What is Green Generation?
Green Generation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a 509(a)(2) public charity composed of diverse teens from the Houston area who value environmental conservation and are leaders in their schools and communities. Green Generation engages primarily in environmental advocacy in the community and organizing environmental conservation projects.
Green Generation aims to promote the importance of environmental conservation for the well-being of the world’s environment and wildlife and spark a passion for nature in communities.
Nature is a beautiful place where we can relax and have fun and is also integral to our economic prosperity. It's something special, so we're making sure that future generations can enjoy nature as we can.
The world is nearing a tipping point on major environmental crises like climate change and habitat destruction. We will be the generation that will have to live with the mounting consequences that result from the aforementioned crises.
However, we are also the generation with the greatest power to make a difference in protecting the environment. Research has shown that environmental conservation is increasingly an issue young people consider important. With an all-teen organization, we hope to harness the power of peer-mentoring to inspire our generation to take up the standard of environmentalism throughout their daily lives and communities.
How We Do It
Green Generation speaks to school districts and businesses throughout the Houston area to promote the implementation of eco-friendly cost savings regarding energy usage and waste.
We also organize and volunteer at environmental conservation projects like habitat restorations and recycling drives.
What We're Doing Right Now: The #StopSucking Project
500 million plastic straws are used every day in the U.S. alone. Plastic straws contribute to many problems, such as plastic pollution and global warming. That's why we've been working with local Houston restaurants to reduce plastic straw consumption by asking them to only give out straws when customers request them.
The #StopSucking Project, an introduction
Began Summer 2018
After reading about the flurry of businesses like Alaska Airlines and Starbucks who pledged to reduce their plastic straw use this summer, we were inspired with a way for local Houston restaurants to both save money and reduce their plastic straw use: by simply switching to only handing plastic straws out on request, instead of automatically giving straws to customers.
Reducing plastic straw consumption is obviously good for the environment, as plastic straws take hundreds of years to break down and are hazardous to animals like sea turtles, but implementing Straws by Request also helps restaurants save money in the long run, as the Houston Zoo has found that switching to only handing out straws on request reduces a restaurant's yearly straw usage by 2/3.
We set a goal to reduce plastic straw consumption among Houston area restaurants by 1 million plastic straws by 2021. It's an ambitious goal, but we believe that switching to Straws by Request is a common-sense proposal with benefits for all sides. We will keep you updated on our progress here throughout the year.
So far, we've prevented 175,000 plastic straws from being used.
Meeting with Casa de Bravos
September 13th, 2018
In a short 20 minute meeting, Green Generation members Kameron Villafana, Giselle Estrada, Emily Awadin, Sky Chen, Sydney Dang, and Shani Chiang met with the owner of Casa de Bravos, a local Tex-Mex restaurant in Sugar Land, and explained our proposal of Straws by Request. Mr. Wade agreed to implement the switch, which would result in about 100,000 fewer plastic straws being used every year.
Past Events and Projects
Eco-Friendly Cost Savings for Fort Bend Independent School District
During early 2018, Green Generation president Sky Chen met with Fort Bend Independent School District Superintendent and Board Member, Dr. Charles Dupre and Mr. Dave Rosenthal respectively, to discuss a proposal to make Fort Bend ISD, the 7th largest school district in Texas with 74,500 students, more eco-friendly while also saving money. Our proposal included a plan for Fort Bend ISD to reduce carbon emissions through turning off lights in all district buildings during after-hours and a plan to reduce styrofoam lunch tray waste that is harmful to wildlife. The proposal for Fort Bend ISD to turn off all lights during after-hours was accepted, with Superintendent Dupre and Board Member Rosenthal pledging to begin the program in the 2018-2019 school year, which would result in an estimated decrease of 54 million kilowatts of electricity used and 41,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted a year. After several meetings with Fort Bend ISD's Child Nutrition Department, a proposal to replace all styrofoam trays with biodegradable paper plates that were cheaper was also accepted. The switch will take place in all Fort Bend ISD cafeteria lines that serve non-saucy foods, which constitutes of a majority of lines. The program to reduce styrofoam tray waste will enter a pilot program in the 2018-2019 school year, and will be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year.
Recycling Drive for Hurricane Harvey
In response to the excess of clothes and shoes that had been rendered unwearable by the contaminated floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey, Green Generation held a recycling drive for old clothes and shoes that stretched across Houston. Led by Green Generation members Sky Chen, Eros Baua, and Mackenzie Gault, the recycling drive was held at Elkins High School, Barbara Bush Library, and Foster High School. In total, more than 1,500 pounds of old clothes and shoes were collected from surrounding communities and schools. As clothes and shoes release greenhouse gases that contribute to Climate Change when they are thrown away and end up in landfills, the old clothes and shoes were donated to various companies to recycle, including Goodwill, Common Threads, and Green Valley Recycling. It was a tiring, yet rewarding project, as more than $400 ended up being raised for Hurricane Harvey victims.
Presentation at Elkins High School
November 1st, 2017
Sky Chen and Oreana Camera, Green Generation President and Vice President respectively, spoke to the Student Council of Elkins High School about the most prominent environmental crises of today and emphasized the special voice each teen can have by becoming an environmental advocate among their peers.
Habitat Restoration at Katy Prairie
October 28th, 2017
Green Generation teens worked in the frigid cold to help restore the natural coastal prairie habitat of the Indiangrass Preserve by planting native plants like switchgrass, indiangrass, and blazing stars and removing invasive weeds.
Presentation at University Branch Library
August 5th, 2017
Sky Chen, Green Generation president, and Oreana Camera, Green Generation Vice President, presented at the University Branch Library in Sugar Land about the current environmental crises of climate change, habitat destruction, and waste disposal and how each one of us can play a part in preserving our Earth.
Habitat Restoration at Bayou Parkland
July 1st, 2017
Green Generation teens removed invasive weeds in areas around Bayou Parkland and planted new Milkweed plants and Blue Mist flowers to help restore the native Tall Grass Prairie ecosystem of Bayou Parkland. Everyone was sweaty from the oppressive July heat of Houston, but everyone also had a great time!
Meet Our Officers
Sky, a senior at Elkins High School, enjoys volunteering and working on projects with his school Student Council, learning about science and history, and watching movies in his spare time.
As a senior at Elkins High School, Oreana loves playing tennis, volunteering at the Houston Zoo, and learning about different cultures and sciences.
Emily is a senior at Elkins High School who loves swimming, traveling, and volunteering in the community and dabbles in photography in her free time.
A senior at Elkins High School, Jet competes often in academic competitions, and enjoys reading about current events and playing strategy games for fun.
Shani, a sophomore at Dulles High School, enjoys working math problems, playing the violin in the school orchestra, and reading novels.
Social Media Coordinator
Delia, a sophomore at Bellaire High School, can usually be found party decorating, volunteering at various places, baking, and playing with her dog, Penelope, in her free time.