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Beyond Waste Leadership Certification


Welcome to the Beyond Waste Leadership Certification! There are many benefits to becoming certified through this program, including becoming a more effective changemaker on your campus and being able to give your projects a boosted level of credibility.

To earn your certification, you must complete all FIVE courses. You can do this by clicking on each course below and watching the associated video recordings, then completing the activities and answering the Reflection Questions that are in your Course Workbook. At the end of each course, you will be able to upload your Course Workbook for the course you just finished, and then you will be able to move along to the next course you wish to complete.

As you move through the program, you may choose to view your progress by clicking on the ‘My Profile’ button below. 

Beyond Waste Leadership Certification FAQ

Question: What is the Beyond Waste Leadership Certification?

Answer: A great question! As stated in the Welcome video, this self-guided certification covers the fundamentals of what students need to know to create lasting change on their campuses. Each course takes up to 2 hours total to complete, and is broken up into a range of 3 to 5 interactive parts, or lessons. To earn the Beyond Waste Leadership Certification, you must watch each lesson’s video recording, as well as complete all activities and reflection checks within each of the Course Workbooks.

Question: Okay, I’m intrigued! What is this Course Workbook you speak of?

Answer: Each course has a corresponding Course Workbook associated with it, which include reflection questions and/or activities to complete as you follow along with the recording. It’s formatted as a Google Slide deck, meaning that you can edit the slides directly and add your answers right from the comfort of your own computer! Don’t worry if this sounds nebulous to you; there’s also a slide of instructions in the deck itself!

Question: Is this a free program?

Answer: Indeed, it is! Well, in the sense that we aren’t charging you anything to become Beyond Waste certified. Courses are available for free to students of member campuses. In fact, if you are reading this, it is likely that YOU are from a member campus!

Question: How do I enroll in this certification program?

Answer: Ta-da, you’ve actually already done it! When you make an account on the website, you are automatically enrolled in the Beyond Waste Leadership Certification program. This means that you can get started right away. Just as a reminder, once you close this page, you can always come back to it by hovering over the links at the top of the site. It goes like this: you’ll click on Campus Resources → Beyond Waste Leadership Certification → View Courses. Once you’re here, you can click the “Click here to get started!” button on the Course that you’d like to, well, get started.

Question: What happens when I become Beyond Waste Leadership certified?

Answer: Not only will you receive the highest kudos from the PLAN team and a printable certificate, but you will also be able to receive a free zero waste gift from one of PLAN’s movement partners! Partners are subject to change every year, but they are always intended to be rad. And, to top it all off, it can’t hurt to add a leadership certification credential to your resume, right!?

Question: How do I find out who the current zero waste gift sponsor is?

Answer: You’ll find this information directly on the program page (linked here, too)! Last year, when we piloted the certification program, our sponsor was Dr. Bronner’s! Have a suggestion for an upcoming sponsor? Let us know via email at!

Question: How can I track my progress?

Answer: Once you finish viewing a lesson recording, your progress bar will automatically populate so you can figure out how far along you are in any given course. After you are done viewing all videos and completing all activities within a course, you will be able to submit your Course Workbook at the bottom of the Course page, where the text reads “Upload Your Course Workbook Here”.

Question: How do I submit my Course Workbook?

Answer: After you have answered all questions and completed any activities in the Course Workbook, you will be able to submit it on that course page. You will see a submission form that will take you to where you can upload your slide deck!

Question: How do I move from one course to another?

Answer: Let’s say you just finished Tools and Tactics for Taking Action, and now you wanna move smoothly along to Building and Sustaining Your Team. You can accomplish this in 2 ways! First, you can click the “go to next course” button at the top. Alternatively, you can go back to the View Courses page and then select the next course you want to open!

Question: Who can I reach out to if I have additional questions or need support?

Answer: If you need anything at all (related to the certification), please don’t hesitate to email the Education and Resource Management Director at! They’ll be able to help you out.

Question: I have some feedback about the program; what should I do?

Answer: Once you finish all 5 courses, you will be able to submit a Post-Certificate Evaluation form, where you can provide your honest feedback about your experience, name drop a new sponsor, and/or include your contact information to be sent your zero waste gift! We like to think about this program as being adaptable to movement needs and plan to act in accordance with that value!

1. Tools and Tactics for Taking Action

It's time to take action on your campus! This 5-lesson course will equip you with the strategies needed to effectively take action on your campus. We will explore how to manage your projects and initiatives through time-lining and budgeting, how to communicate your message to the broader campus via social media and in-person engagement tactics, and how to leverage your student power as a changemaker on your campus.

Click here to get started!

2. Building and Sustaining Your Team

Connect with others to build your ideal team environment! This 4-lesson course will guide you in fostering collective leadership for a strong, welcoming, and anti-oppressive team dynamic. We will discuss team roles and task delegation, running effective meetings, and how to pass on leadership to future student organizers.

Click here to get started!

3. Activating Your Campus Community

Navigate your campus structure with ease! This 3-lesson course will guide you to better understand your campus’s organizational structure and identify what kinds of resources and support that structure has to offer. Understand where you and your group are situated on campus and identify how you can leverage those relationships with an enticing project pitch.

Click here to get started!

4. Social Media for Social Change

Build a social media following, both on-campus and off-campus, with fun and effective marketing! This 3-lesson course will cover the basics of how to design and use graphics specific to your project, as well as tips and tricks to running social media platforms that engage your campus community!

Click here to get started!

5. A Zero Waste Event Is Possible

Any event can be made zero waste! This 3-lesson course will cover the basics of what you need to know about holding a zero waste event on your campus and encouraging more public conversations around waste. This course supports the idea that campuses are places with high potentials for change, which can then reverberate into the larger community.

Click here to get started!