PGC 2023 CAPs

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:

Samintang’s Climate Action Project “Climate Catalysts: Empowering Tomorrow’s Advocate” addresses the absence of Environmental Education and Action for Climate Empowerment for young people (ages 16 -25) in Eastern Indonesia. To tackle this challenge, she provided various activities such as climate curriculum, climate courses, case studies, discussions, campaigns, and climate action initiatives, offering insights and practical approaches to address climate issues at different levels, from grassroots to global paradigms. With three core pillars — Climate Learning, Climate Campaign, and Climate Action, Climate Catalysts is committed to safeguarding the Earth for a greener future.

Shahed Anan Sajeeb
Shahed’s Climate Action Project “Roots of Change” tackles the critical issues of unsustainable agricultural practices, like the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and limited food safety awareness in rural communities in Bangladesh. The country’s National Agriculture Policy revealed that 84% of Bangladesh’s population relies on agriculture directly or indirectly. However, heavy reliance on chemical inputs harms soil, biodiversity, human health, and the environment. Through partnerships with local stakeholders including the Union Parishad and District Agriculture Office, Roots of Change engages in workshops, educational sessions, and community events to teach sustainable agricultural techniques, such as crop rotation and composting. By fostering grassroots engagement and collaboration, the project aims to cultivate a culture of environmental stewardship, leading towards a greener and healthier farming future in Panchagarh.

Sao Mai Jessop Nguyen, Team 50 Shades of Green
Team 50 Shades of Green’s Climate Action Project “Creciendo Raíces” focuses on providing Frida Kahlo Secondary School in the village of Raices with ten blueberry trees, promoting food security through healthier school breakfasts and food literacy through hands-on nutritional education. Situated atop the Xinantecatl volcano, Raices faces extreme temperatures, leading to a heavy reliance on oats and potatoes and exposing the community to significant food insecurity. Recognizing the intersection of climate change and social justice, the team is committed to addressing this issue, understanding that low-income families will disproportionately suffer from the adverse effects of climate change. 

Aiden Son
Aiden’s Climate Action Project “Vermiculture in Action” introduces vermicomposting to his high school through the installation of a vermicomposting bin in the school garden. He oversees weekly maintenance to ensure the well-being of composting worms. Additionally, Aiden conducts experiments with various materials to refine and optimize composting bin construction. His goal is to develop a streamlined process for creating vermicomposting bins, enabling expansion of this initiative to more schools.

Anni Zhao, Team Sustainabuddies
Team Sustainabuddies’ Climate Action Project “Waste Wise” strives to mitigate methane emissions by diverting compostable waste from landfills. To achieve this, they have installed two composting bins in the high school cafeteria, complemented by informative posters and clear labels detailing what can be composted. Students engaged in the project encourage peers to dispose of food waste in these bins. The project aims to spread environmental awareness and inspire participation across the community. 

Azure Kordick
Azure’s Climate Action ProjectEcoFlow” is an educational initiative focused on partnering with schools to cultivate environmental awareness. Driven by a commitment to foster transformative action, particularly in sustainable living and water conservation, EcoFlow employs advocacy and mobilization strategies to broaden its community impact. Through activities like petitions and tabling events, it raises awareness and garners support for environmental causes across the city of Orlando, Florida.

Conrado Guzman Flores, Team Los Aprendices
Team Los Aprendices’ Climate Action Project “Communication Awareness Campaign for the Legal Protection of Bosque de Agua in Mexico City” educates visitors about forest conservation. Bosque de Agua is a temperate subtropical forest that covers 580k acres south and west of Mexico City, the source of 70% of the water consumed by the city’s 22 million inhabitants, and home to endemic wildlife and local indigenous communities. The forest is constantly threatened by urban sprawl, deforestation, wildfires, and pollution. The team’s focus is to use visual materials and training to educate visitors about Bosque de Agua’s importance and conservation. Additionally, Conrado and his team have started a hiking tour company, Péeksaba, to guide tourists while teaching the importance of Leave No Trace principles. 

Daniel Cirimwami
Daniel’s Climate Action Project “Trash to Pavers” protects aquatic species in Lake Kivu by collecting plastic waste along the shoreline of this critically important resource in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Initially, the plastic bottles Daniel’s team gathered were repurposed into garbage cans. His team has since expanded significantly, growing from 15 to 62 members who have organized conferences and awareness campaigns. This has resulted in a substantial increase in weekly collection, which now ranges from 45 to 70 bags each containing 60 kg of plastic waste. Daniel’s team is transforming collected plastic waste into eco-friendly paving stones.

Manfred Lim, Team Path to 2030
Team Path to 2030’s Climate Action Project “Soul Seeds” is focused on the values of biodiversity, sustainability and the impact of changing mindsets through environmental research. By housing and fostering native plants in the school greenhouse, this initiative serves as a subject for experimentation and data analysis. The team cultivated native plants, monitored pH for soil health, and tested water uptake. Team Path to 2030 aims to create a feasible study and explore the potential for native plants to thrive in a school garden. 

Shawn Stolting
Shawn’s Climate Action Project “Empowering Maroon Communities by Harnessing Whirlpool Turbines for Sustainable Electricity Access” aims to empower Maroon communities in his home country of Suriname by implementing Whirlpool Turbines. Shawn chose to focus on Maroon  communities because they face challenges such as restricted economic opportunities, educational barriers, healthcare gaps, diminished quality of life, environmental concerns, and inadequate electricity access. Shawn’s goals include providing the village of Gansee with 24/7 electricity through green energy and making the village CO2-free by eliminating the need for gasoline-powered generators.