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Tomorrow’s Environmentalists Today

2010 June 4

PEYA-logoRecently, EPA was honored to present the President’s Environmental Youth Award to some of the futures brightest environmental stars. Several years ago, I coordinated this program, and was just as amazed this year as I was back then at the innovation and creativity school-aged kids have to address environmental issues in their communities.

The projects are carried out by either an individual or a group, but all of them no doubt make a huge difference in their community. For example, this year a group of middle school students created a sustainable project to collect the town’s waste cooking oil, refine it into biofuel and then distribute it. To date these students have donated 4,000 gallons of Bioheat to local charities and helped 40 families with emergency heating assistance, not to mention the reduction in the release of carbon dioxide into the air. Wow, if they can do something like this in middle school, I can only imagine the environmental impacts these students will make when they are older.

Another of this year’s winners, a high school student from Lubbock, Texas, set out to help educate children about living green. The result: Lorax Lodge, a new environmental education center, curriculum guides for the center with hands-on activities, and a nature trail. So far, 1,300 people have visited Lorax Lodge from 14 different states. Oh, and did I mention that Texas Tech University has adopted the Lodge to use as their pilot program for an energy audit and have arranged to use the Lodge as a model for sustainable construction…absolutely incredible.

I encourage you to read about all of the winning projects from this year and past years and be amazed at how today’s youth are tackling some of our most important environmental problems. Perhaps you know of some future environmentalists making a difference in your community. I encourage you to share this program with them.

During their trip to Washington, DC, we invited this year’s winners to blog about their experiences. During the next few weeks, Greenversations will be featuring their blogs on Friday’s. I invite you to read their stories about their experiences, share in and congratulate them on their successes, and take inspiration from these young folks about how we all can make a difference in tomorrow today!

About the author: Kelly Chick has worked for the federal government for over 26 years at various agencies. She currently works in the Office of Web Communications within the Office of Public Affairs at EPA Headquarters.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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10 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    June 4, 2010

    I am interested to Environmental Education Center by Sarah Jo Lambert from Lubbock – Texas. I agree, this module can adapt by kids and Youth in another countries for Living Green campaign. Sarah, can you design and build that blocks move from time to time, anyplace ?

  2. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    June 5, 2010

    These awards are all ritchly deserved. The projects that were done have had and will continue to have positive impacts on the different communities for hopefully many years to come. This is a great program. Our city does not have anything quite like that; but the Mission Viejo Public Works Department hosted an Environmental Awareness Day on Friday for elementary school children that was attended by 550 3ed graders from 7 elementary schools in 2 school districts. Classes were given in recycling and its importance and in being careful what is put on the lawn and in the gutter because those things go into the storm drain system, then into the creeks, and finalljy into the ocean creating water pollution. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  3. Jim Bullis permalink
    June 6, 2010

    When our very enthusiastic youth are channeled into greenishness, we should stop a moment and think if maybe it would be better to channel them into real chemistry and physics, and on into hard sciences and engineering so they can understand the difference between ‘everyone doing a little and getting little done’ versus figuring out the future paths that will actually matter.

  4. pedro jesus pato b. permalink
    June 7, 2010

    hola buenos dias desde Madrid,España.Quisiserasaber si en mi pais tambien existe alguna compañia que trabaja con vds para mas informacion en español-castellano

  5. lyounes permalink*
    June 7, 2010

    No tenemos un listado de compañías, pero sí trabajamos en esfuerzos internacionales con el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente de España:

  6. george permalink
    June 7, 2010

    CONGRATULATIONS for yout article!!! Please let me know if we can reprint this article without fee in our non-profit Environment magazine published by our University from Bucharest.

  7. Jeffrey Levy permalink*
    June 9, 2010

    Hello. Yes, you may reprint anything in our blog without a fee.

    Jeffrey Levy
    US EPA Director of Web Communications

  8. Ronin Athletics permalink
    February 19, 2013

    We maintain a green environment in the building where we practice mma classes in NYC. Visit Ronin when you’re up this way.

  9. Ronin Athletics permalink
    February 21, 2013

    We would like to reward one of your winners with mma classes in NYC. Get in touch with us and we’ll pick a package for one of your contestants to win.

  10. Ronin Athletics permalink
    May 12, 2013

    This is a great post and great idea. The whole word need environment.

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