Learn what Technovation Girls are doing to protect the planet, their must-know sustainability brands and environmental activists, and what they’re asking you to do to curb climate change.
As the climate crisis intensifies, Technovation and Technovation Girls have doubled down on their commitment to protect the planet. In fact, environmental protection was the second-most popular issue addressed by Technovation Girls teams in 2020. To help support girls creating climate-focused apps, Technovation is partnering with the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) to teach girls how to use space data to identify and help solve climate change-related issues. Technovation is also giving a special prize to a climate-focused app at our 2021 World Summit celebration.
On Earth Day this year, Technovation held a live stream fundraiser to celebrate and highlight these extraordinary Technovation Girls using technology to curb climate change. Attendees heard from a range of speakers, including Associate Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Dr. Anna PM Michel, who taught us what happens to plastics in the ocean. We also heard from Visual Artist and Climate Change Activist Dianna Cohen, who showed us how artwork and climate activism combine to tell beautiful and powerful stories.
Two Technovation teams—Project Green-Globe from California and Team Int-Ellectuals from Nigeria—also joined us and inspired the crowd with their passion for protecting the planet. The two teams shared their Technovation experience, outlined the purpose of their apps, and let us know what they want us to do differently to curb climate change. Longtime Technovation supporter and manager of the Elbaz Family Foundation Elyssa Elbaz interviewed the teams.
Technovation Girls Alumnae Climate Change Q&A
What are some changes you’ve made to your day-to-day life after working on these apps?
Mila from Team Project Green-Globe: One of our eco challenges [from their app Ecotopia] was sustainable transportation. Driving can feel so efficient and convenient and we often forget about the repercussions of driving with all the carbon emissions…I’ve been trying my best to walk and safely carpool with others, which are really fun and greener alternatives. I really recommend you all to start implementing more sustainable transportation in your own lives.
Soraya fromTeam Project Green-Globe: Another of our eco challenges was vegetarianism since the production of animal products emits large amounts of carbon into our atmosphere every day. Before we started the Technovation Challenge, I actually became a vegetarian in December of 2019 due to environmental and animal welfare reasons. I’ve adapted to the plant-based meats such as Impossible and Beyond Beef!
Angel from Team Int-Ellectuals: After working on climate change apps, we now appreciate nature for what it’s supplied us with. Now, we understand the value of trees and why they are important and shouldn’t be cut down but planted. It’s a common human condition that many know what to do but have refused to do it—we are no longer one of those people.
Fortune from Team Int-Ellectuals: We take it upon ourselves to carry our reusable bottles instead of the onetime plastic bottles. We no longer buy small PEP soft drinks but buy larger bottles to reduce the waste compared to using smaller bottles. We now recycle any plastic in our homes any way we can and we plan to recycle plastics from large-scale products. We intend to recycle them to make bricks or bags.
What is one thing you want a listener today to do differently after this?
Maryam from Team Int-Ellectuals: I want you all to have a behavioural change in the way you use plastics, the way you buy goods, and collect polythene bags. We have to change before the climate does, make the right decision and start NOW. Buy reusable bags for grocery shopping and buy reusable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles. The change starts with you.
Mila from Team Project Green-Globe: I think the main takeaway is if we all unite and take simple steps to combat climate change we are all capable of building…a better, more environmentally friendly world. With that said, educate yourselves, spread the word, and implement green habits whether it is walking more to reduce your carbon footprint, turning off the lights, or even becoming a vegetarian. Taking action is the most important thing. Like Greta Thunberg said, “Act as if your house is on fire because it is.”
It’s been said that adults have let younger generations down when it comes to protecting our planet. What is your generation getting right that mine didn’t?
Soraya Team Project Green-Globe: In our opinion, our generation seems to be taking more action and raising awareness for climate change on a large scale. Like we mentioned earlier, we’ve all been personally impacted by climate change living in the Bay Area with the wildfire season and the mass amounts of CO2 being released living in an urban area. Since this issue impacts us directly and will continue to change our lives in the future, today’s teenagers have played an active role in protesting through marches and rallies…We are the ones experiencing the past generations’ mistakes and then we’re also the ones trying to fix it.
Are people talking about climate change in Oakland? And what are the conversations like? Do your friends in school talk about it?
Chelsea Team Project Green-Globe: The short answer is yes, absolutely. Living in the Bay Area we find ourselves surrounded by people who care about climate change and are passionate about the environment. There’s lots of outdoorsy people that love nature and hiking. Last year over half of our school attended climate marches.
Who are your climate change role-models?
Maryam from Team Int-Ellectuals: Greta Thunberg. When Greta first started fighting against climate change, she was just 15 and a very determined leader.
Chelsea Team Project Green-Globe: I would also agree that Greta Thunberg is a huge environmental role model for me, especially considering that she’s only 1 year older than me. She’s 18 years old. It’s just incredible to see what people my age are doing to help the planet.
Do you have any favorite sustainability brands?
Chelsea Team Project Green-Globe: One company that I really like is BAGGU. They are a reusable bag company and they have very cute designs so you can have a stylish bag and help the planet. Another app that I really like to use is called Depop. It’s a clothing resale app, so you can buy and sell clothes second hand. And this is great because it means you’re not buying into the fast fashion industry, which has tons of environmental repercussions like water pollution, water waste, and that’s not even touching on the ethical issue of child labor.
Maryam from Team Int-Ellectuals: There’s also one brand named Trashy Bags that makes their bags from fibers from bananas instead of using trees.
We’re so grateful to these incredible young women for sharing what they’re doing to combat climate change, and to everyone who joined us for our Earth Day fundraiser. If you missed the event, or want to hear the full conversation from the teams, watch the re-play.
Don’t miss out on hearing from more teams of girls fighting for a better world! Join us for our 15-year celebration of girls making meaningful change with technology! Register for World Summit.