Shaping Seattle | Youth Voices on Climate Justice with the Tomorrow Project and Girls Scouts
Hiral Choudhary: [00:05:45] I wish I knew I don’t need to wait be 18 or an adult to make change.
[Shaping Seattle is a podcast that highlights the work of Seattle Shapers and other local impact leaders in the greater Seattle area. In this special mini-episode of Shaping Seattle, members of local Seattle Girl Scout Troop 46993 interview Hiral Choudry, a member of the Seattle Chapter of The Tomorrow Project, a youth-led organization tackling climate change from the root cause of education. Follow them on Instagram or visit their site]
Special Episode| Youth Voices on Climate Justice
Hi, and welcome to a special edition of shaping Seattle. Today’s episode is a youth led look at climate change and climate justice. Enjoy the show.
Girl Scouts: [00:00:10] All right. Hi, my name is Aria. I use she, her pronouns. I’m currently in eighth grade. My favorite plant is tumeric because it symbolizes prosperity and purity and because I just think it looks and tastes pretty cool. My Zodiac sign is an Aquarius climate justice is important to me because there’s so much I don’t know about it.
So I’m hoping to learn more. It in the whole process of doing this and because of how intersectional it is, it’s important to so many more issues within social justice and environmentalism then we tend to think about all right, and I’ll pass it on to Ava. Hi, I’m Ava I use she/her pronouns. I’m in eighth grade.
My favorite plant is wisteria my Zodiac sign is a Pisces and climate justice is important to me because there is a lot of misinformation and all people who don’t really understand the impact that climate change and climate justice has on our lives and our future.
Hello, I’m Sophia and my pronouns are she her and I’m an eighth grade. My favorite plant is ivy just cause I like how it kinda like goes anywhere. Zodiac sign is cancer and climate justice is so important to me because it has and will have a large impact on our lives now and in the future.
Hi, my name’s Ren. My pronouns are they/ them, currently in seventh grade. My favorite plant is a rose. I’m a libra and climate justice is important to me, because it’s something that will have a great effect on how we live our lives in the future.
All right. So we’re working on our silver award, which is the highest award. A girl scout cadet can earn. We use our leadership and organizational skills to pick an issue that matters to us. And then we take action to improve our community. Part of the silver award is exploring which local organizations are working on the same issues that we care about.
When we decide to focus on climate change and climate justice, we reached out to Mary from Cascadia Climate Action. She encourages us to the Seattle shapers, which was the perfect fit.
We have a mission to impact our community and the Seattle shapers have amazing resources to help amplify that mission. In addition to this podcast episode, we’re making a fact sheet about wildfires for their online toolbox.
Hiral we would love it if you could introduce yourself, can you share your name, pronouns, favorite plant and Zodiac sign.
Hiral Choudhary: [00:02:36] Yes. Hi, my name is Hiral Choudhary I am in 10th grade. My favorite plant is probably an orchid and my Zodiac sign is a Gemini and I use she her pronouns.
Girl Scouts: [00:02:48] Can you tell us more about the Tomorrow Project?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:02:51] Of course the tomorrow project is a youth organization, nonprofit run by a bunch of high schoolers all over the country and in India working towards spreading education and awareness towards climate change. And we usually work with schools, we make change in our community, and overall we’re working towards climate justice.
Girl Scouts: [00:03:12] How did you become senior director of the tomorrow project?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:03:17] I became senior director of the tomorrow project because our original founders, the four of them, they started this organization in senior year of high school, which was March of 2020. And immediately they were thrown into the COVID world and together they made an amazing organization, but now heading into college, they needed some more help.
I had recently started one of their chapters in Ventura and was able to go through the application process and become one of the leaders of the organization.
Girl Scouts: [00:03:44] How would you define climate justice?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:03:47] For me, I would define climate justice as a movement of education.
If we can inspire everyone around us to think about the climate with every action they take, that itself would have a huge impact.
