Project Planet Advocacy
Our August meeting ended with an incredible speaker, Sumi Vora. Sumi is not only a high school senior, but she is also the founder of the nonprofit organization, Project Planet Advocacy!
Sumi founded Project Planet Advocacy with the mission to build a “better global future by bridging embracing intersectionality and amplifying diverse voices in the green movement.” The nonprofit’s aim is to bridge the gap between social justice, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare to promote a safe and equitable future for all. Project Planet is about empowering everyone to do what they can.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Sumi and ask her a series of questions about Project Planet Advocacy and what motivated her to take action. See Sumi’s answers below.
Interview with Sumi Vora
Q: What made you interested in saving the planet?
A: I took an AP Environmental Science class in my freshman year that changed my perspective on the planet and environmental studies. While I always understood that global warming was a problem, it didn’t feel like my problem until I started reading more about how climate change is going to affect us all in the future. I became vegan for environmental and ethical reasons, and my research kept leading me to take steps to reduce my footprint. I’m currently trying to go zero waste – I’m not perfect, but I’m doing my best!
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Project Planet Advocacy?
A: I knew that I wanted to start a climate action organization during Freshman year. I initially wanted to fundraise for a volunteer trip in order to help people in Latin America learn about climate change, but my mission changed when I read more about modern-day colonialism and how it affects people around the world. As I had become more involved in climate advocacy on social media, I observed that there was a lot of hatred and call-out culture in the green movement – if you weren’t ‘perfect,’ you couldn’t be considered an environmentalist. I noticed that there were very few people who looked like me in the climate movement, and I wanted to change that. I started speaking out more about how we all need to take small steps to do what we can, and we all need to work together to solve climate change. It has to be a global movement, and everyone needs to get involved.
Q: How did you get started?
A: Getting started has been really difficult. I started by going to volunteer at a local organization called A Precious Child, and I talked to youth in the Inspiring Minds center about how they can do things to help the environment at a low cost. I noticed that they were getting excited about caring for the environment, which made me excited to keep going. During quarantine, we had to make big changes to our direction, which had shifted our focus to writing articles and virtual cleanup kits. I’m really happy with how our mission has evolved, and I’m excited to keep working towards our goals in the future.
Q: What has helped you the most along the way?
A: I think that I’ve stuck with Project Planet even though we didn’t have immediate success because I care about the mission and what we are doing. Even small successes are really inspiring, and I’m so happy to make a change. I hope to get more youth involved in the future – we’re offering volunteer positions for writing blog posts and managing social media, and we’re still sending out our cleanup kits, so we’d love it if you ordered one!
Q: What is one piece of advice that you would give to people your age about getting involved in projects that help make our planet a greener place?
A: Just get started! It’s okay if you don’t have anything figured out right away. I recommend reading a lot and learning about the environment – you’ll be inspired to make changes in your own life, which will inspire changes in others, too. Also, not to self-promo, but if you’re interested in climate action we would love to have you as a volunteer for our organization!
It is incredible to see what Sumi has accomplished, and we hope that hearing her story and learning about her movement will help others, especially our youth, to pick up the call to action!
Ways to Take Action with Project Planet Advocacy
Here are three ways that you can help Sumi’s movement with Project Planet Advocacy:
1. Use Project Planet Advocacy’s free kit to organize a trash clean-up in your community.
2. Read the Project Planet Advocacy blog to learn more about environmental justice and how you can help.
3. Join the Project Planet team as a volunteer!
Please visit the Project Planet Advocacy website to learn more about this great organization! https://projectplanetadvocacy.org/
Sustainable Broomfield Cleanup Event
Project Planet Advocacy has inspired us to organize our own cleanup effort this month, and they were kind enough to provide us with one of their cleanup kits!
Please join us on September 26th for our Small Action Saturday Cleanup at the Broomfield Crescent Grange, 7901 W 120th Ave Broomfield, CO 80020, from 10 am-12 pm. Free composting class and food trucks to follow! Please remember your mask and gloves.
We will also be conducting a Break Free From Plastic Brand Audit on the plastics that we pick up during our event so that we are aiding in worldwide plastic reduction efforts as well.