By: Tejal Patel
While seeing climate change and its life-threatening effects in the news is sorrowful, uplifting news such as Greta Thunberg and her impact on the world has influenced me to research more about its effects and help advocate about climate change. As dangerous as this issue is, it’s important to hear the positivity around the world and what others are doing to fight climate change.
In Darfur, Sudan, water is precious. There is only 20cm of rain a year, and climate change is making their problem worse. In addition to a shortage of basic necessities, research has shown that the impacts of climate change increase “the risk of armed struggles, particularly in regions where populations are already divided.” Any climate-related disaster increases armed conflict; in fact, a quarter of the violent conflict in ethnically divided countries were caused by climate. Violence occurs because groups fight over resources, especially water, or eventually flee from their territory.
Luckily in Darfur, a solution has been found. People have joined together to transform the seasonal river that runs by El Fasher into weirs, which are used to control the flow rates of rivers. They slow the flow of water from the rain, spreading it out, which also allows more people to work.
Now, farmers and camel herders who were once enemies are coming together to build these weirs and share resources. While there had been a lot of violence, groups who had previous differences have come together to work and fight challenges they face together.
Community and communication have enabled people to work together and solve problems they face. It is crucial that together, we continue to fight climate change and find ways for us to live a healthy and sustainable life.
EDIT: This workshop is now being held on February 23 not the date on the flier!
Dandilyonn is hosting a sustainable packaging workshop! Everyone is invited and for those of you who need volunteer hours, this is the place to go :) This workshop will be led by a StopWaste certified instructor (very cool!!) at a location in Fremont. Sign up at tinyurl.com/DLpackagingworkshop and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!
We are so excited to share with you our newest project: the Dandilyonn Teen Activist Series!
Each week, we’ll be publishing pieces written by Dandilyonn volunteers, teenagers who are highly motivated to research climate issues and share their findings with others. These articles are meant to encourage younger generations to research, raise awareness about, and analyze solutions to current problems, playing an active role in the fight against climate change. And, they're also rewarded with service hours, based on the length and effort of the blog.
If you’d like to get involved, or know someone else who would, the process is easy! Simply fill out this proposal form and we’ll email you back shortly with more information.
We can’t wait to read everything our teen activists discover and we hope you leave with more knowledge and a greater appreciation for our planet.
By: Shreeya Indap
A new decade has begun and the Dandilyonn team is ready to get to work! This year, we’re hoping to expand the Dandilyonn community even more, increasing teenage awareness and involvement as the next generation of climate change activists. If you’re looking to pursue an environmental project, and earn a few service hours, this is the place for you! Dandilyonn will be opening up more opportunities in 2020 to make your passions possible. (We’ll be sharing more information about the options described below soon.)
We can’t wait to see where this new year takes us. We hope to see you at our events and to hear about your continued environmental activism in your everyday lives! Happy New Year from the Dandilyonn Team!
By: Ojaswee Chaudhary
Mission: This year, Dandilyonn decided our goal would be to equip fellow teenagers with their own tools to make change. After a few years of hosting a variety of fundraisers and events which directly impacted our surroundings, we felt that our purpose in the community should shift towards showing others how they could take initiative on their own. We fulfilled this purpose with the following projects:
Through SEEDS 2019, the Dandilyonn team dipped our toes into a different, inspiring world. Our SEEDS director Archana Chaudhary encountered two issues that she set out to address: the need to spread climate change awareness and the lack of experience in college students looking for engineering jobs. Using design thinking, she put together a rigorous yet exciting 10 week challenge for the summer. Young collegiate women across the United States worked in teams to design applications that targeted a specific climate change issues and the results were incredible!
Download our runner ups’ app from the app store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ecocritters/id1476370562
Kathak Solo Fundraisers
One of our Dandilyonn Co-Founders, Ojaswee Chaudhary, embarked on the journey of preparing for her very first Kathak solo called “Meri Bhavna”. In her solo she encouraged her audience to apply the principles of acceptance and universal love in their lives, including a love for one’s planet. Using the funds for her solo, she donated $3000 to the eco-friendly initiative of the College of Adaptive Arts as they moved into a new building. At the end of 2018, Shreeya Indap, another Co-Founder had also performed her first Kathak solo named “Sol”. One of the meanings of the word sol is the sun, and she applied this by donating the funds of her solo to a school in India who desired to make their facility more eco-friendly. Through these fundraisers, Dandilyonn is slowly pushing our community to make concrete changes to help save our planet.
Annual Art in the Park Booth
Every year, Dandilyonn participates in the Fremont Cultural Art Council’s Art in the Park Fair. The event invites families all over the Bay Area to learn about various STEAM topics while having a blast. This was our 3rd year being a part of the event and, in order to stimulate growth, we brought in new activities such as a climate change board game and a nature story time. This event allows us to expand our Dandilyonn community, inspire children to care for our planet at their young age, and provide volunteers with leadership and people skills.
