EPA Home Page

Climate Ambassador Stories

Climate Ambassadors are not only devoted to improving children’s health and promoting climate change in their own lives, but are committed to spreading the word to others. These Ambassadors are leaders in their communities and are working to make our world a better place by making changes in their lives and convincing others to do the same. Read the stories below and see what these Ambassadors are doing throughout the country and in other parts of the world.

Program State
Teaching Green
Energy Star Pledges
Small Efforts Can Make a Huge Difference
Arkansas
Join the Environmental Effort in Your Community or School Colorado
Spreading the Word about the Importance of Recycling Florida
You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Making Small Changes in Your Home Georgia
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint! Indiana
Passing on the Pledge
Recycling is Exciting!
Kansas
Mapping the Road to Conservation
Classroom Recycling
Small Steps to Energy Conservation
Students Lead the Charge
Encourage Your School To Start Composting
Kentucky
Carpooling: Reduce Emissions & Free Lunch! Missouri
Motivate Others to Take the Energy Star Pledge North Carolina
Start a Recycling Campaign Oklahoma
Green Crusade Oregon
Promote an Environmental Project in Your Community South Dakota
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Tennessee
Water Conservation
Changing the World One Community at a Time
Virginia
Family Composting
Building Toward a Better Environment
Make a Difference In Your Backyard
Wisconsin
Green Scheme Singapore

Arkansas

Teaching Green: I prepared lessons and presentations for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at the Monticello Middle School after-school program. I also submitted public service announcements to the local radio and cable TV stations and wrote articles for the local newspaper

Energy Star Pledges: We are participating in the Environmental Star events this year and we have given climate change presentations to three classes to teach students how climate change affects both humans and animals and what we can do to help! We had 60 kids decide to take an Energy Star Pledge! We are climate ambassadors and are very proud to be!

Changing Daily Habits at Home: We got 27 people to pledge to fix the leaks in their homes and turn the faucet off while brushing their teeth.

Plant More Trees: We persuaded the local tree farm to donate 6 trees to plant in the community to help the carbon dioxide in the air turn to good healthy oxygen!

Colorado

Recycling Groups: I have increased membership in our recycling group at my high school and researched the life cycle of recycled material. I brought the information I gathered to the attention of the group.

Volunteering in order to Raise Awareness: I have been volunteering at a wildlife museum for two years and assist in raising awareness about the environment and how it affects people of all ages. I hope to help people understand how our care of the world affects the lives of animals and the health of the planet.

What is the Recycling Process?: My school had little knowledge of the recycling process. So I set out to spread the word about our recycling club, increase membership, and inform members of what happens to recycled material after it is placed in recycling bins.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint: I have joined my school’s Recycling group in an effort to reduce my carbon footprint.

Florida

Spreading the Word: I am involved in my high school’s (Piper High School) FCCLA organization and we recently made it to the FCCLA state conference, where we participated in the Environmental Ambassador category. Our project was to create a workshop at our school's preschool to help educate the community about the dangers and health risks that our daily activities are doing to our youth. We also provided information to the students about ways they could reduce their carbon footprints, such as, carpooling to school, recycling, and changing their light bulbs. In addition to educating the preschool students, my group members and I walked around campus talking to our peers about the health risks we face and the solutions to those problems. After we spoke to them we asked them to sign a big poster board, confirming that they understood and pledged to help make the planet cleaner. I am very proud of my group members and myself because we found a cause that we really believed in and did what we had to do to make it known.

