North Texas Daily

Student competes in Project Green Challenge

Student competes in Project Green Challenge

October 17
23:04 2012

Suzy Townsend / Intern

Staying up sometimes as late as 2 a.m., radio, television and film and political science freshman, Alyssa Wolverton is pushing herself to complete the Project Green Challenge.

The Project Green Challenge is a 30-day competition during the month of October between students from 400 schools in 49 states and 32 countries.

The idea of the challenge is for students to complete three tasks posted on the website each day.

Tasks include collages, essays, photos, videos and other activities that students must do across campus to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Wolverton got involved with the challenge with the help of eco-reps, who encourage students in resident halls to be eco-friendly.

“My supervisor of eco-reps encouraged me and all of us to do the challenge,” Wolverton said. “I’m the only one really doing it though because it’s super time-consuming, but I took it on because I really like the challenges.”

As an example, one of the projects focuses on organic food and asks students to write a definition of sustainable food, research an individual or person that is inspirational and sustainable, make a meal and shoot photos or video. The meal must be completely organic, and the cost cannot exceed two dollars.

The challenges are worth different points based on how time-consuming and difficult they are.

Each day there are different winners, and they receive prizes such as gift cards to Whole Foods, organic skin and bath products and an assortment of organic foods.

“Sometimes there are extra credit challenges that can be up to 50 or 100 points,” Wolverton said. “It takes me about two to three hours a day to do all of them depending on the challenge of the day.”

Wolverton has been a top scorer throughout the competition. She has even won challenges such as the “Labeling Challenge,” where students investigated labels on food and other products to find out what product certifications mean and how to recognize “greenwashing,” or false or misleading packaging and language.

Project Green founder and director Judi Shils started the project with her daughter when her daughter began to wear makeup and use different cosmetics.

“As a mother, I think it is important to teach my daughter what is in the products she is using,” Shils said. “Project Green Challenge is to inform kids and give them reasons to learn and empower change.”

Shils started the challenge last October and spent the summer getting in touch with students and faculty of different campuses and their greek life departments to spread the word and help encourage change on campuses.

“Most schools don’t even recycle, and when kids are informed of this, they can be one of the greatest sources of change,” Shils said. “Every student should realize they can make a change.

The grand prizewinner will receive the small prizes they win from daily challenges as well as $5,000.

They will also be flown to California where they will attend the Natural Products Expo. Wolverton has received so many prizes that she has decided to host an informative cosmetic-labeling bingo competition for students, where she will give away some of the prizes she has received.

“I will be telling people what is in their products they may not know about,” Wolverton said. “I love sharing with people how much I love the environment and just talking about it.”

The bingo will take place in Kerr Hall on Oct. 25, at 7 p.m.

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