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Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

Sarah Hogeveen is Manager of Communications, Let’s Talk Science

Was it a hot and humid summer where you live? Did you have any big storms or extreme weather warnings in your neighbourhood this year? Climate change is becoming more and more apparent and the impacts are taking their toll on the environment and our communities.

Increasing the global temperature by a few degrees may not seem like that big of a deal, especially if you live in a relatively cold country like Canada. But, think about how you feel when you have a fever - your regular body temperature is on average around 36°C, a fever is anywhere between 37.5 and 38 °C. Raising your body temperature by only a couple of degrees can have a direct impact on how you feel. Like our bodies, Earth is a series of intertwined systems and the rising global temperatures affect us all.

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The impacts of climate change are complex and different in every region. In some places, higher temperatures could lead to more droughts and forest fires. Rising temperatures could also increase the amount of water that evaporates, which could lead to more frequent and intense storms. Climate change could continue to lead to melting arctic ice and glaciers, warming oceans, and rising sea levels. These changes all impact people, plants, and animals on Earth.

Breaking it Down for Youth to Understand

Learning about climate change can feel overwhelming since there is so much information out there. By focusing on one topic like clothing, Let’s Talk Science offers youth an engaging and empowering entry point to learn about this global problem.

Educators, parents and caregivers all play important roles in engaging youth with the facts and information surrounding the climate crisis. The importance of helping them develop the skills necessary to deal with the issue cannot be understated.

Youth who understand climate science will understand the causes and effects of climate change more easily and may be more likely to take individual action to reduce their own impact and make positive changes in their home and even in their community.

Everyone wears clothes, no matter their socioeconomic background, age, or culture. Learning about environmental issues through the lens of clothing also allows for a celebration of student identity and self-expression.

Citizen Science Project - Clothing4Climate

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Did you know the fashion industry is responsible for approximately 10 per cent of annual global carbon emissions? And by 2030 fashion-related emissions are expected to grow by more than 50 per cent. The clothing industry impacts everything from our water and soil to a variety of ecosystems.

Let’s Talk Science recently launched a free national climate science initiative called Clothing4Climate. This project will help youth develop a fundamental understanding of climate science, encourage them to explore the environmental impacts of clothing, and take action through meaningful and sustainable clothing choices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Toronto-based education organization Fashion Takes Action is also supporting the Clothing4Climate project by providing access to industry experts and information.

This project takes an action-oriented approach to learning, which is relevant, powerful and engaging - teaching youth how to ask meaningful questions, use scientific approaches to gather data and make changes based on evidence.

Through Climate4Clothing, students learn how to make educated, sustainable decisions. Learning how small actions at scale can make a difference. By participating in this project, students across Canada connect to drive systemic change.

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