Name: Cory – National Youth Council Student Co-President Grade: 12 State: Georgia Project Title: Community Recycling Description: Seeing that there was a lack of glass recycling options in our area, I initiated bi-monthly community recycling drives to collect glass and other hard-to-recycle items from community members. We have collected over a thousand pounds of glass, cardboard, plastic film, and other hard-to-recycle items so far.
Name: Heather – National Youth Council Student Co-President Grade: 12 State: Massachusetts Project Title: Implementing an Outdoor Classroom in a Public High School Description: My project focuses on implementing sustainable learning into my town’s high school. It is with this project I hope to make my town advance towards achieving some of the Sustainable Development Goals which were put into place by the United Nations in 2015. The overall goal of this project is to teach students while they are still young the importance of establishing a courteous relationship with the environment. I am researching the topic and hope to prove that outdoor learning in an academic setting will enhance the sustainable development of communities to achieve communal equity.

Name: Ria Grade: 12 State: Massachusetts Project Title: Virtual Green Night Description: Virtual Green Night is an event that will take place in the spring, where members of the community can join us for a night of sustainable activities. By using the break out room feature, participants will be ushered from station to station (room to room), and participate in an environmentally educational activity!

Name: Diya – National Youth Council Communications Officer Grade: 12 State: Louisiana Project Title: Reusable Bag Project Description: One of the most major environmental issues in the United States today is the widespread use of single-use plastic bags. Every year 100 million plastic bags are used, and the average time each of these bags is used is just 12 minutes. There is a simple solution to this problem- the implementation of reusable bags. Every week, I go to a local grocery store and pass out reusable bags to the shoppers and talk about plastic bag pollution and how they can make a difference. I also launched a statewide billboard campaign in Louisiana by partnering with Lamar Advertising with a Jane Goodall Foundation grant. In total, I have helped save over one-thousand plastic bags by using reusable bags.
Name: Emory – National Youth Council Secretary Grade: 11 State: Maryland Project Title: DIY Reusable Bags Description: Everyone knows how damaging plastic is for the environment, however plastic bags are still very prevalent in grocery stores. I am working on transforming old shirts into reusable bags. I plan to ask more people to give me their old shirts, and I can give them back as new reusable bags!
Name: Bridget Grade: 7 State: Rhode Island Project Title: Banning Single-Use Plastic Bags Description: The goal of this project is to ban single-use plastic bags within the state of Rhode Island. These disposable single-use bags are causing various environmental problems including pollution, global warming, endangerment to wildlife and humans, along with much more.
Name: Jasmine Grade: 12 State: Michigan Project Title: Recycled Hydroponics System Description: Michigan teens from the self-created Troy Youth Education Foundation (TYEF) have designed and built their own hydroponic system built out of recyclable materials. I also created the We Can Plant! initiative to introduce this system to other students and educate others on eco-friendly gardening practices. 100% of produce has been donated to the local food bank.
Name: Jae Grade: 10 State: North Carolina Project Title: Better Bag Solution/PlasticFreeNC Description: As an executive board member for a non-profit, environmental leadership organization called Love A Sea Turtle (LAST), I have created my own initiative, Better Bag Solution, and currently stand as the co-coordinator of PlasticFreeNC. PlasticFreeNC is an umbrella project within LAST and serves to highlight the initiatives who put in efforts to reduce a variation of plastic waste. My project, Better Bag Solution, focuses on the issues of single-use plastic bags, educating the public, and supplying a “greener” alternative.
Name: Maanit Grade: 9 State: Washington Project Title: The Sustainable SMA (Seattle Metro Area) Initiative Description: Inspired by cities in the Greater Seattle Area at the forefront of environmental progress, I’m leading a team on bringing my own hometown, as well as neighboring cities in WA, to this same level and beyond. So far, we’ve had our mayor commit to taking steps toward implementing a public, volunteer-based environmental advisory board, and are currently working towards solarizing a local fire station and implementing low-flow water systems to pilot green building standards that we aim to standardize for the city- and eventually the entire region.
