AMHERST, Mass. – Marina Qutab of Rutland, Mass., a University of Massachusetts Amherst junior majoring in both communication and Arabic has been selected as a finalist for Turning Green’s Project Green Challenge (PGC).
The PGC asks college and high school students to make their lives more sustainable through a series of rigorous daily green challenges over the course of 30 days. Challenges are built around unique green themes including body, food, labeling, paper, fair trade and energy. Participants accrue points through challenges they win, depth of engagement, quality of work, a final exam, and a video recap of their 30-day journey.
Qutab was selected from 3,864 participants and is one of 14 finalists in the running for a grand prize package worth more than $12,000 that includes a $5,000 Green Award from Acure Organics; a trip to the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim from Aubrey Organics; a $1,000 Whole Foods Market gift card; a trip to the Gaia Herbs farm in North Carolina, and a head-to-toe eco makeover, including clothing, bath and body products. Qutab says she is honored to be selected and adds that she has learned a lot from participating in the Project Green Challenge.
“I am just so excited to be a part of the challenge. I’ve found that change is possible and it starts with yourself,” she says. “First look at your lifestyle and make the change for the better. Then go out and educate in a positive way.”
The 14 finalists are being flown out to San Francisco Nov. 20-22 to compete for the title of PGC 2015 Champion and to network at an eco summit with like-minded peers and eco leaders. For the final round of competition, finalists have been asked to make another video. Qutab says she is using her background in film studies that she learned at UMass Amherst as well as her musical talents to create a music video.
“My vision is to use music in my video to touch people. I want to inspire others to make a change and to let them know that we are the solution.”
Turning Green is a student-led non-profit promoting eco sustainability for lifestyles, schools and communities. Turning Green says that it seeks to engage youth in the transition from conventional to conscious living, empowering this generation and mobilizing action to sustain a health, just and thriving planet.