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This 20-Year-Old’s Antarctica Expedition Transformed The Way She Perceived Global Warming

  • IWB Post
  •  September 25, 2019

Sitting in the comfortable cocoons of our homes, we often turn myopic and lose sight of the constant struggle that our environment is undergoing. The gravity of the situation hits us only when we get a first-hand experience of the carbon imprint that we are leaving behind and how it is destroying our ecology.

Avani Awasthee is one such person who has already been on two expeditions to Antartica at the young age of 20. Her experience on the continent has left her deeply aware of how the climate change is a gnawing reality and needs immediate attention.

She just returned from her second trip to the continent where she was invited as a mentor in a nine-day expedition. The expedition had 87 people from 20 nations, who were all a part of Project 2041. It is an initiative started by Robert Swan who is a renowned polar explorer.

Under the project, an array of people from around the world are taken to Antartica where they can personally experience how global warming is impacting the ecology.

Avani, who was a part of the solutions team, worked toward the making of an app that would enable people to check the carbon footprint left by them. “It is not about giving big ideas, but more about solutions that can be implemented,” she said in an interaction with The News Minute.

She added, “The mission of this expedition is to clean up 326 million tonnes of Co2 from the atmosphere in seven years. And the best way to help reduce Co2 is to plant trees. One tree reduces about 1-10 tonnes of Co2 from atmosphere. This is apart from other measures such as saving water, rainwater harvesting, carpooling, composting, etc.”

Avani’s journey as an activist started in her teens when she participated in a competition organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). She stood third in the competition and was selected as one of 26 student ambassadors.

“It was just a random thing that I had applied for. My teacher had asked me to do it. At that point it was not that I was passionate about the environment. To be honest, I wasn’t even very aware. But now that I was an ambassador, there was a certain kind of responsibility put on to me,” she shares.

It was in 2016 when she first visited Antartica and the experience left a lasting impact on her, to say the least.

Avani shares, “It was beautiful. I had to go through a lot of struggle. But the moment I stepped on the continent, I thought this is what it was for; then it was absolutely worth it. You cannot imagine sitting here that a place like this exists on this planet. It is magical.”

“But, in the end, it is sad to sit there and think that we are on a mission here. The place is depleting at a 10 times faster rate than what NASA had initially thought it would deplete at. It is an entire process. The ice is melting because the temperature is increasing. The temperature is increasing because of global warming. And global warming is happening because people are exploiting natural resources a lot more than they are supposed to,” she adds.

H/T: The News Minute.

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