The International Environmental Summit for Kids (CIMA Kids), held October 24 to 28 in Quito, Ecuador, literally reached a summit this year: the world’s largest mountain of recycled plastic bottles. With it, the participants will be added to the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest amount of this type of waste collected in one month.
EARTH graduates, Gustavo Manrique and José Javier Guarderas (’96, Ecuador) organized Ecuadorian students in order to collect, in total, a staggering 1,559,002 plastic bottles. This is the equivalent of 150 felled trees, 360 barrels of untapped oil, 57,000 pounds of CO2 not emitted, 200,000 liters of water saved, and 25,000 kilowatts of power. Or, a sum of $31,000. Of this money, $25,000 will go to Yasuní-ITT, a governmental initiative that seeks to change international economic cooperation to reduce oil drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The rest of the money will go to companies qualified by environmental agencies.
“Faith moves mountains. This time it moved a mountain of plastic bottles,” José Guarderas told reporters.
Elementary- through high school-aged students in Quito helped achieve this impressive goal over the span of three weeks. They also collected recyclable paper. As a reward, the first three educational institutions received money for infrastructures, audiovisual equipment and artistic presentations on the environment.
Gustavo and José run the company Total Environmental Solutions (SAMBITO), which offers social, cost, and green alternatives to different organizations. As part of SAMBITO’s activities, they organized CIMA Kids for the second consecutive year. This year, the event targeted children, adolescents, families, and educators. In a park within the Ecuadorian capital, visitors could enjoy both lectures and meeting characters from the Nickelodeon channel. This was also the site for the Environmental Assembly for Kids, a meeting for young people representing several countries and their respective approaches to mitigating climate change.
EARTH is proud of these graduates who, through these actions, demonstrate the purpose of the University: to lead change for a better planet.
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