Send the Big Banks a Message
Canada's big 5 banks are mortgaging the future of our kids.
Since the Paris Agreement they've poured close to $700 billion into fossil fuels!
They all talk about going green, but NONE of them has moved to reduce their fossil fuel funding. They're profiting from climate chaos, and we need to call them on it.
As a first step, you can send this quick note to the CEOs of Canada's big banks. If enough of us let them know we'll take our business elsewhere, they'll realize they need to change.
Want to send your own message? Here's how you can reach each CEO:
RBC: David I. McKay, President, CEO and Director, 200 Bay Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5J 2W7. Email: [email protected]
TD: Bharat Masrani, Group President and CEO, 66 Wellington Street West 15th Floor, Td Tower Toronto, Ontario A6 M5K 1A2. Email: [email protected] (and copy [email protected])
BMO: Darryl White, President and CEO, 100 King Street West, 28th Floor, Toronto, On M5X 1A1. Email: [email protected]
Scotiabank: Brian J. Porter, President and CEO, Scotia Plaza 44 King Street, West Toronto, Ontario M5H 1H1, Canada. Email: [email protected]
CIBC: Victor G. Dodig, President and CEO. 199 Bay Street, Commerce Court Toronto, ON, CA, M5L 1A2. Email: [email protected]
David I. McKay [President, CEO and Director, RBC]
Bharat Masrani [Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group]
Darryl White [President and CEO, BMO]
Brian J. Porter [President and CEO, Scotiabank]
Victor G. Dodig [President and CEO, CIBC]
I'm shocked that each of your banks continues to pour billions into fossil fuels while the climate crisis worsens.
As a parent, I'm not impressed by the green rhetoric in your annual reports. I need to see my bank getting out of fossil fuels right away, for the sake of my kids' future.
I pledge to not open an account for my kids at any of of the big 5 Canadian banks as long as your current track record continues.
Furthermore, as a bank customer in my own right, I pledge to examine my own options for switching to a competitor like a credit union, since I don't want to do business with any company that does not have my kids' future at heart.
Take Action at School
Schools are key places for building community and taking climate action. Every parent has a voice, through their school board trustee and by being involved in school activities. From what's in the curriculum to how schools can operate more sustainably, parents can have a direct and positive impact on the education system.
You'll also have a positive impact on students who take hope and inspiration from seeing adults working on the climate challenges facing their generation.
Talk to friends and fellow parents about tackling this together. Forming a local For Our Kids team can help you access broader support and resources.
- Do some research. Start by finding out where things are at. Has your school or school board already had a conversation or any resolutions that address climate change or sustainability? You can find this out on the school or school district website, and by talking to your kids' teachers and school administration. Make sure to connect with your school trustee - it's their job to talk to you and they typically welcome interactions with parents.
- Build alliances. Your school will have a parent involvement or advisory committee, and maybe a student environment club. Reach out to see what they are interested in and whether they're already working on climate. See how you can join their efforts or get climate on the agenda.
- Ask for something specific. Crystalize your conversation into something specific to move this beyond a general conversation. Do you want to ask for a school board resolution, or some particular change? Figure out what that is and who to ask. Bring your alliances to bear to support you. See below for some examples and inspiring stories of school actions already underway.
- Tell the story. Share what you've been up to and what happened. When you have success, this will inspire others. If you hit a barrier, talking about it may help identify a solution or help to pressure the people accountable. Consider how to make the most of social media and/or local media to tell the story.
We're here to support you. Get in touch with your plans, questions, ideas and progress. We can also connect you to other parents in your area. Sign up here for more info and to stay in touch.
Need some inspiration?
Check out these actions parents are already taking at schools!
- For Our Kids teams in Victoria and Cowichan helped their school boards pass climate emergency declarations as a first step towards more action. Here's some more on how they did it. They're now working on the policies to enact the declaration. Parents for Climate Victoria are now also teamed up with Dogwood Initiative to try and get fracked methane gas out of schools.
- Parents in For Our Kids Guelph are pushing for a sustainability officer position at their school board, someone who would lead and enact policy for all departments - Operations, Transport, Waste, Energy Efficiency, etc. The position could also work to align the school's emission reduction targets with the municipality's and make sure there's a budget for the changes needed.
- Parents in BC started advocating for electric school buses to replace unhealthy diesel ones - and it's turning into a nation-wide campaign. Find out more here.
- For Our Kids Montreal has been planting trees and gardens at local schools to reduce heating/cooling costs and create spaces for community building. They're creating physical places to connect to nature and host climate conversations. Find out more here.
