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Friday, April 12, 2024

Thirty-day Green Challenge comes to Davis

The Teens Turn Green organization is asking UC Davis students to step up to the challenge of participating in a green lifestyle competition through the Project Green Challenge, a comprehensive program designed to promote environmental consciousness.

“We are on a mission to change the world, to prove that apathy is out and to empower young people to be the change we wish to see in the world,” said Erin Schrode, co-founder and project director in an e-mail interview.

The challenge, which started Oct. 1 and will run until Oct. 30, asks participants each day to complete an activity at one of three levels of green living, selecting either “go for green,” “greener” or “greenest.” Based both on the level students choose and the quality of work they provide, students can gain points in hopes of being one of the 10 finalists who will participate in a two day education summit in San Francisco called “Green University.”

“The main goal is to change the world at the hand of youth and student leadership and really our challenge is to know that simple changes in their everyday lives can move the world,” said Judi Shils, director and co-founder of Teens Turning Green.

Through students designated as leaders on each participating campus, schools will be able to band together on projects to greater impact their movements. The 30-day challenge hopes to promote such connections, so that students are more involved in actual change for their communities.

“If you make one or two changes on your campus it’s good, but if a few hundred campuses each make a few changes it’s amazing,” Shils said.

The challenge itself takes only as much time as students want to put in, meaning even the busiest of people can have some impact on the program and changing their unsustainable lifestyle practices.

“Each of the 30 days will have a theme, ranging from water to organic food, energy to personal care, sustainable apparel to exercise, recycling to advocacy and much more,” Schrode said.

The 10 finalists will get the opportunity to participate in a final competition once at Green University.

“Green University is a two day eco summit where we will have some incredible leaders talking the first day, who students will then have the opportunity to dialogue and interact with. Day two we’re going to put together teams where each of the 10 finalists will be create a social actions platform that could be moved out to schools all over the country,” Schils said.

The winner of the Green University challenge will be chosen by a panel of judges, and will then be given the opportunity to work with Teens Turning Green and its partners in the upcoming year.

For those that don’t wish to participate in the challenge itself, there are numerous ways to become involved with the Teens Turning Green Project as a whole.

“They do offer many opportunities to get involved with this outside the competition,” said Lucian Novosel, a first-year undeclared major and advocate for the project. “They are always looking for people to help with their projects.” To further expand Davis’ impact, students like Novosel have been reaching out to programs on campus to promote the organization, such as the Environmental Policy and Planning Commission and CalPIRG. According to Novosel, a field guide class at UC Davis has adopted the challenge into their syllabus, and many groups on campus have expressed their interest in participating. Students can sign up for the program on the website at any point during the month of October. For more information or to sign up for the challenge visit projectgreenchallenge.com.

CHARLOTTE YOUNG can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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