1. How would you make the best, most efficient use of the $10,000 grand prize?
We have been talking with our teacher, Mr. Dorr, and we have been confirmed to continue on with our project at the Los Penasquitos Adobe Preserve. This place encourages the growth of the native ecosystem and educating the community of what they can do to make a difference. Kaylin has gone there twice to participate in projects they do with people of all ages. She has helped plant native plants and remove invasive species.
If we pass this round, we will be planting native (drought resistant in the chaparral!) plants in this preserve in order to encourage native dominance within the area. We will also be implementing drip water irrigation to advertise the limited use of water on plants. With $10,000, we will be able to buy larger and native plants to put in the preserve. We will also be able to expand this project and implement it in an even larger zone because we would be able to afford it. In order to educate the public, we will be purchasing a set of plaques and signs that describe the plants used and the benefits of using natives and drought resistant plants in yards. This area is near a community park, and many people visit it a day. This will help promote the use of natives and xeriscapes to those who take their time and learn about ways to conserve water and the ecosystem.
We know that this project will not take $10,000, which is why we hope to donate some funds to our school’s AP Environmental Science class with Mr. Dorr. It is thanks to him that we have been able to come this far, and we would like to give back to a teacher that has definitely changed our lives. This year, our class was delayed with labs because our school could not afford the kits needed (we had to wait for funds to come in). With this money, the class will be able to purchase more kits to do the labs that correspond with the unit required for the AP test. This AP class has made a huge impact on how we view the world and the environment. We would love to promote the ideas this class provides by donating about $1,000. (PS: these kits cost about $100 each :(….)
Also, because of our school’s amazing staff, we would like to donate another $1,000. It will help fund our school’s water bill that the school has to pay for our xeriscape. Although it will eventually not need any water, we would like to help contribute to a project we had started.
Kaylin also plans on opening up an Environmental Club (if she can find an advisor) at our high school to promote eco-friendly ways of living. They will continue implementing projects that promote water conservation and the native ecosystem. Her split of the reward will help start the club and the projects ASAP she and members would want to do. It helps get the message out to both the school, members (and their families!), and the community.
2. Come up with a mock-campaign to promote the core concept of your project. This means, tell us how you would sell the idea to a nationwide audience. Please do not feel the need to produce major pieces of media for this portion. We understand you are given minimal time. We are just looking for thoughts.
After participating in the Earth Day Fair, we have been able to educate not only our school, but also numerous members in the San Diego community. We taught quite a number of people what a xeriscape is and ways they can conserve water. We only had one of each of our flyers and project summaries because we did not want to print too many pieces of paper (that would be wasteful!) BUT! We have been able to email them to anybody who wanted to read over them! Electronic is the way to go :)
In order to appeal to the nation, we would have come up with a video and participate in many other environmental events that could help promote our cause. Spreading the news through handing out small flyers and buttons would help spread the word.
Our campaign would have been through both online and through a video that features:"Every Drop Counts" and "Water: it’s the Quantity AND the Quality". Through our flyers, we have advertised and campaigned for the conservation of water since it is a widely depleted natural resource many people take for granted. There are many people in the world who do not get a single cup of fresh water a day. When they do, they cherish it and make it last. Developed countries tend to take it for granted and do not believe how much of an impact they make when they do not conserve water. How much will it take for them to realize this? Will it be when we are out of resources to a point they have to live like the less fortunate? By then it will be too late, and the chaos would have already begun.That is why we need to act NOW.
Water is not a resource that will always be readily available. At the rate of which fresh and readily accessible water is being used and wasted, the future generations will have a huge problem on their hands. Water could easily be a reason for world wars and crises everywhere. Let us not resort toward violence and bedlam and make a difference now. It is our duty to conserve this precious resource in order to protect our children from chaos and a world without accessible water. If we were able to have it, why can’t they? Let us not deplete this life necessity.