- A high school in London, Ontario has become Canada's first self-sufficient, carbon neutral high school drawing on solar and geothermal power to run the facility. More here.
- For Our Kids Toronto suggests starting a community advisory committee for climate at your school board. They're also getting ready to launch a project for hosting school yard climate conversations.
- Get your school to go solar! Find out more here.
Learn more about these ideas and others from an idea-generating session For Our Kids teams hosted in July 2021- you can watch the recording here:
Thank a champion
Making change is hard. It takes courage to stand up to the status quo and push for a better world. And it's tiring!
But we need champions, and we need them to keep going. So let's show them some love! Reach out to a person you admire for leading change and let them know how much they are appreciated. Maybe they are an elected official, or maybe they are a local advocate.
Send them a note or a card, record a little video, or even bake them some cookies! Record what you've done - take pictures or videos - and tell the story on your social media. Then, tag For Our Kids to amplify nationally. We'll roll up these stories on our social media channels to inspire others to also step into these leadership roles.
The Greater Victoria School District 61 recently declared a "climate emergency" and directed staff to develop a climate plan to reduce emissions. Vancouver and North Vancouver just followed suit.
The Cowichan Valley School District 79 (SD79) controls 31 buildings and properties and 36 school buses and influences what gets taught in our schools.
Please join other parents, teachers, students, and citizens in asking the Trustees of SD79 to follow Victoria's example, declare a climate emergency, and to follow through with action.
I call on School District 79 to follow the example of the Victoria School District 61 and others, declare a "climate emergency," and direct staff to develop a plan to reduce emissions in school operations (including buildings and buses), and acknowledge and address climate impacts for students, exploring ways to integrate more climate-related education into the curriculum.
Our first duty as parents is to protect our children. We'd storm a burning building to save them, no matter the consequences.
Sadly, their house IS on fire. Climate change and injustice pose a direct threat to our kids unless we change course. Part of parenting today is to help make the change we need.
For Our Kids is a national network of parent-led, community-based grassroots groups involved in climate action. We strive to be a welcoming place for all parents, guardians, grandparents and caregivers to connect and act together.
Our vision is a world that we're proud to pass along to our kids and grandkids - more secure, more equitable, and more just than how we found it. It starts with recognizing and respecting Indigenous Rights and working together for climate justice - curbing emissions while addressing the racial, economic, gender and other inequities that climate change intensifies.
Together, we’re turning our love for our kids into our superpower. Will you join us?
Salt Spring Solar School
Ever hear of a solar scholarship? That is, a scholarship paid for by solar?
Well, one exists on Salt Spring Island in BC thanks to the 84 solar panels on the roof of the Gulf Islands Secondary School that enables the school to put the money from a portion of its electricity bills into a scholarship instead. Qualifying students go on to study renewable energy or climate change. Last year's scholarship was about $1,500.Read more
Victory in Victoria!
Early in 2019 some parents in Victoria, BC found themselves on a group text. They were the kind of people who are concerned about climate change, and should they get together to discuss? They did.
Some of them had been active before in NGOs or unions, while for others this was their first time. But, they found themselves united by urgency to do act on climate change. And, they also had in common that their kids were in local schools.Read more
On the journey: Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Posted by For Our Kids · March 15, 2023 11:46 AM · 1 reaction
Learning Together with Chelsea Vowel and Clayton Thomas-Müller
Posted by For Our Kids · March 08, 2023 6:32 PM · 1 reaction
What Parent Action Looked Like, and Sounded Like, in 2022
Posted by rebecca weigand · February 02, 2023 8:45 AM · 1 reaction
Parents, grandparents and guardians are powered by love for our kids and grandkids. We would do anything to create a healthy, equitable, liveable world for them and for future generations.
But the impacts of climate change, environmental and social injustice are big and daunting, leaving many of us to wonder what we can actually do.
That's where For Our Kids can help. We're a network of support for those who want to connect and turn our love into action. By organizing that action and amplifying our voices, we'll make an impact and inspire even more parents to get involved.
How to start?
- Make sure you're connected: Join the For Our Kids network.
- Watch our Welcome Video and come to our next Welcome Call.
- Challenge hopelessness by taking action. Check out our current actions, generated by our teams and members or suggest an action for the network here!
- Join a For Our Kids team near you, or help start a local team. Often all it takes is one conversation to open the door to building a strong local team making a significant impact. You may be surprised to know that your friends, family, work colleagues, and neighbours are just as concerned as you are about the world their kids are growing up in.
- Tell YOUR story: submit your photo and motivations in our Meet the Member series.
By acting together and sharing our stories we can make a better world for our kids.