Georgia

Small Changes Make a Big Difference: I am leading my household in transforming our home into an energy-efficient, "environmentally conscious" home by replacing all light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs, sealing all cracks in our home, keeping our heater off throughout the day and on 75 throughout the evening and night. During the summer, we turn our air conditioner off at night, at about 9 am we turn it to 72, cut it off again at 3 pm, and open windows. We do not leave refrigerators and freezers open or use them to cool off, nor do we turn on our oven and open the door to warm up. In addition, we do not leave lights on through the night. All our electronic devices that are not in use are turned off and unplugged, including computers. We have linen grocery bags to bag our groceries with instead of using paper or plastic. We recycle glass, paper, and plastic. We also consider what we can reuse, like plastic bottles, before tossing them in the trash. We definitely do no condone burning trash and try to encourage our neighbors not to do so. We do condone multiple trash cans throughout neighborhoods and surrounding areas because we support the idea that for every trash can or dumpster you have you should have twice as many recycling storage bins at the same or greater size. There are many, many more things we do naturally and intentionally to help ensure that we and future generations have a healthy place to live in the years to come.

Indiana

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint!: We are encouraging members to become climate ambassadors and take pledges to reduce their carbon footprint.

Kansas

Passing on the Pledge: I am a Climate Ambassador! I gave three different presentations on climate change. During those presentations, I chose people to take the pledge and pass the presentation on to others.

Getting Others Excited about Recycling: I started a recycling program in my town’s elementary school. All of the young students are now excited about recycling and making the world a better place!

Kentucky

Mapping the Road to Conservation: I attended a two week conference teaching me how to use a GPS system, a program called EON, and a GIS program that works with a GPS. I have used this technology to map out my county and determine which areas are suitable for different alternative energy sources. The project has opened many eyes and impacted multiple people to reuse, reduce, and recycle and become more informed about alternative energy.

Classroom Recycling: I recycle my classroom papers. I also encourage my students to recycle.

Small Steps to Energy Conservation: I always make it a point to turn lights off within the home and on Friday nights we do “Lights Out.” I take shorter showers and I regularly carpool friends or ride the school bus.

Students Lead the Charge: Students are leading classroom lessons in elementary, middle and high school classrooms. They are also conducting afternoon meetings and presentations and distributing flyers. Students are actively recruiting other climate ambassadors.

Composting at School: We did a STAR event about composting for FCCLA. Our STAR event included teaching about 60 students how to compost, providing a compostable lunch for our board of education, and holding a composting week at Montgomery County High School. During our composting week we put up posters and had announcements made. We also gave our teacher a bag of apples which she could pass out to students and have them compost the core when they were finished. We actually constructed a composting bin and will be using it at our school. The compost from the bin will be used in our school's greenhouse and farm. In addition, all the material we used during our project had been composted or recycled. We will be going to a competition to show other schools what we have done and what they can do too!

Missouri

Carpooling – Reduce Emissions & Free Lunch!: Through an FCCLA project I helped the environment by supporting an effort to reduce emissions by encouraging our student body to carpool. I gave out tickets to each person in a car that was carpooling and for a chance to win a gift card to local restaurant during the lunchtime drawing. Reducing the emissions in the environment is important because it has been scientifically proven that the car emissions are a leading cause in global warming and reducing air quality.

North Carolina

Energy Star Pledge: To become a Climate Ambassador I have motivated not 10 but 20 people to take the Energy Star Pledge and begin saving the world by reducing their carbon emissions!

Fix Your Leaks: I fixed a leak in my house so that I would not waste water.

Oklahoma

Starting a Recycling Campaign: Our concern was that our community has no recycling center in or around our town.  We wanted to provide a way to help people start recycling paper, inform them of the benefits of recycling, and show the positive affects it can have on the community.  We also wanted to inform people in the surrounding communities about recycling and hopefully persuade them to initiate their own recycling campaign. The goals of our project are to: reduce the community’s carbon footprint by recycling paper, start a recycling center in our hometown, and encourage other communities to start their own recycling campaign.  Our target groups were our peers, the community, and the surrounding areas. We are teaching our peers about the importance of recycling and setting up locations where high school students as well as community members can drop off their paper products. We placed recycling bins at the local high school, middle school, and elementary school, as well as various, well frequented locations in the community. Our recycling campaign began in the second semester of school and we will continue our campaign throughout the rest of the school year.  Our plan to achieve the goals we have established includes, researching information about the effects of recycling, developing an illustrated talk using the information we found, scheduling times and places for our presentations, educating our peers about recycling and the methods that will make an impact in the community, and suggesting tips for people outside the local community on how to start their own recycling campaign in their home town. After researching information about recycling paper, we developed an illustrated talk, which we presented to students in our school. Our presentations, discussed benefits of recycling and the impact it can have on the environment.

