PGC Finalists conceive, develop, and implement innovative, feasible, high-impact Climate Action Projects across a variety of themes, in partnership with Turning Green, mentors, ambassadors, teams, friends, advisors, teachers, administrators, and community members. CAPs take a solutions-based approach to a real world challenge on campuses and in communities. Following five months of hard work (between the November PGC Finals and the April CAP presentations), students present before a panel of judges on the measurable impact of completed CAPs, as well as what comes next on their activism journeys. Here are the PGC 2023 Finalists’ Climate Action Projects:
Aftab Hekmat Shoar
To promote sustainable transportation in my community, I aim to raise awareness about the environmental impact of traditional modes of transportation, such as cars, and encourage individuals to adopt more sustainable alternatives, such as walking, biking, or using public transportation. To achieve this, I plan to organize educational campaigns and workshops to inform community members about the benefits of sustainable transportation and provide them with resources and tips on how to incorporate it into their daily lives. Through these efforts, I hope to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, and create a more sustainable and livable community.
The “Palo Alto Sustainable Composting Initiative” seeks to address the critical environmental issues of waste reduction, community engagement, and sustainability in Palo Alto, California. The project’s primary objective is to construct and donate high-quality wooden compost bins to schools, communities, and households lacking compost access, promoting organic waste diversion and reducing landfill waste. The desired outcomes include the construction and distribution of 15 compost bins, five educational workshops, a pamphlet, and increased community engagement in composting.
The goals of this CAP include collecting plastic waste for recycling, protecting water and contributing to the sanitation and economy of young students, and promoting the consumption of local products by planting fruit trees and vegetable gardens on the university campus.
Climate Catalysts: Empowering Tomorrow’s Advocates – Cohort 1 is a dedicated initiative aimed at enhancing environmental literacy and empowering the intellectual growth of young people in Makassar, South Sulawesi. This initiative aims to create a transformative educational experience for 30 Hasanuddin University students. The project’s objective is to equip these students with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to become effective climate advocates and leaders. This sustainable approach ensures that the knowledge acquired by participants is applied effectively within their local communities, contributing to ongoing climate action efforts.
My Climate Action Project aims to combat food waste and waste in general in my school. Thousands of cardboard lunch trays are thrown out every day that could be recycled, tons of food are thrown away every day and students go home to starve. Food insecurity is ever-abundant.
Md.Shahed Anan Sajeeb
My Climate Action Project focuses on transforming conventional farming practices in my community towards sustainable and eco-friendly methods. Currently, farmers heavily rely on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, depleting soil health and harming water and the environment. My goal is to introduce and promote eco-farming practices that are both cost-effective and environmentally conscious. The project involves conducting workshops and training sessions to educate local farmers and students about the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and the benefits of organic farming. Through educational initiatives targeting both current farmers and future generations, the project envisions a community that values and practices eco-friendly farming for the well-being of the soil, the environment, and the overall health of the community.
Cool Suriname: Empowering Communities with Affordable Green Energy addresses the rising electricity costs in Suriname by installing solar panels and developing cost-effective DC-to-AC transformers. This project seeks to provide local communities with access to affordable green energy, allowing them to use high-energy devices like air conditioners without worrying about their electricity bills. The project also includes advocacy, education, and collaboration with stakeholders to create a sustainable, replicable model for a more environmentally friendly and economically stable future in Suriname. This project should also act as the motivator for Suriname to bring more innovation into Suriname when it comes to E-solutions.
Sao Mai Tara Jessop Nguyen, Team 50 Shades of Green
Project “Creciendo Raices” (growing roots) supports the secondary school “Frida Kahlo”. This initiative aims to provide essential resources to the school and the broader community. By providing the school, which often does not have access to running water, with a rainwater capture and filtration system, we hope to create the multiplier effect so that the community as a whole may benefit. As well as water, the school does not have constant, reliable access to food (food insecurity), an issue identified in many households in the village. Thus, through the use of grants and donations, we seek to partner with the iCare Foundation to create these “huertos” (greenhouses) that can grow food even in the chilly winter (as Raices is one of the highest towns in Mexico). On a smaller, and yet just as impactful scale, we will hold book donations, potential instrument donations, and donations for cutlery and dishes for the Frida Kahlo’s school’s cafeteria. Through these collaborative and pragmatic measures, we aim to empower the Raices community and provide students with a foundation for a better, sustainable future.
