Environmental Justice Resources 


“Environmental Justice (EJ) is based on the principle that all people have a right to be protected from environmental hazards and to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment. EJ is the equal protection and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies and the equitable distribution of environmental benefits.” (Mass.gov).  THE GREEN TEAM compiled the following list of videos, reading materials, and lesson plans regarding environmental justice. The aim of this list is to help educators incorporate EJ into their curriculum and introduce students to the topic of environmental justice and empower them to act.


Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical School students stand in front of their rain and butterfly garden.

Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical School in New Bedford used THE GREEN TEAM prize they won last year (a garden center gift card) to enhance their rain and butterfly garden with a diverse array of indigenous plants. They also purchased peat moss and perlite to add to their school-made compost, and seeds to germinate for their annual plant sale. Proceeds from the plant sale help fund student environmental projects and green career licensure exams.


Grist: YouTube video introducing environmental justice at the city, regional, and global levels. 

EcoKnowMore: YouTube video defining the environmental justice movement, including the Flint, MI water crisis as an example and a hopeful call to action.  

Zinn Education Project: Offers a list of films regarding climate justice, which can be filtered by grade level. Check out “Word Have Power” to see how a student in Connecticut rallied her community together to make a change. 

Sinking Cities: Offers videos and support materials on how climate change is affecting the desirability of different neighborhoods and impacting diverse communities in both Miami and New York City. 

Freedom to Breathe: A series on climate change and the racial, social, and economic challenges.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers a variety of resources related to environmental justice. 

Four students in green t-shirts smile behind of a pile of brush, cleaned up from the local park.

On Earth Day, students from Arlington Middle School and Robert Frost Middle School in Lawrence participated in cleaning up a city park as part of Groundwork Lawrence and Comcast Cares Day.

Lesson Plans and Curricula

We Act: Offers two mini-lesson modules on environmental justice and environmental health. Each module has its own video, PowerPoint, and worksheet. Grades 4-12. 

Earth Echo: Collection of environmental justice-focused videos, lesson plans, and other materials related to the environment. Grades 6-12.  

InTeGrate: Offers an intro into environmental justice lesson plan. Grades 6-12. 

Subject to Climate: Website offering a variety of lesson plans related to climate change. 

  • Green Spaces:  A six-part unit discussing green space, environmental justice, and activism. Grades 3-5. 
  • Youth Climate Action:  A lesson plan about what young people are doing to address climate change. Grades 9-12. 
  • Air Quality: A five-part unit discussing air quality. Grades 3-5. 
  • Cities, Trees & Inequality:  A lesson plan on the distribution and density of trees in urban areas and how that relates to environmental justice.  Grades 6-8. 
  • Redlining & Environmental Racism: A lesson plan that connects redlining with current issues of environmental and racial justice.  Grades 6-8. 
  • Wangari Maathai & Deforestation: A lesson plan that introduces African environmentalist Wangari Maathai and links deforestation with the concepts of governance, poverty, and income opportunities for women in Kenya.  Grades 6-8. 
  • A Look at Cancer Alley, Louisiana:  A lesson plan where students explore an interactive map, learn about Cancer Alley and take concrete action to address environmental injustice. Grades 6-8. 
  • How Does Air Pollution Affect People Differently?: A lesson plan on findings that show people of color are exposed to more pollution from almost every type of pollution source and highlights the racial inequities associated particularly with air pollution. Grades 6-10. 

EcoRise:  Offers intro to environmental justice lessons for elementary, middle, and high school students. Grades K-12. 

GroundWork USA: Offers Environmental Justice Literacy Curriculum. Grades 6-12. 

A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: A book, for purchase, teaching climate change and the environmental crisis. Grades 6-12.  

Mayah’s Lot: A graphic novel about environmental justice. Grades 6-12. 

Climate Reality Project: An article that introduces students to the concept of climate migrants and refugees as an indirect effect of climate change. Grades 6-12. 

Climate Reality Project: An article that details the communities that are disproportionately impacted by greenhouse gas pollution and climate change: frontline communities, and fence line communities. Grades 6-12. 

Educators 4 Social Change: Offers resources on climate justice and international climate policy, such as lesson plans, articles, and informational sites. Grades 6-12. 

Our Climate Our Future Resources: Offers activities, lesson plans, and webinars regarding environmental justice and climate litigation. Grades 6-12. 

Project Learning Tree: Offers environmental justice resources and activities including community case studies and materials written in Spanish. Grades 6-8. 

e-Inc Action: Resources to develop a scientific understanding of biomes and Earth systems to build skills for protecting the environment and living sustainably. Grades K-12.

Three students sit, smiling at a desk with papers and microphones in front of them and a colorful backdrop. One student gives a thumbs up.

Since 2016, Thompson students have been using art, editorials, and environmental action to speak out about the harms of plastic and Styrofoam pollution.

Massachusetts-Specific Resources

Climate change education in Massachusetts Schools: A WBUR news article and audio recording on incorporating environmental education into Massachusetts’ schools. 

Spring Forward: Youth-led initiative based in MA to educate students about climate justice and action. Grades 1-8. 

Change is simple: An environmental educational non-profit that brings modern, relevant climate education to elementary schools in greater Boston.  

Science for the People: The Western MA Chapter offered a two-part workshop in 2019 on integrating science and social justice workshops for K-8 educators and materials are available to access online. 

Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library: Offers professional development workshops for K-12 educators.