Projected on the giant screen at the restored Bedford Playhouse, student efforts to change behavior inspired the crowd at the third annual Greenlight Award Finals on May 1. The program challenges students to take on Bedford 2020’s mission, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect natural resources, and provides a framework, support and incentives for them to complete their projects and present their results at the community-wide final event.
This year the finalist teams addressed environmental problems in their community through behavior change projects.
• Rachel Joseph, from Somers High School, took the $500 grand prize for her efforts to raise awareness and encourage water conservation by installing rain barrels in the Primrose Elementary School. According to Rachel, the rain barrel installation can save up to 124 gallons of water each week and increased education around the garden and water use.
• The two teams named runners up each ran anti-idling campaigns at their schools, Horace Greeley High School and Rye Country Day School, and each received a $250 award.
• The other four finalist teams, from Fox Lane and Horace Greeley, also implemented behavior change projects. They included: inventing a device to measure at-home water consumption, developing a public station where shoppers can share reusable bags and increasing recycling and reusable bottle use in their schools.
“Bedford 2020 applauds the finalists who all worked so diligently to bring their projects to fruition and who have all advanced the mission of Bedford 2020 in the school communities,” said Ellen Calves, program director at Bedford 2020.
With a grant from PepsiCo this year, the Bedford 2020 Greenlight Award offers student environmental leaders training and opportunities they may not have in school. Students engage with experts, develop a proposal, present before an audience, receive funding and work on a real world problem to make a real difference in their community. Ultimately, they present at a community-wide event and compete for prize money. For more information visit www.bedford2020.org/greenlight.