I.D.E.A.S.–Educating, empowering and engaging communities in environmental sustainability

Organization: I.D.E.A.S. (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions)
Website: http://www.facebook.com/IDEASforUs
Email: ideasforus411@gmail.com
Author: Chris Castro

Student activists Chris Castro and Hank Harding had searched for a club that suited their ‘green’ needs, but never found what they were looking for.

So they started their own.

Castro and Harding, both environmental studies majors at the University of Central Florida, wanted a club that not only walked the talk but was active as well. The friends decided to start their own club—Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions, better known as I.D.E.A.S.

I.D.E.A.S. is a national non-profit organization founded to educate, empower and engage students in environmental sustainability by offering innovative solutions through research (R&D), action and environmental awareness.

With a focus in outreach, I.D.E.A.S. provides service learning and volunteer opportunities through hands-on, action based practices which focus on environmental education, stewardship and conservation. In addition, we perform scientific research in advanced biofuels, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

As a proactive organization, we provide the initiatives that link peers with issues affecting our local environment and surrounding communities.

Currently, we have ten chapters across the United States, and we continue to expand.

Chapters

University of Central Florida (UCF)
Florida International University (FIU)
University of Miami (UM)
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU)
University of Florida (UF)
Washington, D.C.
Penn State University (PSU)
Texas Tech University (TTU)
University of Huston (UH)
Coral Reef High School (CRHS)

Leaders

Chris Castro
Henry Harding
Viktor El-Saieh
Sydney Smith
Sebastian Church
Samantha Ruiz
Meg Ryan
Dave Oswald
Zak Marimon
Tina Bechtold
Doug Middleton
Brandon Chase
Arturo Romero
Rio Tazewell
Adam Zabowski
Marta de Tuya

Throughout our two and one-half years, we’ve been a family. We’ve won a National Best Campaign of the Year award; placed eighth in the nation, in a field of 1200, for Clean Energy Advocacy; generated over 2700 members; partnered with federal, state and county government, as well as private, public and non-profit sectors; educated K-12 students; cleaned more than ten types of ecosystems weekly; participated in energy competitions; held clean energy bike rallies; created community gardens; and created solutions for issues we face on a daily basis.

This team of proactive leaders has changed communities across the United States, and we strive to expand this movement as far as possible.

Please join us in making the changes we need to see.


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