By: Samuel Botwinick
On Monday, Landry Bado proudly waved a “Project Green Challenge, Sign Up Today” poster at the Bell Tower.
Bado is a sophomore architecture major at Temple from West Africa. After a friend told him about the Project Green Challenge (PGC) event, he eagerly signed up.
“I was interested in getting a leadership position, so I decided to become a main campus rep,” Bado said. “What I’m doing is just promoting the event and trying to get students to sign up for it.
“I’ve always been interested in sustainability and saving the environment. But I never really did something active with a company. I think sustainability relates to everything. I want to specialize in sustainable architecture, building low-efficiency houses with solar panels.”
PGC has been around since 2011. Every day in October, PGC presents a new sustainable challenge to its environmentally-conscious contestants across America.
The challenges, which range from changing food habits to using less energy, are designed to creatively and educationally reduce young adults’ carbon footprints. To further motivate its participants, PGC sponsors a free trip to California for its Challenge winners.
Valerie Frolova worked alongside Bado, stopping passerby and handing out fliers to interested participants. Like Bado, Frolova is an international sophomore architecture student. The two met at freshman orientation and have been friends since.
Frolova, who emigrated from Russia, was inspired by last year’s event. That inspiration led her to sign up for being Temple’s campus representative. Frolova said she was more interested in the program than most Temple students.
“I guess those students who were actually interested, they were really positive,” Frolova said. “They were really excited for the challenge. But then those who told me they had a class and were therefore rushing [to class], they weren’t really paying attention.
“I guess that’s bad, because we’re doing so much harm to our planet right now, so we definitely need to change the way we live. And this is a great opportunity for you because you’re not only doing it for others, you can actually get some really cool stuff while doing it.”
“I think that’s a big issue,” Frolova added. “I guess some students are too busy with school to take on extra responsibilities. I’m an architecture student. I’m busy, too. But this is something I’m very passionate about.”
Elliot Wilson is a sophomore art student who shares Frolova’s passion for sustainability. But he disagreed with Frolova’s point concerning Temple’s lack of a sustainability culture.
“I actually know Valerie,” Wilson said. “She’s in the community garden club with me. There’s a nice group of people around campus.
“I think that we’re off to a great start, specifically the office of sustainability. We have a green council where we actually try to do a lot more programs. So, the main thing is just trying too get the word out to everyone else because I feel like sustainability is still kind of unknown.”
If you want to know more about Project Green Challenge, check their website.