Ilana Zeitzer

Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

What five words best describe your PGC experience?

Inspiring, Mobilizing, Engaging, Educational, reflective

What was most memorable from your PGC experience?

One of the most memorable events for me during this challenge was when I hosted a showing of Time to Choose. I invited my friends, members of the Tree Club, and the Eco-reps. The day came for the showing and the crowd was smaller than I had hoped. But the small group ended up being great because it allowed for a very involved discussion. We discussed the PGC, our eco-heroes, city layout and its impacts on emissions, experiences around the world, and how different places recycle, take care of food waste, and bike. We also discussed change we want to see on campus and in our country and each chose a change for ourselves. Espoir is carrying her trash for a week, Paige and I are reading labels for palm oil, Nastia is using a reusable straw, and more.

What have you learned about yourself over the past 30 days?

It’s amazing how discovering the world helps you discover yourself. I began the challenge knowing I was going to learn about the environment and various issues, I did not realize how much I would learn about me. I slowly started to step out of my comfort zone. I talked to people I barely knew, posted on Facebook, I have lead discussion, organized events and done some strange things for these challenges. While I had been working towards this I believe I progressed more in the past month than the past year. I have learned I can speak out when I am passionate, and I can be heard. I can be an eco-hero just like I dreamed long ago in fifth grade.

I have also learned so much about my habits. I never would have thought my lifestyle used over a thousand gallons of water, or that some of my favorite snacks are causing deforestation. I have learned about areas in my lifestyle that I need to improve upon. I have also learned change is not as hard as it seems. I have switched out health products with scores of F and D for ones that score A on think dirty and I feel better than before. Food changes are not as hard as they seem, often some great alternatives are easy to make and find and eating vegan meals a few times a week is not a problem at all!