In a collaborative effort between Youth Venture, Dr. Seuss Enterprises and the Earth Island Institute, student teams composed of pioneering young people ages 13 to 20 recently won $1,000 prizes to help see their dreams for a more eco-friendly world come true.
The challenge was designed to help put cash behind some of their brightest ideas, and supported teams who addressed a wide range of topics, from developing a sustainable water supply to installing energy efficient software on school computers.
All told there were 53 winning teams, with five of them being named Grand Prize Winners and receiving an all-expense paid trip to the University of Florida in Gaineseville where they recently attended an environmental entrepreneurship boot camp through the UF Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.
And the five Grand Prize winning entries in the Youth Venture Lorax Challenge are:
1. Fielder's Choice: Making More than Just the Outfields Green centers on the idea of implementing a "Green Day" celebration at the Washington Nationals' new baseball stadium. This Venture proposes to organize an annual event at the ballpark around Earth Day to educate and energize fans about taking global action. The "Green Day" event will take place during an actual Nationals Major League baseball game so that fans will see the stadium's devotion to preserving the environment. Throughout the year, Fielder's Choice will help the Nationals Stadium promote environmentally friendly practices to reduce the new stadium's carbon footprint while also educating fans and citizens.
2. Going Green Computers and Consulting is facilitating the recycling of old computers to help the environment. The Venture sets up recycling drives and educates the community about how and why computers should be recycled. The Venture works with companies that take in the recycled computers to be refurbished, which are then brought into schools and communities that are in need of newer technology.
3. Climate Action Club is dedicated to raising awareness and fighting Global Warming around their school and in their entire community. The team plans to install energy efficient software on all campus computers to save hundreds of kilowatts of energy and gallons of CO2. The team also plans to install vending misers on vending machines to further reduce the use of energy. To educate the community, the team plans to create a community-wide battery recycling program and a community-wide ban on plastic bags. They hope to design and create a town canvas bag, have stores offer paper as an alternative, and have shoppers pay extra if they insist on plastic.
4. Sustainable Water Recycling System aims to create a water recycling system that uses rain barrels, a natural purification system and natural refrigeration that allows rain water to be used for sustainable gardening. It will create a place for vegetable washing, water storage for irrigation and vegetable storage. It will also be part of an organic gardening project that is open to the public where community members can learn about sustainability.
5. 1,000 Trees Project: Gallows Run Tree Squad will engage their entire community to plant 1,000 native trees. The team wants to show community members that they can do something to combat global warming and increase the number of trees to replace those that have been lost due to deer overgrazing, flooding and developments. And their progress will be tracked on an internet mapping site open to the public.
Clearly, the teams involved in this year's Youth Venture Lorax Challenge thought big and showed real initiative in their bid to change the world. We wish them well here at TreeHugger, and certainly look forward to seeing how their dreams unfold!
via: Earth Island Institute
More Great Environmental Contests for Youth
Discovery, Siemens, NSTA Launch "We Can Change the World" Challenge for Kids
The Great Copy Machine Epidemic