RCE Greater Portland Co-Founder Sponsors the 2015 EcoChallenge

Sometimes all it needs is a kick-start to make things happen! The EcoChallenge is an annual community event that does exactly that. For two weeks, individually or in teams, people chose actions to reduce their environmental impact.

They picked a category such as water conservation, trash, energy, food, transportation or civic engagement and went beyond their comfort zone to make a difference for themselves and the planet. Sponsored by the Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI), a co-founder of RCE Greater Portland, teams engaged whole families, offices, classes, neighbours and friends.

Designed to fill the gap between “saying and doing,” participants were encouraged to check in every day to see if they achieved their goal or not, and then blog about their efforts. Some participants posted pictures and shared suggestions with each other. This added an element of competition and fun to the experience, as individuals and teams earned points and a chance to win great prizes.

RCE Greater Portland has participated in the EcoChallenge for three years now, with growing success.  Of the 4,333 participants in last year’s EcoChallenge, that ran from 15-29 October 2015, 438 represented 16 of RCE Greater Portland’s partners. “This has been a great team-building and personal experience. The EcoChallenge has made a real difference in our lives and in the community,” says Kim Smith, coordinator of RCE Greater Portland.

UNU-IAS programme associate Kyoko Shiota created an international RCE team of 36 participants from Japan, India, Colombia, Zambia, and Kenya. There were many youth participants from Bogotá and Colombia  blogging in Spanish.. The EcoChallenge provided RCE members with an innovative space to share information on ESD related activities among RCE members. They earned a total of 5,295 points, coming in third in the challenge!NWEI gave out certificates of participation and participants could also win general prizes.

For 2016, there are high hopes for a wider participation of more RCE members.  Be sure to check out the EcoChallenge website for more details.

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