Hi! My name is Max Meredith and I am a summer intern for the ECO2school program. I am currently finishing up my Bachelors of Arts degree in Sustainability with a minor in Statistics from San Diego State University and I am joining the ECO2school Program team to assist with data collection and analysis.
I became passionate about protecting the environment when I moved to San Diego and saw environmental degradation first hand. People are advised never to drink tap water, and you can’t go in the ocean after it rains because of toxic runoff into the ocean. I was shocked. I started to research environmental issues worldwide and connect the dots between some of the big problems facing our planet.
My research led to a major focus in water management. Addressing the question: how is the world going to adapt to increasing population and decreasing rainfall due to climate change? In Cape Town, South Africa residents are fined if they use more than 13 gallons of water a day. By comparison, the average American uses 17.2 gallons of water in one shower. Clearly there is work to be done.
In many countries around the world, and even some places here in the U.S, people are drinking tainted water and getting sick. Clean water is a valuable commodity. Last summer I went to China and there you can only drink bottled water due to water pollution. While there I researched river water health, and strategies for removing nitrogen from rivers before it gets to the ocean causing hypoxic dead zones.
Environmental education is at the core of climate solutions. I wish that I had learned more about these issues when I was younger. This is why I came to intern with The Climate Center’s ECO2school Program.
As a part of the ECO2school team I am working to educate high school students on how their behavior is impacting the environment, and encouraging them to live in ways that are healthier for themselves and the planet. This summer I am analyzing data on student transportation habits. I hope to motivate students to get to school in more ecofriendly ways by showing them the impact they can have by walking, biking, carpooling, and taking the bus to school.