5 Ways Young People are Standing up to Climate Change with Tech Transformation
Transformation is a central theme in many climate solutions. Whether it be conversion of physical materials, data, or social programs, change is driven when there is an opportunity to convert a negative into a positive. Here are five examples of transformative climate solutions occurring around the world:
- Sustainable Fashion
Ethical fashion is one of the latest sustainability movements. Around the world, responsibly sourced fabrics and compostable threads are transformed into trendy garments, bags, jewelry and more. Not only does this trend support local businesses and counteract the high waste toxicity of the fashion industry, but it also inspires conversations on sustainability and environmentalism.
- Personal Plastic Printers
Edgar Mejia, a Summer of Solutions: Youth Entrepreneur Finalist, has a goal to revolutionize plastic upcycling. By marketing miniature 3D printers at a reasonable price, Mejia hopes to spread one to almost every household. The goal is to allow individuals to create a second life for plastic waste by printing new objects. In the convenience of their own homes. By reducing the material sorting and processing time, more waste can be immediately diverted from landfills.
- Data Storing Plants
Another pitch finalist, Monika Seyfried, is working to transform data cloud storage into a reforestation movement. Big data storage uses as much energy as the entire UK and emits as much CO2 as the global aviation industry. Grow Your Own Cloud utilizes DNA nucleotides as more sustainable building blocks to store coded data. Taking technological breakthrough to a whole new level, they reinject this DNA back into plants to create a literal data forest.
- Social Reform Environmental Programs
Transformation isn’t confined to materials or data. The Malindi and Watamu Man and Biosphere Reserve developed a program which offers opportunities for youth to recover from the economic and social impacts of heavy drug use. These youth are provided opportunities in biosphere reserves and tourism as a conduit for livelihood transformation.
- Transforming the Climate Conversation
The most widespread, visible transformation is the very nature of the climate change discussion itself. Driven by youth minds, conversations, and ideas, this 2019 Youth Climate Summit is a symbol of changing power dynamics. With the world listening, it is time for the youth to be vocal, to get involved in the policy and decision-making process, and to act collectively to turn these transformative ideas into reality.