The Future of Environmentalism

John Davis

A student from the University of California-Berkeley is one of six North Americans to win the 2007 Brower Youth Award, recognizing her efforts to boost environmental sustainability at the school.

Rachel BargeA Cal press release says 21-year-old Rachel Barge, a junior majoring in conservation and resource studies, has spearheaded the school’s Green Initiative Fund, financing clean energy and transportation to include biodiesel:

As director of sustainability on campus for the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), Barge founded the Sustainability Team, a 60-member group whose projects have included converting the campus’s transportation fleet to biodiesel and establishing UC Berkeley’s first student-run cooperative organic produce stand.

The Brower Youth Award is bestowed annually on young environmentalists selected by the San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute, which was founded in 1982 by veteran environmentalist David Brower. The organization provides support for conservation and preservation projects and recognizes leaders in this area.

“Rachel is smart, impassioned and, above all, energetic,” said David Phillips, executive director of Earth Island Institute. “She isn’t waiting for environmental solutions to come down from those in power. She is taking action now to conserve, protect and restore the earth.”

Barge and her fellow Brower winners will be honored at a ceremony next Wednesday night at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, where they will each pick up a $3,000 cash prize for their efforts, as well as participating in skill-building and mentoring workshops.