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The Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Challenge #2
Nov 11

The Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Challenge #2

By Sahar Arbab, High School Program Coordinator, Phipps Science Education and Research

Challenge #2: Be the Change!

When you spill a glass of water, what is the first thing you grab? After grocery shopping, what do you use to carry home your food? Many of you probably answered these questions with paper towel and plastic bag. Unfortunately, our society's constant use of these convenient, single-use materials is actually having a detrimental affect on our environment.

The amount of greenhouse gases we produce as individuals is called our 'carbon footprint' and this carbon footprint is influenced by what we eat, how we commute, what we buy and how we spend our time. On average, a single resident of the United States produces the equivalence of 20 tons of carbon dioxide each year!

By simply being more mindful of our lifestyles, we can reduce our carbon footprint and create positive changes that make a big difference for our communities and our environment. Change is not easy, but through practice and commitment new behaviors can become a force of habit.

For Challenge #2, we want you to research ways that you can reduce climate change through lifestyle changes. We then want you to commit to one of these environmentally friendly actions for an entire month. Recruit a family member to do this with you and keep a record of your actions. In a one page essay, review your success in implementing your plan and the impact that this environmentally friendly action had on yourself, your family and the planet.

This challenge is due at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens by Friday, November 20, 2015. It is your time to be the change! Good luck!

You can find everything you need for Challenge #2, including specific requirements, posters, standards and rubrics, on our website.

Have questions? Contact Sahar Arbab at  or 412-622-6915 x3905.