I find myself at the exact same place as last August: getting ready to attend another COP, excited to learn more about climate change, and dedicated to bringing all of this information to you my readers. This moment of deja vu has caused me to look back on my journey so far to remember how I got involved and why I am so passionate about climate change.
I first got involved with climate change and sustainability by attending Aquinas College, which is a zero waste campus. This means every member of the community, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators all come together to divert waste from landfills (aka I am a bit obsessed with recycling). This grassroots experience where everyone came together not to just talk about a solution, but actually make a difference inspired me to get involved with climate change on a larger scale.
Since then, I have been an intern with AptarGroup, Inc., which is the world’s leader in dispensing solutions. In other words, I have personally worked on aerosols for the beauty and home market. Although this may seem counterintuitive, this experience with big business opened my eyes to how the corporate world is doing its part to reduce waste (more on that in a later blog).
Additionally, I spent the summer of 2015 researching as part of a National Science Foundation REU program at the University of Iowa with their Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute. As a part of the Grassian Research Group, I focused on ensuring that engineered nanomaterials were safe for humans and the environment. I also met students working on cutting-edge technology that used nano-sized materials to filter water or build more efficient solar cells.
These experiences, along with attending the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 20th Conference of Parties, made me not only hopeful about the future of this planet, they also made me determined to take more action.
I am determined not to just be another blind consumer not thinking about the repercussions of my actions on the environment. I am determined to interpret scientific findings so everyone can understand. I am determined to recycle more than I already do (although, I don’t know if this is humanly possible). I am determined to take you along on my journey across the world to find the truth, promote climate justice for all, and fearlessly save the planet.
I urge you to join me on this whirlwind adventure to learn and fight to protect the planet.