Your step-by-step guide to getting your school cutting back on meat, dairy and eggs!

A great place to make a difference is by starting where everyone agrees: the environment needs our help.  You will find people are very receptive to reductionism (reducing rather than eliminating the amount of meat, dairy and eggs they consume) to be greener.  This guide will give you all you need to help inspire your whole school.  It has been used successfully in a school in Singapore.  The change will take time so you have to be willing to commit to it!  In addition to above, Yale-NUS ran a vegan week and they have made the resources public here to help you replicate its success!

This is because your initiative will be a project within that club.  You might need to go through an approval process depending on how your club is structured, but generally you should be able to propose the new project.  You might also want to invite others to join in and help you.  The important thing to note is that you do not want to turn Monday into a plant-based Monday overnight.  That may eventually happen, but your goal first is to simply educate and get people reducing on their own.  If you try to eliminate all the animal products right away, students will resent the move because they don't have any "buy-in" to the change.  The idea when you start this, is there is no change to the food options available, but you are simply educating so that students start choosing differently from the options.  Changing the menus happens much later in the steps.

If your school is a WWF Eco School, this project fits under the Climate Change Theme in the environmental review where it asks if your school encourages  reduction in consumption of meat.  As a result, this project can be part of reaching the goal of being a Green Flag school.

Green Monday is common, but some also go with Green and Healthy Monday as that is a new campaign in Singapore.  You should not choose something like Meatless Monday because that terminology implies you are getting less for the same price.

This is where you will keep track of how many students have joined the pledge.  It's a good idea to have at least 5 people sign it before you show it to the whole school publicly.  This is because psychologically a lot of people hesitate to be the first to do something. So get some of your other green team members or the vegetarians of your school to sign first.  You should then create an easy to remember short URL for it so students can easily type it in their browsers.  One website to help you do this is http://bit.ly

Green Monday

Introduce the pledge at an assembly or post on any announcement boards or news streams your school has.  A good first video to include can be this one or this one as they are quite short.  Focus on the idea that any reduction helps.  You might also want to include our spectrum to introduce the idea that they can reduce step by step.

Animal Allies Food Spectrum

Every Sunday, go into the pledge form and take the emails from the people who signed up and create a reminder email that tomorrow is Green Monday.  You have to do this every Sunday because behaviour changes need reminders.  Here is a template you can make a copy of to help create the emails.  Here is one example from a school.

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Change doesn't happen overnight, so you have to keep the conversation going.  Each time there is an assembly and each week in your school's announcements try to have something new for students to learn about why cutting back on meat and dairy (this is best language to use) is good for the environment.  Keep it short to around 2 or 3 minutes, usually with a video and try to incorporate humor. The topics you present on could simply be the same as the reasons listed in the email template in the previous step.  So one week focus on deforestation, another week on overfishing, etc.  Helping people see the message in multiple ways is part of good education and will help them make better decisions.
Make Green Monday fun and community-building!  Once in a while surprise everyone participating by handing out vegan cookies during lunch for free (or something like that).  Host screenings of films like Cowspiracy or talks (you can invite someone from Animal Allies to help, simply fill in this request form.).  Cooking classes, or meeting up for the Veggie Crunch at McDonald's are other possible ideas.  This helps reward positive behavior and the positivity will help more students feel it's something they want to join.  You could also borrow one of our outreach kits or invite us to run one with you.  See our kits at http://AnimalAllies.sg/Action and simply fill in this request form.  
The reality is your canteen probably doesn't have very exciting plant-based dishes...  That is holding some people back from joining, so you have to change that!  People just want delicious food that is healthy - if it's delicious without meat, they will buy it!  So create a survey like this one (you can make a copy of it) and share it with the whole school - even those not yet in your pledge.  Then assemble the results and arrange a meeting with your canteen manager.  This will help them create dishes students actually want.  You might also try running a recipe competition in collaboration with the canteen manager whereby you get student submissions and then get students to vote to see which ones are popular enough for the canteen to justify making.  You can see an example of that kind of survey here.

If your school is a Sodexo school, they are very supportive of the initiative.  Send an email to david.dasari@sodexo.com to seek collaborations with Sodexo on Green Monday.

Green Monday Surve

Continue with the assemblies, weekly emails, creating events and engaging with canteen staff until thee is enough support that you might eventually have a totally plant-based Monday in your school!   If you are leaving your school, make sure there is someone that will take it over the next year.  As new students come into the school every year, it's important to keep the engagement going forever.