Make a difference today. There are many ways to conserve water, as every drop counts. You may think you are not making a difference by shutting off your sprinkler an extra few seconds, showering a minute less, or turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth. But it does add up. Your actions could save numerous gallons. And if everybody could commit to saving water by doing such simple tasks, the problem would be lowered and lowered each successful year that passes.
Making lifestyle changes will greatly benefit the world. Xeriscaping is an easy way of gardening that requires little-to-no water and is very easy to maintain. Such changes will result in a lower water bill and a lower ecological footprint. This form of landscaping will end up paying for itself as the water bill you once had will diminish. Soon it will not need any and will be able to tolerate the climate. The best part is that it is also aesthetically pleasing when organized a right way.
Water may not seem like a resource that is going to run out, which is why it is a victim of the Tragedy of the Commons. It is up to us to stop wasting water and make sure the future has it. Make a change now and the next generations will thank you for it. You can make a difference no matter how small your action is.
Social media is also a very new piece of technology and to be able to get more people’s attention would be amazing. Facebook accounts and pages are great…but there has to be a bigger way of trying to spread the word and getting attention, something that would create a moment of impact that would last soooo long it really brings the attention of all those who have been swayed differently by politicians and anti-environmentalists who say global warming is a myth and that the world’s ecosystems are not important. Something must really hit it at home in order to make a difference.
3. How does social media play a part in advocating your efforts? Tell us about your experience. What’s worked, what hasn’t. How would you use it do make your mock-campaign more successful?
Social media has helped a lot in advocating our efforts. We have been able to make events on Facebook and share our blog with many people at our school. Sharing our project on Facebook and Tumblr numerous times has resulted in many students at our school learning about APES, xeriscaping, and other environmentally friendly ideas. Through Facebook, we got plenty of Key Club volunteers to help advertise our project at Earth Day. They themselves were able to learn about succulents and water conservation that day.
Not only have we had mediums like Facebook and Tumbr but we have also been able to spread word of our achievements through the school newspaper and we are promised a portion of airtime on our school’s broadcasting system by our principal.
In order to make our campaign more successful, we would create videos and a massive amount of flyers to post on these websites to show the impact we make on the environment by wasting water. Witnessing the effects of depletion of water can sway the public as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Al Gore’s slideshows did. Persuasion and evidence will make a lot of advocating successful.
On Facebook, we would make some images that promote conservation of water to make as wall photos, profile pictures, and cover photos. Many people visit Facebook per day, and spreading the word through the popular social media can persuade people to make a difference.
4. To what audience does your project appeal to, and what types of industries/companies do you think you can partner with to help your idea grow to it’s fullest potential?
Our project appeals to many young/older adults and sometimes even children. The succulent fundraiser went very well as all age groups came by to support us and take home something cute. We believe we can partner with Home Depot, Evergreen Nursery, and the rangers from the Penasquitos Preserve in order to grow our project to its fullest potential. Home Depot has provided us with many materials such as majority of the drip water irrigation parts. They have been extremely helpful along with Evergreen Nursery who has given us a 20% off discount on the plants we buy from them! With them as partners, we can bring our project almost anywhere as long as we have permission.
Partnering with these places not only benefits us, but also the companies we work with. We give thanks and advertise their names on our flyers and media, which spread their business around. (We got someone at Earth Day to go to Evergreen Nursery!). Partnering with these companies has been a great time and we are extremely grateful for what they provided for us.
Working with the preserve will be a blast in the future. It will help us get the work out and it will attract more viewers to come and see what is new. The rangers always complain about not having enough asian families come by the ranch. Now’s their chance! We’re both asian, and now we are going to be bringing our family and friends to come and help out with the project. Of course we would want to come back once in a while to check back on it, which will ‘up’ the numbers of asians that attend the free-admission preserve. Yay :)
This project has been taken to both the school AND the community of San Diego. We have been very successful and we are proud of what we have done to help the environment. We have a passion for living green and we hope to spread this project to various places that would catch the attention of a passer-by.