Now, as our year comes to a close, we would like to thank you so much for supporting our endeavors and showing that you care about our planet! Dandilyonn began as a method of making positive change in our world so that we all and our future generations can live better lives. It is vital that we continue to spread awareness about climate change and we encourage you to prioritize our planet in this next decade and era. If we team up as a community and pledge to consistently think about our actions and their effects on our planet, we can truly create impact.
For more information on how to support/volunteer for/work with Dandilyonn, visit our website dandilyonn.com, our Facebook @dandilyonn.co, and our Instagram @dandilyonn. Thank you so much and have a happy new year!
By: Shreeya Indap
Greetings Dandilyonn Community!
It's been a minute. As Ojaswee and I have grown, so have our academic responsibilities. But an important time is approaching us, one that I couldn't keep silent about on this blog... election season! Keep an eye out for upcoming articles as primaries draw closer, specifically related to the final candidates' environmental policies.
For now though, enjoy your summer and remember to register to vote! I'll be seeing you all again shortly.
After months, here it is: part 2 of the Dandilyonn Elements donation! (Our first was back in May when we donated $4000 to Mission San Jose High School). We are so excited and honored to be able to fund eco-friendly lights at Notre Dame San Jose High School. Because of our dance show fundraiser last April, we donated $2000, which Notre Dame matched, generating $4000 to make the school more energy efficient and earth-friendly. And thank you so much to Zamana, the Bollywood dance team from Notre Dame! We appreciate you and everyone else that allowed this project to be so successful and impact so many.
This past weekend was a success! The Dandilyonn team had a blast at FCAC’s (Fremont Cultural Art Council) Art in the Park event. We helped Bay Area kids make succulents (which turned out super cute!) and taught them about renewable energy with paper pinwheels. The music, the people, and the knowledge made this weekend awesome. Thank you to all that came out and supported us. We are so grateful we were invited and we hope to see you again in 2019!
By: Ojaswee Chaudhary
Trashcans. They are stinky treasures of leftover pizza, half-open envelopes, and items too secretive to show parents. Underneath kitchen sinks and in many more corners sit the trash bins where people dispose their waste. Alarmingly, this waste is worth 1 million pounds of materials per person every year. Even though this country represents only 4.28% of the world’s population, American trash represents 30% of the world’s garbage.* Over many years, people have acquired habits of overusing or wrongly using the three main trash bins. Therefore, what is the best way to manage waste? The key to this puzzle is knowing how to use the three large, colored trash bins in the side yards of houses. What does one put in each bin? And more importantly, what shouldn’t go in each bin? Though waste disposal may seem confusing (What even is compost?!), this article will now explain the nitty gritty details of these bins: the compost bin, the recycling bin, and the trash bin. Believe it or not, throwing away household garbage in the right place could be the simplest and most ideal way for a person to preserve the planet.
The first trash bin to contemplate is the compost bin. This green or brown bin is designed for organic, compostable waste. In order for an item to be compostable, it has to be able to decompose or break down into natural elements in a way that produces nutrients. A common misconception is that anything that breaks down, or degrades, is able to go in this bin; this is incorrect because everything will degrade sometime (even if it takes a few thousand years), but, not everything will compost, or decay in a way that produces nutrients. Often, companies sneakily label their items as biodegradable, meaning ‘able to decompose’, however, this does not mean it can be composted. If an item belongs in the compost bin, the package should read “compostable,” “BPI certified”, or “meets ASTM-D6400 standard.” Even without the packaging it is important to know what truly belongs in this bin.
Categories of Items for the Compost Bin**
Today, there exists a prevalent and depressing issue of plastic ending up in oceans and killing poor baby turtles and other marine life. This problem relates to recycling. The misconception applies when one recycling stereotype comes into play: “recycling” always makes people think about plastic. Though it is recyclable, plastic rarely ends up being reused and instead kills 100 million marine animals every year. Nevertheless, the recycling bin is one of the most beneficial eco-friendly inventions. This blue or grey bin is designed for reusable items, ones that can be used to make new products. Recycled objects should be 1) clean and 2) loose. A loose item is on its own and separate from other items (not in bags or boxes).
Items That Are Not Recycled:
Items That Are Recycled:
Knowing what to put in the blue or grey recycling bin will make a better environment and allow people to truly embrace their inner Lorax. (Fact: almost every part of Thneedville could have been recycled!). On the other hand, not knowing what is recyclable causes damage. A recyclable item that is deposited in the landfill loses its reusability, leading to another cut-down tree. As people realize the importance of recycling, deforestation will decrease, pollution will lessen, marine life will survive, and humans will have Earth again!