Energy Star Pledge: I recruited students to complete the Energy Star Pledge.

Composting and Gardening: I educated students on how composting can be used in your garden by:

  • preparing a presentation on Composting and Gardening,
  • giving a presentation to my peers and the fifth grade Waynoka Elementary,
  • and conducting a Gardening activity where 30 students planted watermelon seeds.

Promoting Recycling Throughout the Community: My FCCLA chapter set up a paper recycling project for our community—we have set up paper collection sites at our elementary, middle, and high school as well as at local businesses.

Spreading the Word about Recycling: We have created two presentations one for children and one for adults that explain the importance of recycling. We have presented to almost 100 people and have had great results.

Oregon

Green Crusade: I started an ongoing sustainability project called Green Crusade at my school with the goal of making changes within my school to become more sustainable. Some of the changes that I have successfully implemented include:

  • Leading efforts at my school to convince them to apply for a grant for solar panels.
  • I started a newsletter at my school called the Green Crusader, which notifies students, faculty, and parents about the changes made on campus to become more sustainable, and also includes tips on how to be more sustainable at school and at home.
  • Organizing a week at my school called Green Week. During Green Week, various speakers presented to the students. For example, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury presented the Inconvenient Truth to my school. During Green Week I also organized a carpool/bike/public transportation day where students were encouraged to carpool, bike, or use public transportation to get to school. Carpool Day was a huge success as we had more than 170 empty parking spots in the parking lot! Also, all the students were given an opportunity to measure their carbon footprint and to learn how to reduce it.
  • Implementing the following activities at my school:
    • Installed fluorescent light bulbs at my school. Result: Reduced energy use by 1/3
    • Started a battery recycling drive
    • Installed blue bottle and can recycling containers around school campus
    • Posted student addresses, grouped by zip code, on Edline to encourage carpooling at school
    • Encouraged students to print double sided in the library. Also, the printers in the library now automatically print double sided.
    • Installed automatic paper towel dispensers
    • Switched to environmentally friendly cleaning supplies
    • Switched to environmentally friendly fertilizers and herbicides for campus landscaping
    • Installed faucets for filling reusable water bottles
    • Switched to reusable dishware in the faculty dining room
    • Started using dishes, bowls, and napkins that are environmentally friendly in the cafeteria.

South Dakota

Recycling Workshops: To become a climate ambassador we performed a workshop at a district meeting to promote the reduction of your carbon footprint. During our workshop we had a recycling relay which taught the kids how to sort their recyclable items. Then we handed out a brochure which told of some facts and tips about their carbon footprint. Next we played a trivia game quizzing the children over some of the facts in the brochure. To end our workshop we handed out pledge cards where the kids had the option to pick one of the pledges we wrote down that will help reduce their carbon footprint.

Protecting Wildlife Makes a Difference in the Environment: I am a senior at Baltic High School, in Baltic South Dakota, and for my FCCLA senior project I built 4 artificial nesting structures for mallard ducks. These 4 nests, placed in regional stock dams and ponds, will increase brood survival by 70%.  Without these structures to protect the nests the brood only has a 15%-20% survival rate – the nests raise their survival rate to 80%-85% successful hatch rate.

Tennessee

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: As a Climate Ambassador I am encouraging recycling.

Virginia

Water Conservation: I have talked to my family and friends and explained to them the importance of conserving water and the importance of utilizing less water in all our daily lives. I have talked about having shorter showers, re-using towels as much as possible to cut out on laundry, and turning off water while brushing our teeth. I have also received over 10 pledges from family and friends to stop any leaks in all our homes.