Name: Alex Grade: 10 State: Massachusetts Project Title: Simon Says Give Description: Offers students service opportunities to benefit our area’s neediest students. Long- and short-term commitments through fundraising for, organizing, and running Worcester’s largest backpack and supply drive for middle school students leading to backpack assembly at my school on service day and delivery to students in June.
Name: Cynthia Grade: 11 State: Virginia Project Title: Collecting Data on Soil Compaction in County Description: I am currently setting up my project to collect data on soil infiltration rates, topsoil depth, bulk density, and organic matter content in residential lawns in my County. This several-month long project with the NVSWCD will supply data on soil compaction in the County area.
Name: Dante Grade: 9 State: New Hampshire Project Title: Tree-Plenish Planting Event A project that I am currently helping with is that I am working with a friend to host a Tree-Plenish tree planting event this Spring. I found out about Tree-Plenish at my first Project Green Schools National Youth Council meeting, and it is an extremely helpful nonprofit that is run by students in college, as the people from the nonprofit have given us many, many, resources, templates, guidelines, etc. to help make this event as easy and convenient as possible for everyone involved. I believe that Tree-Plenish’s goal is basically to help students (approximately) offset their school’s paper usage, by planting a certain amount of trees in the yards of people who sign up to get trees or even to possibly plant trees in different areas of the city. Using the paper approximations from our high school’s principal, we are going to try to have at least 275 trees planted, to try to approximately compensate for 550 “cases” of paper, or, according to Tree-Plenish’s calculations, about 2.75 million sheets of paper. Through this event, I (and probably my friend who is working with me on this) want to see that it is possible to make local environmental restoration efforts, and I (and probably my friend) want to show others in local areas that it is easy for them to make positive environmental differences. While marketing for this event, I am seeing that a lot of people in my city or surrounding areas do want to help us out by requesting some trees or even being generous enough to give a donation to the nonprofit, Tree-Plenish, and it is definitely really motivating to see that others care about local environmental restoration as well. I hope this event will help me in the future to make even bigger environmental differences!
Name: Aarya Grade: 11 State: Illinois Project Title: Pollinator Garden Description: After writing up a grant proposal on behalf of my school’s environmental club, we received $500 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to create a community garden with Illinois native species that are specifically targeted toward helping to attract pollinators and increase the pollinator population in our community. We will start planting all of our plants near the end of Spring and hope to keep the garden open to the public for educational purposes, especially for learning more about various plants and insects that are native to our area.
Name: Ayesha Grade: 9 State: Michigan Project Title: Reevaluating Existing Contracts Description: I had the school reevaluate t-shirt/team uniforms that had been bought from same vendors for years. Vendors have a minimum order requirement and a lot of uniforms were sitting in storage as waste. Saved on ink for printing logos. I also have been working on implementing my Marker Recycle Project on a larger scale. I am a teen advisor for my local library, so I am working on implementing my project in different libraries across my district
Name: Hajirah Grade: 11 State: Michigan Project Title: Spearheading Change Description: My school has been wasting money and a lot of resources through their yearbook company for over 25 years. They had a minimum order requirement, which left a lot of extra books that went to waste. I dedicated myself to finding a better way to create our yearbooks. I brought up my ideas to the admin, and I was given the challenge of spearheading a better option as Editor In Chief. It was really hard, especially in a year where things are already so chaotic. After doing some research, I found a really cool yearbook company that uses recycled paper, has no minimum order requirements, and plants a tree for every yearbook bought. I’ve been working nonstop this year to plan out and implement the change smoothly. From learning how to use the system to training my classmates, I wanted to make the transition as successful as possible, so we could stick with this company and make a long-term impact.
Name: Penny Grade: 6 State: Missouri Project Title: Starting Green Club Description: I am starting a green club at my middle school. I am asking my science teacher and counselor to help me out on starting one! My friend Is green too so she will be helping me out as well.