The landfill bin, better known as the home of Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street, is the final bin to consider. This is not the “everything else” bin. This blue or grey bin is designed for all items that are destined to produce fossil fuels in landfills. The garbage just sits and makes methane until it rots. The landfill bin is a last resort and one must understand the specifics of this bin. By ensuring that minimal waste goes into this bin, landfill pollution and the bin’s foul stench decrease.
Items That Do Not Go In The Landfill:
Items That Go in the Landfill**
Notice how the dirtiest of household garbage (except food) belong in this bin. Putting these items in any other bin results in major expenses for decontaminating reusable or compostable items. Being conscious about the landfill bin will ensure less land pollution. Humans have the duty to properly dispose of what we take from the planet.
The words compost, recycle, and landfill are probably swimming in your mind by now, and here is a quick rundown: Organic materials that produce nutrients such as food and plants belong in the yard waste or food waste bins. Reusable, clean items including paper and cardboard go in the recycling bin. Household debris like hygiene products and pencils are meant for the landfill bin. Every trash service has their own regulations. A citizen, therefore, has the responsibility to be educated about their community. As much as one may want to recycle or compost, sometimes an item has lived its life; as said by environmental writer Jenny Price, “Remember that wanting the box to be recyclable will not make it so.” The truth is, throwing something away is not a no-brainer; it is a “use-your-brainer” because the Earth is counting on humans to be conscious. Organizing garbage has widespread impacts. Landfills release a fifth of the methane present in our atmosphere, causing major pollution. Un-fill our landfills! The 21.5 million tons of food that Americans produce each year could be composted and reduce greenhouse gases (in fact, as many greenhouse gases as two million cars emit). Learn to compost! Lastly, massive piles of garbage around the world are causing irreversible harm to wildlife. Save our animals! By proper organization of household waste, we will finally begin to experience a cleaner environment and live among positive change.
*Statistics about US waste: here and here
**Lists of items for bins (different for each county): here
*** Create a compost pile: here
Trash service websites: Republic, Waste Management, Recology
Science behind composting: here
Compost labels: here
By: Shreeya Indap
Earlier this month, I excitedly buckled up my seatbelt in the back of my mom’s car, sitting in anticipation for my upcoming cruise to Mexico. During the next 7 hours to the Long Beach Port, we trudged on through the seemingly never ending grassy hills and farms of the valley. I was only a young child the last time I’d ventured into these areas of California, so I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary when I peeked my head out the window. That wasn’t the case for my mom, however.
“What’s that dust storm looking thing over there?” she asked, pointing to a little tornado forming from the ground.
Brushing it off, I replied, “Oh it’s probably just coming from the back of that truck. Nothing to be worried about, I’m sure it’s normal.”
In a few minutes however, we also began to notice many signs on the sides of the road, displaying messages such as “No Water = No Jobs” or “Congress Created Dust Bowl”. Once back from the cruise, we immediately investigated the signs, who put them up and why they are there. They were from a group called Families Protecting the Valley, which, according to their site, “is a coalition of farmers, agriculture providers and community leaders in the San Joaquin Valley who find it vital to promote the necessary resources and government policies that will provide long-term agriculture jobs, a safe and reliable food and water supply, and economic security for farmers.”
And, as I found out, the dust tornadoes we were seeing were indeed something to be worried about. They’re part of the two problems that California farmers are facing. One is that because of the drought, there isn’t as much water as there once was, creating the extremely dry and dusty conditions that I saw on my trip. Couple that with any wind and you’ve got yourself a dust tornado. But further, water isn’t distributed properly: most sources agree agriculture should use 80% of a state’s water, but the FPV claims that their share is around 40%. This means that “farms are dying, families are losing their livelihoods and there’s no end in sight,” according to Shelby Pope.
Not to be completely one-sided, there are some issues with the ways we’re using our water, making growing food a waste of water if we don’t do it right. First of all, farmers grow huge surpluses to make prices extremely low, leading Americans to overbuy food and waste 25% of it before consumption. Additionally, producing foods such as almonds, which require a lot more water than others, shouldn’t be grown in drought conditions. All this water could easily be conserved or reserved for foods that need it less.
Overall however, California has been consistently dry and the government should consider the priorities of where water needs to go, in addition to farmers growing the right foods in the right amounts. Remember to vote this November for the resolutions and candidates that will help in this battle against another drought. (Keep an eye out for some of our recommendations in a few months!) And as always, make sure you’re taking efforts to conserve water yourself to help combat these issues.
P.S. We hope to see you this weekend at our booth at FCAC’S “Art in the Park”. Come out to make some environmentally-friendly art and have some environmentally-friendly fun!