Herricks High School sophomore team the Cli-Mates won first place in the 13th annual Lexus Eco Challenge, as announced on April 16 by Lexus in partnership with Scholastic. Prableen Kaur, Alyssa Lam, Mina Li, Sarah Ninan and Roshni Patel entered the competition through their involvement in Science Research under the direction of teacher Renée Barcia.
The Cli-Mates were celebrated as finalists this winter, an achievement that earned them a $10,000 prize. They went on to excel in the final round, which tasked them with bringing their environmental efforts beyond their local community and are among eight first place winning teams that will each receive $15,000 in grants.
The Herricks students developed a low carbon dieting plan that helps reduce the amount of greenhouse emissions. Through research, they discovered that 20% of Americans produce over 50% of total greenhouse emissions from food products alone. They set out to find solutions, which include using carbon-free foods and recipes, shopping at local markets and being aware of consumption and waste. They further noted that in addition to helping the environment, low carbon diets have positive health benefits.
As stated in the press release provided by Lexus, “The globe’s young students are becoming increasingly aware of our planet’s environmental challenges, and their collective commitment to helping alleviate humans’ negative impact is nothing less than stunning.”
The Lexus Eco Challenge invites more than 2,000 US-based students in grades 6–12 to tackle environmental issues in their communities, create and submit their action plans and results, and compete nationally.