The PGC 2020 Finalists excelled in the 10th Annual 30-day global challenge throughout October 2020 — and continued to ideate, develop, adapt and successfully implement Climate Action Projects against a background of unprecedented times in 2021. The brilliant students we have the privilege to work with inspire us to do more for our communities and Earth — living proof of what it means to ‘be the change.’ Read about the massive impact of these 14 young people with projects and changemaker trajectories that have only just begun, ranging from climate literacy to cleanups, community gardens to exploring the outdoors, composting to local ethical biz, educating kids to energy efficiency, pollinators to cafeterias, upcycling to solar, workshops to entire courses. Click on Finalist names below to watch video presentations from the PGC Finals Part 2, learn and be inspired.
Updates on CAPs from November 2020 through April 2021.
Kids for Climate Action empowers kids to make a difference as high school students educate 3rd–5th graders about climate. Weekly Zoom lessons range from games to videos, crafts to discussions on biodiversity, carbon footprint, soil, food waste and more themes inspired by PGC. Student, teacher and parent feedback is strong.
Community Compost implements composting at community gardens to enrich soil and draw down carbon, decreasing food waste and emissions. They organize a growing volunteer base to clear space, chip organic material, set up collection bins with signs, and overcome eco and logistical challenges to build layered piles.
Climate Crew 2020 (Angela Zhu, Lily Li, Kevin Zhu, Naann Shao)
EdEco motivates people of all ages to explore local trails and parks to connect with nature and join the climate action movement. They install signs at parks and trails with QR codes to access infographics, maps, blogs and interactive visual guides on environmental issues, community impact, and indigenous populations.
Elise Gard PGC 2020 Honorable Mention
Elise designed, received approval and led students to construct a 500 square foot garden at her former high school. They created swales and paths, covered ground in compost and built layered beds to capture carbon, forming a strong foundation for ongoing work days, garden planning and permaculture education with experts.
Ethan Bledsoe PGC 2020 Third Place
Climate Kidz is a climate literacy campaign, focusing on mitigation and resilience. They pass legislation around the climate emergency, create youth opportunities in city gov and educate kids on food insecurity via multimedia platforms, advocacy initiatives, and equitable libraries, expanding scale and scope across Indiana
Team Four Leaf Clovers (Wenhao Ren, Hanson Xuan, Chloe Zhang, Ashwin Narayanan)
Project Green Light focuses on cutting energy use for a smaller carbon footprint, replacing outdated lighting fixtures for efficiency, and growing outreach to facilitate community awareness. Sustainable development is the goal, where schools and cities transition purchasing and educational events inspire action for positive impact.
Team Green Gang Colombia (Ivana Flores, Shambhavi Gupta, Mariana Hincapie)
Ecoville builds and disseminates concise, interesting, replicable, widely accessible eco education activities in Colombia. High school students engage in fun, high impact, community-minded activities — each with quotes, facts and resources with strong cultural connection for maximum relevance and interest with target audiences.
Princeton Youth Climate Impact Week invigorates knowledge-sharing, civic participation, and community around the urgent environmental movement among diverse students. They hosted an in-person/virtual 10- day festival with protests, readings, fundraisers, cleanups, more. Student leadership is now planning year 2.
Circular Campus designs out waste and pollution, expanding sustainability education access to divert material from landfill, regenerate natural systems, and support pollinators. Conscious Cafeteria is inspired by Conscious Kitchen and other food programs. A Native Pollinator Garden builds community, educates on biodiversity, and offers an accessible space for students. The funded Hydroponics Herb Garden will soon supply the cafeteria.
Vertical Victory Garden began with research, team-building and design, then material collection, construction and installation. Team members gathered, painted and assembled upcycled bottles atop a pallet, then placed at local Freetown Farm. Ongoing research, data collection and synthesis focus on solutions for an urban world.
Bee Project in Mexico uses a series of webinars, Q&As, documentary screenings and sustainability workshops to underscore the ecological importance of pollinators. Hundreds of students benefit from the knowledge, including indigenous children through meaningful student environmental club-foundation collaboration.
Team Rua Uni Lima (Néstor Villegas A, Milagros RL, Alberto RB, José HG) PGC 2020 Champion
Team Rua Uni implemented the first environmental education course at Peru’s National University of Engineering, building upon and sharing knowledge gained during PGC. The course name “Qumir Hawkay” means Green Habit in the native Quechua. With strategic allies, the leadership team outlined sessions on habits, resources, eating, zero waste, climate action. Sustainable practices, awareness and career connection rose dramatically, while meat consumption dropped, as students learned, achieved, collaborated and shared.
Team SAHS ECC (Addie Foote, Claire Abbott) PGC 2020 Second Place
Team SAHS increases awareness about solar and energy conservation. They distributed 1,250 energy efficiency kits, for estimated savings of 350 mwh and 2 million gallons of water each year. Their first video educated hundreds of students, 96% of whom made formal commitments to reduce usage. After advocating for solar to the superintendent with full cost analysis, they are now in the planning stages for school installation.
Venviro is an eco modification of Universal Basic Income (UBI) that provides students with allowances to spend at local businesses that commit to sustainable practices and eco education, fostering community, food literacy, and sustainability. With a diverse stakeholder group in place, the team is continuing business outreach, fundraising, promotion, participant applications and surveys, before distribution, engagement and monitoring.