Karen Gabriela is a university student in Mexico City, Mexico. Her undergraduate thesis is on the capture of CO2. She has also founded an organization, Respira Verde, which has the purpose of educating children and teenagers about environmental problems.
I became an environmentalist in 1999, when I was 6 years old, or maybe before...
I grew up in Mexico City, with the Discovery Channel, and in my country, the Discovery Channel and Discovery Channel for Kids broadcasted environmental documentaries most of the time.
They were fascinating. They really made a statement on me. They made me realize that the biggest challenge for us were the environmental problems.
Even as a little girl, I understood that life, as I knew it at that time, wasn't going to be the life I would experience in my adulthood.
And that made me really angry, frustrated and frightened. I wondered: Why am I going to pay the price of my elders' mistakes? Why weren't they more conscious? Why couldn't they be more intelligent? Why does my generation have to fix this? And why do other species have to pay the price of human blindness?
That last question was really the one that made me want to do something different. Because maybe humanity won't change until they hit the bottom, but that isn't a valid reason to let other species experience the consequences of our faults.
It isn't fair.
So, I had to do something.
I tried to sign up in movements like Greenpeace, WWF, PETA, but as a teenager you can't do much in those organizations. I also became a vegetarian at 14 with all my family against me. I really didn't know what else to do besides that.
I thought that the environment should have been at the top of everyone's list.
More than a decade ago, so many documentaries on the Discovery Channel mentioned that global warming (because by then they just called it global warming, not climate change) was a lost battle, that there was nothing we could do about it (they blamed the disinterest of people, and inefficient global policies, etc.)
I thought different.
I thought that there had to be something else, something unexplored.
So I chose Chemistry as my way to solve the problem.
Now, I study Chemistry and my undergraduate thesis is about the capture of CO2.
I also have an organization founded in August 2014, which has the purpose of educating children and teenagers about environmental problems.
The goals of the organization are to put environmental education at everyone's reach, to have a really good educational level, to create a sensibility in the future generations about our present environmental issues and how their actions have a direct impact in their surroundings.
Eventually, we would love to educate policy makers and companies. To sum it up: we want to be the best organization of environmental education in Mexico!
I think we have had a big impact on the audiences we had reached so far. Kids are really receptive to this kind of information, and we teach them with science experiments and demonstrations that they totally love. So, I guess we're going in the right way.
The name of my organization is Respira Verde: www.respiraverde.org