Yash Joshi, Team Flauna Coenose
Our climate action project prioritizes marginalized communities disproportionately affected by environmental issues. Ensure access to clean air, water, and green spaces for all, regardless of their socio-economic status. Our Project Green Horizon revolutionize the way we approach climate action. Through innovative solutions, compelling narratives, and strong partnerships, we’ll kindle a movement that will redefine our relationship with the environment. Success means cleaner air, greener energy, and a vibrant world for generations to come. The project is a symphony of action and inspiration, where each note resonates with hope for a healthier, greener, and just world.
Conrado Manuel Guzman Flores, Team Los Aprendices
Bosque de Agua is a Natural Area that surrounds the Greater Mexico City Area home to 22 million people. Bosque de Agua supplies 40% of the water that Mexico City consumes but is under threat by illegal logging and land use change for urban development. There are segregated natural protected areas at the federal and state level, but these are not enough to fully protect the whole integrity and extension of Bosque de Agua. My Climate Action Project is a communications campaign directed at the thousands of visitors it receives every weekend to spread awareness about the importance and relevance Bosque de Agua has on their livelihoods. This campaign is intended to be aligned with local inhabitants in the Ejidatario communities, academia, NGOs, and hiking groups through a joint effort of massive amplification of the message through social media, on site events and information. Also evaluating visitor perceptions and if the message reaches politicians and policy makers to finally protect Bosque de Agua.
Manfred Lim, Team Path to 2023
The Tallgrass Project is an innovative environmental initiative aimed at transforming the school grounds into a thriving ecosystem by planting native tallgrass. With active engagement from students, teachers, and the local community, the project seeks to foster environmental stewardship, educational enrichment, and community collaboration. Through careful planning and stakeholder involvement, the project aims to create a sustainable framework for the long-term maintenance and expansion of the tallgrass habitats, ensuring a lasting positive impact on the school environment and inspiring a culture of environmental responsibility for future generations.
Anni Zhao, Team Sustainabuddies
Our Climate Action Project revolves around waste reduction, waste diversion, and educating the public on sustainable waste management, with a focus in urban and suburban areas. Targeting different communities across the world, we hope to call forth sustainable waste facilities, local communities that specialize in environmental campaigns, and governments/policy makers in order to continue climate change advocacy through sustainability. The combined effort will target waste reduction and diversion, seeing both the statistical decrease in the amount of waste processed and the amount of waste being landfilled or unsustainably processed. Our initial goal in five months is to see a roughly 10% decrease in the overall waste generated in the designated community that this project will be launched in. Finally, in order to ensure that this project is continued after the implementation period, our plan includes developing a “revise and re-implement” procedure to ensure the continuation of our project beyond the initial five months. This includes evaluating the obstacles the target community is facing, and addressing those unique challenges in order for the plan to adapt better to each different community.
Azure Kordick, Team VeggieRex
My Climate Action Project is a comprehensive initiative aimed at reducing plastic waste, particularly plastic water bottle consumption, and promoting water conservation in my community, Orlando, Florida. This project is grounded in the belief that collective and strategic action is essential for a healthy and just future for our city. The primary mechanisms of change for this project include advocacy and policy initiatives, education and outreach, innovation and creative tools, and collaboration. Through advocacy, I will engage with local policymakers to promote policies supporting water conservation and plastic reduction. Education and outreach efforts will involve creating tailored materials, organizing workshops, and engaging the community through digital campaigns.
Brianna Akuamoah-Boateng, Team Water Buffalos
Revitalizing the greenhouse on campus to become a part of our program to teach kids about the intersections of agriculture and the environment.