You may have noticed the posters, social media posts, and pushy tablers giving out cookie pie in exchange for sign ups, but if not, you may never have heard of Project Drawdown. It’s an organization worth knowing about, because it has compiled the top 100 solutions to climate change and is working to implement them worldwide. Bard has also recently placed 15th in their international Ecochallenge.
Project Drawdown began in 2014 when environmentalist Paul Hawken set out to find the top 100 best solutions to reverse climate change. The list has since been compiled, and the Drawdown team now consists of a large group of researchers, activists, and policy makers working to put the 100 solutions into action. The majority of the solutions end up saving more money than they would cost, and the net profit of implementing them all is in the hundreds of billions. Drawdown’s goal is to give the millions of people around the world who want to meaningfully combat climate change the information and resources to do that, without needing to be professional environmentalists or community leaders. The Ecochallenge is a part of that goal.
The Drawdown Ecochallenge is a three week competition run by Ecochallenge.org in which schools, businesses, other groups, and individuals compete to see who can earn the most points. Points are earned by completing challenges that relate to the Drawdown solutions, which are diverse and often surprising. For example, properly managing and disposing of refrigerant chemicals found in air conditioners and refrigerators could reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere by 89.74 gigatons, making it the number one Drawdown solution. Numbers six and seven are the education of women and girls and family planning, each of which could reduce atmospheric CO2 by 51.48 gigatons each. The ecochallenges include everything from raising awareness about gender inequality in education to fixing leaky sinks to committing to not travel by plane.
Bard participated in the Ecochallenge through its team: “Bardians and Our Community.” We ended up with 184 team members and 20,977 points total. Team members researched Drawdown goals and ways to implement them; they committed to traveling by carpool and car-alternatives, planted trees, saved water, ate zero-waste and plant-centered meals, donated to environmental organizations, called public officials about environmental policy, watched documentaries, and otherwise threw themselves into the challenges. Our hard work earned us 15th place out 1,054 teams worldwide.
Nice work Bardians! We participated in a dynamic challenge that is doing serious work to save the planet, and to generally make our world a more just, equal, and healthful place. Click here to see the Project Drawdown book, which describes all one hundred solutions. You’re also welcome to stop by the sustainability office and flip through our copy!
Class of 2021