Turning Back the Tide: How buildOn Works to Fight Climate Change

Turning Back the Tide: How buildOn Works to Fight Climate Change

All of the communities we work in, both in the United States and globally, are on the front lines of the climate crisis. As the planet warms and the climate shifts, economically-disadvantaged communities will bear the brunt of the negative effects. 

Therefore, it is crucial that our programs tackle not only poverty and illiteracy, but combat climate change as well. Otherwise, the improvements we make in these places will be offset by the deleterious effects of rising oceans, decreased air quality, and desertification – changes the United States Environmental Protection Agency reports are already happening before our eyes. 

Each community faces a different set of challenges as a result of climate change–and each one is rising to the challenge in different ways. Read on to learn more about some of the ways buildOn communities are fighting climate change!

In Malawi, a country that is at risk of longer droughts and worse floods as a result of climate change, buildOn staff and communities have been hard at work on afforestation (planting trees in an area that has not had any recently) projects. These new forests will help remove carbon dioxide from the air, as well as provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the community. Planting these trees will also go a long way towards restoring degraded ecosystems wracked by extensive land use.

In Malawi, buildOn staff, students, and community members are planting trees to help combat climate change.

It’s not just the buildOn global community that is planting trees; buildOn students in the US have attended many service projects focused on planting trees in local parks and empty lots, helping to clean the air and pull carbon out of the atmosphere. 

In Chicago, a city where environmental racism is widespread, students from Curie High School in the city’s South Side have worked to plant trees with Openlands, an organization that promotes environmental conservation throughout the midwest. 

buildOn Chicago students from Curie High School helped plant carbon dioxide-removing trees in a local park.

buildOn US students also frequently serve at local community gardens, planting crops, weeding, and doing general upkeep. In Detroit, students have worked with the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative to rake leaves, harvest vegetables, and spread mulch in their gardens. 

These gardens not only provide nutritious food and beautify landscapes but also contribute to long-term environmental health. Like trees, the plants in these gardens also remove carbon from the air!

Detroit students helped prepare community gardens for the winter this fall. These gardens help improve the local environment and store carbon.

Bit by bit, the buildOn movement is working with communities to face the challenges of climate change head-on. From planting trees to maintaining community gardens, we are pushing for a more resilient and sustainable future.

Beyond the work that they do in their own backyards, by engaging in our global movement, buildOn students and communities connect with others across the globe through Trek. These experiences foster cross-cultural understanding and critical thinking about environmental challenges, and help make our planet just a little bit more connected. 

And that’s key, because we’re going to have to work together globally to combat this looming crisis.Will you support buildOn’s work to improve communities and fight climate change? Consider making a tax-deductible donation today.