Markham enlists social media to get green

The Quest for the Best Markham Challenge uses Facebook and YouTube to involve students in environmental issues.

The Town of Markham worked with Toronto-based Delvinia to design and develop its Green Print website and the digital Quest for the Best Markham Challenge (part of the Green Print project), which invites youth ages 11 to 18 to provide feedback on environmental sustainability.

To educate and gain input from youth on Markham’s strategy to build a sustainable community, a writing contest has students submitting their ideas and opinions about green plans by Dec. 12, while the weekly photo contest has students taking snapshots with environmental themes. Also, Delvinia designed a web solution to gain primary research using polling.

Stemming from the understanding that young people are frequent users of online media, Green Print is reaching students using social media such as YouTube and a Facebook group called Markham’s Green Print. Since its launch on Oct. 25, the Facebook group has gained over 150 members.

Also to generate awareness on the project, the Mayor’s Youth Task Force is encouraging students to participate in the Green it Forward initiative, which uses pass-along printed cards with messages asking them to pick up trash or wash dishes by hand.

Delvinia’s past work with the Town of Markham includes creating an online voting system in 2003, which was used again in 2006.