Youth Climate Summit at Columbia University

We were so excited to participate at Columbia University’s 2018 Youth Climate Summit

The yearly Youth Climate Summit is an opportunity for high school students to interface with fellow students and speakers/environmental organizations in a workshop setting focusing on actionable ways to engage in the climate movement.

The NYSW presentation was titled: We Are What You Eat: A conversation about how our food choices & food waste impact the climate.

Through the lens of urban agriculture and NY Sun Works’ partnership with schools teaching science and sustainability with Hydroponic growing systems, the presentation exposed traditional, modern agriculture as the largest consumer of land and water on the planet, the cause of most water pollution, and one of the biggest contributors to climate change. By examining our animal & plant agriculture, and consumptive & waste habits as Americans, a conversation about solutions was ignited. After the powerpoint presentation from NYSW dir. of Development, Sidsel Robards and School Liaison/Program Support, Jennifer Prescott, student attendees broke into groups to discuss solutions for food consumption and waste in their schools and communities. The workshop illuminated the importance of individual actions and gave the participants a chance to to reflect on the impact of their daily food choices. Many great ideas were presented, from the availability of consistent food scrap/compost solutions, requesting the ‘Meatless Monday’ Menu offered by the DOE/SchoolFood in their individual school – to making fresh, locally grown produce available to pockets of the city considered to be food deserts.

It was inspiring to witness the energized and insightful students generate both creative and common sense ideas for real world environmental problems. These students are ready to lead the charge for climate solutions and environmental preservation.