One Person Can Make a Huge Difference: I am doing a project on turning off lights when we are not using them. I have learned so much about our environment as well as how harmful little things can be to it. This summer I plan to start a recycling program in my neighborhood, if that is successful, I would like to start one at my high school. I am now convinced that one person can make a huge difference in the world.

Strip Mining: By becoming more interested in our community, both my partner and I stumbled across something that shocked us both. We discovered that Wise County, Virginia, our home, is the most strip-mined county in Virginia. It was a shock to think that our beautiful mountains were being blown up because of coal extraction. We researched and found out that after the coal mining companies are done with the strip mines they dump their waste materials into the local waterways, which is damaging to air and water quality, even our health. Strip mining is destroying the land we call home – we made it our personal mission to raise awareness of the hazards of strip-mining and what they can do to stop it. We also helped to rally support behind a bill that was recently introduced in Congress entitled the Clean Water Act. The bill will make coal mining companies develop new ways to extract coal in a healthier manner, if they refuse to do so, they do not they will not be allowed to extract coal at all. It is a step in the right direction and we hope that our efforts will help our community, and more importantly the world take a small step toward a cleaner environment.

Recycling Program: To reduce the amount of waste, we started a recycling program at our school. In our first two weeks, we collected over 20 pounds of recyclables. Along with 20 other students, we took the Energy Star Pledge.

Starting a Recycling Program: I began a recycling program at my school. By starting the program, I was able to share my knowledge about the environment. I gave a presentation to one of my classes and encouraged them to take the Energy Star Pledge. They all took it! A few days later, I printed a sheet asking at least 10 people to pledge to fix a leak. More than 10 people offered to sign it after I explained my cause.

Wisconsin

Family Composting: We have started a compost pile at home to reduce the amount of waste that my family produces. We are also planning a rain garden to reduce the amount of erosion and pollution caused by runoff. We have also significantly increased our energy savings by adopting good habits such as recycling and reducing the level of water usage in our home.

Building Toward a Better Environment: I have given three presentations to more than 60 students to educate and motivate them to make small changes in their own backyards to improve the environment. My presentation includes information on the construction and benefits of compost piles and rain gardens.

Composting and Rain Gardens: I have given three presentations about the construction, benefits, etc. of composting and rain gardens to motivate students to make a change in their own backyard by improving the environment. I have reached over 60 students!

Change a Light, Change the World: I took the Energy Star Pledge and I changed light bulbs in my house to more energy efficient options.

Singapore

Green Scheme: I am studying in Grade 12 IB Diploma in overseas family school, Singapore, one of the largest international schools in Singapore with 3,000+ students. I would be greatly encouraged if I am considered for becoming a climate ambassador. I joined the school Earth Club in 2008 and became the leader of the awareness subcommittee in grade 11. This year (2009) I was elected president of the club, one of the largest in the school. I led a successful campaign called the Green Scheme. I developed a plan to persuade fellow students to make small changes to their daily activities, such as not charging mobile phones overnight, using double sided printing or switching to public transport. The campaign was launched through a speech I gave in the school assembly and we followed it up through posters and charts stuck all around the high school. Students had to sign up at the booths that we set up and commit to making at least two changes in their daily lives from a list of ten changes that we short-listed for this campaign based on their relevance to students as daily life. Scores were attached to each change, depending upon the impact. Students could see the school’s average points, with weekly improvements. Students were enthused to see their small changes collectively make big score. Over 220 students and teachers volunteered to make the change. We collectively saved 38,300 kg of CO2* in the first two weeks and could potentially save 821,304 kg of CO2* for the whole year. This campaign inspired people to become active crew members of Spaceship Earth, rather than passengers.

*This was obtained by calculating the individual carbon footprint reductions based on the activities each one signed up for.