Teens Turning Green Blog

Sign up for #PGC2015 + #Soar

This post was written by guest blogger, Alice Beittel, a Turning Green Student Advisory Board member and a PGC Ambassador. She is just starting UC Davis as a freshman studying Environmental Science and Management.


In elementary school I learned the hiker’s number one rule: leave everything better than you found it.

My small hands would carefully reach into the dusty soil of Lake Chabot Regional Park to remove a candy bar wrapper from the home of so many birds and trees. My young mind grasped onto an obligation to respect something so powerful, so immense, and so generous. While I never questioned this standard and accepted it as a fundamental principle, I had tunnel vision and saw nature separate from the way I live.

gardenalice

Then, in 2013, this epiphany called Project Green Challenge (PGC) happened to me. It seized my value of reverence for nature, shook it up, spun it around, and blasted it into every partof my daily life. I found myself in violation of the earth’s well-being in the food I ate, the clothing I wore, and the products I put in, on, and around my body. Throughout the month of October, I became immersed with how to truly live a sustainable lifestyle, to understand the impacts of things like plastic micro beads invading our oceans, toxic e-waste disposal in developing countries, the devastating effects of industrial farming on our soil, on and on. A passion I never knew existed propelled me through the month to do everything possible to spread awareness and mobilize change. My team and I made presentations to faculty and staff, at club gatherings, we sent out school wide videos, called government officials, and made so many posters that our markers ran out of ink. Amidst the excitement, my thinking began to shift. Shifting from looking at a jug of milk as…well…a jug of milk to its impacts – fracking, contaminated water, plastics in oceans, and cows pumped with antibiotics and growth hormones. Not the image of a world that was intentional and thoughtful about people and planet. PGC gave me resources to become informed, educate my friends and family, and to use to affect tangible positive change.

PGC awakened a sleeping giant within me and told it to dream and do, for where there is a will there is a way.

This giant will never go back to sleep. I cannot, and will not, stand by and watch the abuse, scorching, exploitation, and disrespect of the home of birds and trees continue. Ultimately, Turning Green has taught me that I don’t need to wait until I have a college degree or a spot in Congress to make a difference in this world. I WILL start now.

AliceGGBA funny thing happens when you follow your passion. As soon as I started reaching out to students, faculty, and staff, I found many people who believed in a more sustainable future for our school, our world and our planet. Early junior year, a group of friends and I talked about how amazing it would be to have solar panels that doubled as sun protectors on our boiling classroom building. Today, what we deemed as a far-fetched idea, is a reality. Who knew that a small group of students with a daydream could be the final push for a more sustainable campus? Looking back, so many people had a hand in the project. It underscores the existence of a massive force of positive change that is assembling across the globe. We see it grow every year during Project Green Challenge amongst my high school and college peers around the world and we are unstoppable.   

Project Green Challenge is not just a 30 day eco-lifestyle challenge – it is your call to action. This world needs a paradigm shift and that will only happen if the people who live on its soil realize that we are the force for change. If you are passionate about design, math, teaching, art, science, public health, engineering, medicine, history, theater, literature, religion, international relations, or literally anything else, you are the drivers of the future and the time is now to speak up for justice. 

Alice Walker, my namesake, puts it simply, “Activism is my rent for living on this planet”. This planet is our home.  As young people, we need to raise our voices far and wide. Let’s “dream and do” like never before. It’s up to us! PLEASE JOIN WITH THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS AND SIGN UP FOR PGC 2015 HERE. You will be part of the change! 

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This entry was published on September 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm and is filed under Wear. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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