The Quest of an Enviro-Ninja

GraceChinThis is a guest blog post by Grace Chin, one of ACE's star students in Boston.

Hi! I’m Grace, a rising senior at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. I am an artist and a lover of language and culture. I dream of traveling the world and of making it a more environmentally friendly place.

You see, climate change—and what it can mean for my generation—is a subject that truly fascinates me. It’s all about solving problems creatively by combining ideas from many fields, such as science, economics, and politics. The environment is the glue that binds those worlds together. It’s the common link; it affects the everything and everyone. That’s why synergy is such a crucial aspect of accomplishment.

The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) is the non-profit organization that has really helped me find my voice as a youth climate leader. My experience with ACE began with the ACE Assembly at my school. The presentation was well organized, powerfully informative, and visually captivating. It helped me learn not only about the causes and the impacts of climate change, but also about the solutions and the ways I could get involved. Inspired, I later signed up to attend an ACE Youth Action Lab focused on media production. There, ACE provided me with the knowledge, equipment, and support necessary to produce an awesome video about saving energy. They also helped submit my video to a state-wide competition, winning me a $100 Amazon gift card. Pretty neat, huh? Check out the video below!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhaPrUS97Ws[/youtube]

13985509899_1b0a1fe0e8_zMy most recent and perhaps most memorable ACE-related endeavor, though, was the Youth Climate Action Network (YouthCAN) Summit that occurred this May at MIT. I got the chance to meet other young activists, listen to their stories, and share my own. I told them about some of the ways my school’s environmental club, the Enviro-Ninjas, is working to step up on climate change. Our new water bottle filling station has been a huge success in helping to eliminate plastic bottle waste on campus. And by collaborating with the home energy-efficiency company Next Step Living, we've signed up over 130 homes for energy audits, reduced our community's carbon footprint by over 80 metric tons, and saved families over $22,000 in heating and cooling costs.

From reducing to reusing to recycling, it's our responsibility to step up and do our part. It's important that we make a positive impact on the reduction of pollutants, the conservation of resources, the development of green technologies, and the like. After all, the issues are large, the stakes are high, and the rewards are great. The environment can be exciting and beautiful. It's our home, and it’s worth the commitment.

Even though there's still long road ahead of us to achieving a socially just and stable climate future, I'm confident that we youth will turn the tide. Just think about it: We're digital natives. We're hopeful, collaborative, and creative. We dream big and don't take "impossible" for an answer.

We got this.

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Ben Swift

Ben Swift is ACE's Salesforce Consultant and has been with ACE since the spring of 2009. He works to make ACE more efficient and smarter in communications with our network as well as external audiences.