Students #ChangeTheWorld in 30 Days
Turning Green’s, Project Green Challenge (PGC) initiative mobilizes thousands of high school and college students worldwide each year to transition their lifestyles, practices and mindsets from conventional to conscious through simple and impactful daily actions.
Celebrating its fifth year, this 30-day eco-lifestyle initiative runs through the month of October to empower students to actively change their worldview. PGC incentivizes participants with a grand prize package valued at more than $12,000, including the Acure Green Award for $5,000, $1000 gift card to Whole Foods Market and other eco-fabulous opportunities. You can sign up here.
Since its start in 2011, PGC has actively engaged 20,000+ students representing more than 1400 campuses, in 50 states and 45 countries (with a social media reach of 31.5 million). Hosted by Bay Area-based non-profit Turning Green, PGC asks students to complete challenges every day in October focused on sustainability-related themes from food to fashion, zero waste to fair trade and body to economics. Over the course of 30 days, participants share responses, experiences and deliverables on the PGC digital platform and Turning Green’s social platforms to acquire points and compete for daily prize packages awarded to 20 outstanding submissions.
“Once I became aware of the impact my lifestyle was having on the planet, there was no going back,” said Megan Fuerst, a junior at Ohio State University and president of the Turning Green student advisory board. “PGC taught me that change is not only possible, but crucial. I realized that as a student, consumer, voter and global citizen, I had more power than I ever thought possible. I began to use my voice and my dollars to create a world that could thrive in a socially and environmentally just manner.”
Fuerst had this to say about the challenge:
Thirty days was all it took to change my life forever. In 2013, I was one of the thousands of students who participated in Project Green Challenge. In one month, I transformed from an average American consumer to a conscious, engaged and active leader. It was the most eye-opening experience of my life, and I believe that if every student in the world participated in PGC, we could heal the planet tomorrow.
Like most young adults, I felt lost and overwhelmed from the pressure of choosing a career path at age 18. PGC was the first step towards finding my passion, and is truly unique because it relates to all of our daily lives. PGC offers opportunities to learn about a wide variety of topics in a simple and straightforward way. No matter who you are or where you live, PGC is relevant, because sustaining a healthy planet for future generations is the responsibility of each of us as global citizens.
Whether you are a freshman in high school or a senior in college, you will learn something new every day. Participants are challenged to calculate their water and carbon footprints, research harmful ingredients hidden in conventional products, really think about the food we consume and so much more. Once I became aware of the way my lifestyle was impacting the planet, there was no going back. What had started as a fun challenge in hopes of making it to San Francisco for the PGC Finals, turned into a life mission to heal the planet.
As I continued on my PGC journey, I realized that change is not only possible, but also vital. I learned that as a student, consumer, and voter, I had more power than I ever thought possible. This is not taught in a typical course curriculum. Turning Green provided the mentorship and tools necessary for me to start being the change I wished to see in the world.
The introductions to each topic gives participants enough information to become truly informed, and the challenges that follow help mobilize students around the issues they learn about. It really is the full package; information followed by a call to action, providing solutions for each problem presented. PGC’s success can also be attributed in part to the amazing prize packages that are given out daily to incentivize students and award outstanding submissions. Participants can win anything from non-GMO food to hemp clothing and organic bedding to yoga mats. All prizes are donated by Turning Green’s partners, who are leading the corporate realm of sustainability with their ethical and ecofriendly products. There is no other program in the world that has the capacity to inform, inspire and mobilize students as quickly as PGC.
The challenge culminates with the PGC Challenge Finals. Up to16 finalists are selected from the global pool to attend the three-day eco-summit in San Francisco where they collaborate with esteemed environmental leaders, develop strong platforms for social action and present their 30-day PGC experiences to a panel of judges. One finalist will be selected as the PGC 2015 Champion and receive a grand prize package to jumpstart their transition from conventional to conscious.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
In a dramatic rescue captured on camera, a Florida man ran into a pond and pried open an alligator's mouth in order to rescue his beloved puppy, all without dropping his cigar.
- 'He had green eyes': Florida man will paint alligator that attacked him ›
- Florida alligator attack: A woman was attacked by a 10-foot alligator ... ›
- Weird presidential pets include alligator, tiger cub, dog named Satan ... ›
- Alligators make terrible pets: 'You're basically dealing with a dinosaur.' ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
- Coronavirus Plastic Waste Polluting the Environment - EcoWatch ›
- Scuba Divers Make Face Masks out of Recycled Ocean Plastic ... ›
By Bret Wilkins
In a year in which the United States has already suffered 16 climate-driven extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic damages, and as millions of American workers face loss of essential unemployment benefits due to congressional inaction, a report published Monday reveals the Trump administration has given fossil fuel companies as much as $15.2 billion in direct relief — and tens of billions more indirectly — through federal COVID-19 recovery programs since March.
- 'We Need People's Bailout, Not Polluters' Bailout': Climate Groups ... ›
- Corporate Polluters Have Received Tens of Millions in PPP Loans ... ›
- Trump Bails Out Oil Industry, Not U.S. Families, as Coronavirus ... ›
- Former Federal Reserve Governor Rebukes Fed for Fossil Fuel Bail ... ›
By Ashia Aubourg
As Thanksgiving approaches, some Indigenous organizations and activists caution against perpetuating further injustices towards Native communities. Indigenous activist Mariah Gladstone, for example, encourages eaters to celebrate the harvest time in ways that do not involve stereotypes and pilgrim stories.
- Why Face Masks Belong at Your Thanksgiving Gathering + 7 Things ... ›
- Reasons to Be Thankful — 8 Food and Farm 'Good News' Stories ... ›
- Why I'm Going to Standing Rock for Thanksgiving - EcoWatch ›
By Alex Middleton
Losing weight and reducing fat is a hard battle to fight. Thankfully, there are fat burner supplements that help you gain your target body and goal. However, how would you know which supplement is right for you?