One of the things we love about the EcoChallenge is how it brings people together from all walks of life, proving that small actions add up to real change. We have over 530 teams and 7,400 participants signed up to date, with businesses, government offices, churches, student groups, colleges and non-profit organizations participating. We are also excited that Delran Middle School in New Jersey is back this year, with over 250 students signed up!
Here are some teams to watch as we get ready to kickoff the EcoChallenge this Wednesday, October 11th. And, if you haven’t yet registered, you can still join in the fun now! Not ready to create your own team? You can always join the Northwest Earth Institute Community Team.
Rob Greenfield Team – This year we have Rob Greenfield, an environmental activist, speaker and writer, joining us with a team of over 380 EcoChallengers signed up so far. Rob created the Food Waste Fiasco campaign which strives to end food waste and hunger in the United States. He has also cycled across the U.S. twice on a bamboo bicycle sharing his message of sustainability and earth-friendly living. He’s joining EcoChallenge for the first time this year. He shared, “When I started my journey to living a more happy, healthy and sustainable life in 2011, I learned that great change doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with one small step, and then another, and another. The EcoChallenge is perfect for taking that first step, the 50th step, or the 100th step. If we expect the world to change we must change ourselves first. Let’s work together to transform our lives, one small step at a time.”
Penn State EcoChallenge 2017 – Penn State is joining EcoChallenge for the first time this year, but is heading up the university teams with nearly 300 participants. “We believe the solution to the planet’s biggest challenges lies in the power of collective action,” said Daniella Espinoza, student in energy business and finance and co-organizer of Penn State’s EcoChallenge team. “Our participation in the EcoChallenge is important because it helps us all to take personal action, be mindful of our ecological footprint, and conversationally engage our peers, colleagues and community on sustainability issues,” said Paul Shrivastava, Penn State’s chief sustainability officer and director of the Sustainability Institute. They are well on their way to meeting their goal of exceeding the size of last year’s largest EcoChallenge team, which was 580.
Story of Stuff Team – Story of Stuff is back again this year not only as a sponsor of the 2017 EcoChallenge, but also as a leading team with over 200 participants signed up so far. With a goal of transforming the way we make, use and throw away stuff so that it is sustainable, healthy and fair, the Story of Stuff team is focusing on a wide variety of actions aimed to address simplicity, community, health and waste. Team member Regina Nobre shared, “Simple daily actions can improve environmental quality and help conservation of biodiversity.” They are going head-to-head with the Rob Greenfield Team and the Northwest Earth Institute Community Team in a friendly EcoChallenge competition.
Multnomah County Office of Sustainability Team – With over 130 participants, Multnomah County Office of Sustainability is engaging in a friendly EcoChallenge competition against Washington County. Multnomah County employees have been staying focused by remembering that everyone has their reason to take action. Multnomah County employee Sam Baraso shared that his reason for participating in the 2017 EcoChallenge is rooted in advancing sustainability. “Through sustainability, we can live well without living better at the expense of others. I believe the humanity reflected in both our relationships with each other and the earth depend on it,” he says.
It isn’t too late to join the 2017 EcoChallenge – you can register anytime, choose your actions, invite others and get started in proving that small actions add up to real change. You can also check out all the other amazing teams joining this year’s EcoChallenge here.