Girl Scouts: [00:04:01] What first made you want to advocate for climate justice and how long have you been advocating for it?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:04:06] I started advocating for climate justice in seventh grade. The reason I wanted to start was probably because of a need at my school for better water conditions. And I realized a lot of the water conditions while helping it at my school, rooted from climate change in the global water crisis.
And I dug deeper into that. And overall, over time, I’ve understood more about the situation, learned more about what we can do about it.
Why do you think climate justice is important?
I think climate justice is important. Just like I said before, because if we can get everyone to think about the climate before doing every single action, we will have people making conscious decisions, which will overall impact the world and keep that practice going on for many generations.
I think climate change is an ever-growing problem and it is something that we will always face with one time or another and by practicing climate justice and practicing sustainable habits. We can make sure we have this problem under control.
Girl Scouts: [00:05:07] What’s an accomplishment within your work for climate justice that you are proud of?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:05:11] That is a really great question. Although I’ve done many things with the Tomorrow Project and on my own working towards climate change, probably some of the biggest achievements are ones where I get to involve many of my friends or community members around me that didn’t know about climate change before.
It’s actually quite shocking to know how many people don’t understand how serious climate change is, and by involving them in these activities we’re able to teach more people and as many people as I’ve impacted, those are my accomplishments.
Girl Scouts: [00:05:40] What did you wish you knew about climate justice when you were our age?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:05:45] I wish I knew how much people are not aware about climate change. And I wish I knew that I don’t have to wait to be 18 or an adult to make that change. For me, I discovered at your age of 14 that many people may know about climate change, but they don’t necessarily know what to do about it. I felt very helpless and I understood that there are many nonprofits, many clubs, many groups, many individuals out there that are creating a change and regardless of your age, you can join in with them. And there’s no need to wait.
Girl Scouts: [00:06:19] How can we continue to influence our immediate communities like friends, families, and classmates.
Hiral Choudhary: [00:06:25] I believe you can continue influencing people around you just by providing opportunities, providing awareness and providing an understanding of the issue at hand explaining what people can do towards climate change. Even if it’s simply taking shorter showers, simple things like that, or bigger projects like hosting a trash cleanup hosting a public-wide composting bin or educating classrooms near you. And that’s something what the Tomorrow Project does is smaller activities all over the place to provide people with the clarity of what the issue is and what they can do for it.
Girl Scouts: [00:06:59] How do we have hard conversations with people who aren’t open to these topics?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:07:04] That’s a very interesting question. I think it definitely depends on the individual you are speaking about in general, but I think as long as you understand the urgency of the crisis, especially as the children, especially as the current generation, as gen Z, if we at least understand how climate change is going to work, I believe that is impactful enough.
We are the ones that are handling this climate change world. We’re going to be the ones facing the most drastic effects of the issue. And I believe if someone is not willing to understand that issue along with you. It’s not a problem at all, as long as you understand, and you are creating the change, that’s all that should matter.
Girl Scouts: [00:07:44] All right Hiral, are you ready for some lightning round questions?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:07:48] Yes.
Girl Scouts: [00:07:51] What book are you reading now?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:07:53] I’m actually reading the climate change book by Bill Gates.
Girl Scouts: [00:07:56] What leader are you following or looking up to right now?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:07:59] Chloé Zhao she won the best female director in the Oscars recently.
Girl Scouts: [00:08:04] How many hours of sleep I’m getting
Hiral Choudhary: [00:08:07] Six hours super proud about it.
Girl Scouts: [00:08:12] If a genie could grant you one wish, what would it be?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:08:15] To have everyone in the world practice climate justice.
Girl Scouts: [00:08:19] What are you most grateful for today?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:08:21] Speaking with you!
Girl Scouts: [00:08:23] And where can we find you on social media?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:08:26] Well, my only social media is Instagram, so you can follow me at Hiral Chow over there.
Girl Scouts: [00:08:32] Awesome Hiral! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Hiral Choudhary: [00:08:35] No just thank you for this opportunity. I really appreciate you involving me in your amazing award. And I hope all goes great. And I hope you guys check out the Tomorrow Project and do some activities with them.
Girl Scouts: [00:08:45] Thank you.