You woke up one morning with a great idea. You’ve always been pretty “eco-friendly conscious” and so you’ve decided that you want to start an Eco Club on your college campus. That’s great! However, when it comes to what you should do following that decision, you’re kind of drawing a blank. That’s OK. Where good intentions are, information usually follows. After all, you happened upon this article, right?
If you’re looking for some tips on how to organize an Eco Club on your college campus, you’ve certainly come to the right place.
What kind of club do you want? One of the best things about the “go green movement” is that there are all kinds of areas of focus for it. You may want to encourage people to recycle. Or perhaps, you want to hold sales and auctions to collect used items to give to those in need. Maybe you’re someone who wants people to buy more plants or conserve less energy by swapping out desktops for laptops and light bulbs for natural light. The best way to organize any kind of club is to first organize yourself. Write down your mission and build from there.
See if “your club” already exists. Say you want a club that focuses on collecting used bicycles so that more people will bike to class rather than drive their cars? Before you start making plans to get the word out, first make sure that the club doesn’t already exist. You can usually do this by going to the campus administration office. If there isn’t one, you’re good to go. If there is, don’t get discouraged. Speak with the founder/president of that organization to see how you can get involved or if there’s a possible extension of that club that can be added on.
Read the fine print. Sometimes people underestimate the power (and speed) of a good idea. If you want this to be a club that the school backs you up on, you’ll also need to speak with them about their on campus rules and guidelines for having official clubs on campus. Also, if you plan on hosting fundraisers, after a certain amount of money is generated, you may need to consider going into a non-profit status. A club with 10 people is one thing. A club that has 200 is more like an organization. Make sure to get the details on what is required when it comes to maintaining either one.
Get the word out. Once you have selected a name (depending on how serious you are about that, you might want to do a trademark name search), you have the school’s permission and your mission statement is intact, it’s now time to start recruiting people to join. Thankfully, technology makes this much easier, so you can use your Facebook page and Twitter account to easily let people know the details about the first meeting. It takes a while to get individuals to try something new and so you might want to get a little creative. Maybe do a funny “word on the street” video blog or (better yet) have free pizza on recycled plates for the first 25 to show up. Just must make sure that you get the email addresses of all who do come to keep them abreast of all that’s going on…so that hopefully, they’ll want to attend another meeting soon.
Network with other clubs. There is a lot of power in unity. That said, don’t overlook the other clubs on campus that may have similar goals. Say your roommate is working on getting a pharmacy degree and s/he is a part of a club that recycles vitamin and medicine bottles. Why not link up with them for a glass and plastic recycling drive? The more people that you connect with, the more opportunities that will be made available to you. When it comes to having a club that focuses on making the earth a better place, the more is definitely the merrier!