Teens Turning Green Blog

PGC 2014 Finalists

Congratulations to all of our Project Green Challenge 2014 finalists!

We are thrilled to have announced which of the many outstanding participants will be invited to join us in San Francisco later this month and enjoy the chance to win our grand prize.

The content of these young adults’ responses have been remarkably profound, exciting and clearly transformative.

Here is what they had to say during the final challenge after 30 days of becoming informed and conscious activists:

“The social media aspect of Project Green Challenge was one of my favorite aspects of PGC. By posting on social media almost every day, I kept my friends and family in the know about what I had been doing, resulting in them learning about sustainability through me. The social media aspect allowed me to teach others what I had learned; without it, my Project Green Challenge experience would have been mine alone. I got a lot of feedback on most of the things I posted, and by the end my mom would ask me what I had done for PGC each day if I hadn’t posted yet. I liked the feeling of empowerment I felt when my Facebook friends commented saying they signed the “Ban the Bead” petition after learning what was in their cosmetics or shared the petition I started for Day 24: Ripple on their own timelines.”

– Charles Cevallos, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

“I came into Project green as an ignorant, vegetarian, “greenie” and I leave it a well-educated, inspired, active green world citizen. At the beginning of project green I couldn’t have told you that hemp could be used to make tens of thousands of different products or that my shampoo was laced with carcinogens and neurotoxins. I learned valuable lessons on ways to cook organic meals affordably, how to make a sustainable garden at home, the importance of using homemade natural cleaners and how to make them, and so much more.”
– Sarah Dolce, A.W. Dreyfoos School for the Arts, West Palm Beach, FL

“Many of the challenges have inspired or helped me develop a more comprehensive plan for action in my home and school. I’m extremely excited to bringing more sustainable dining to the campus. Reflecting on all the things I learned from PGC, I had the courage and motivation to go up to my foods director and talk to her about my ideas. Now, we’re collaborating on forming a garden on campus (yay!)”

– Jenny Fang, San Leandro High School, San Leandro, CA

“The theme that I most enjoyed during the course of the challenges had to be the topic on Fair Trade. As a Resident Advisor (RA) for University Housing, I’m all about social justice and sharing my knowledge about global issues with others. This challenge stuck the nail right on the head! People don’t really think about the workers when they are buying a product. Sure, consumers may be concerned with the health benefits of these products, but it’s unfair that the workers are underrepresented in this exchange.”
Megan Anne Glowacz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

“I started out knowing the basics: recycling is good, buying organic and non-GMO are good, composting is good and I did some of those things before this October. I call myself an environmentalist and a tree hugger, but I don’t really think I knew what those labels entailed. But Project Green Challenge filled in the gaps in my knowledge and pushed and inspired me to confidently become that tree hugger that environmentalist.”

-Jessica Hespen, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

“I first started PGC knowing a lot of technical things about today’s environmental issues — hydrology mass-balance equations, air pollutant transport, and so forth, but I didn’t have a big grasp of the social implications of human abuse of the environment. Now, after a month of researching these issues and taking part in environmental change in my community through PGC, I can consider myself an environmental activist with a thorough understanding of many aspects of sustainability-related issues.”

– Emi LaFountain, Rice University, Houston, TX

“I have completely changed my life from conventional to conscious. I’m transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle and that is perhaps the biggest change I’ve made on this journey. I have also drastically cut down on the amount of meat and processed foods I eat. I have always been an animal lover and I am hoping to eventually go vegan. Animal agriculture is a huge contributor to climate change and social injustice so if I can be a part of stopping that, I want to be. I now shop at the farmers market twice a week to buy local and support local farmers. Supporting local business is something I’m really passionate about because I believe everyone should support the community they live in and help it to thrive as much as possible.”
– Catherine Merritt, Virginia Polytechnic University, Blacksburg, VA

“I knew that human lifestyles, specifically lifestyles in the developed world, were negatively impacting the global environment. However, what I didn’t realize before Project Green Challenge was the full extent to which our lifestyles, including mine, were harming the earth. PGC helped me realize ways that I was unsustainable in areas of my life I never would have thought would impact the environment.”
– Kate Oetheimer, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

“I changed how I consume, and I am now more aware of the impact of each of my actions. The Challenge that had the biggest impact on me was “Body”, because the Skin
Deep application showed me how effortless it can be to incorporate green choices into our lives. I can now make the better decision, and teach others how to do the same. Because I firmly believe that making involvement easy and convenient is the key to gaining support for our moment, and that technology should be used to benefit humanity, I want to change the world by taking the principle behind Skin Deep, and applying it to other world issues, such as energy consumption, resource use, and hidden costs. By using technology to help people actually see how each of their actions affects the world as a whole, and how easy it would be to change those actions, they would have no choice but to live the greener life.”
– Team Groot, Davy Ragland, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Kamuela, HI

“I learned about a whole new lifestyle that can bring many benefits to my life and to the environment. I learned that it is really important to live side by side with the environment and that many people without being aware of it, harm themselves terribly. I learned that a simple act can have many risks,. For example eating meat greatly increases the CO2 emissions in the world, it also causes great torture to animals and contains many chemicals that can be really harmful to our health.”
– Juliana Rueda, The Newman School, Bogota, Colombia

“PGC showed us that there are many small steps that we could take by ourselves to make this world a better place to live in as it is said “Many a little makes a mickle”! The challenges given to us were like an eye opener for us and helped us find new ways to protect our environment! We will remember all the lessons which we had learnt from PGC 2014 and will continue incorporating them in our daily lives as we are doing now!”

Team Asparagurls, Sakshee Saxena, UIT RGPV, Bhopal, India

“PGC has given me immense motivation and sense of empowerment. I can’t wait to continue making my life greener over time and taking more and more steps towards a sustainable, low waste lifestyle. I switched my major to Environmental Studies (focus either in Sustainable Development or Environmental Sociology) and I look forward to pursuing environmental activism in my future career. I hope to change the world through leading by example; educating others on how to live sustainably, healthily, and happily; and hopefully inspiring others to make green change for the sake of themselves and mother nature. It would be my dream to become a wellness and sustainability coach and teach others to lead green, healthy lives.”

– Danielle Schoen, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

“Something I loved about PGC was that you presented subjects and problematics, and always gave us the better alternative, the possible solutions, and a great amount of things we could do to improve the global situation and encouraged us to do them in such a positive way! Also, you emphasized a lot on our capacity and our power as young people. You motivated us to create projects and to act to
make an impact on a big scale. The fact that there’s no one doing what I want to do, shouldn’t stop or limit me, on the contrary, it should encourage me to create it and in fact, makes more room for creativity.”
– Team Juli-anas, Ana Zabala, Colegio Rochester, Bogota, Colombia
This entry was published on November 4, 2014 at 10:32 pm and is filed under Inspiration, Live, People + Places. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “PGC 2014 Finalists

  1. Congrats to everyone!

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