INTERVIEWING PROJECT PLANET A
By Audrey Willett:
Project Planet A is an organization focused on connecting youth with their communities in order to lead more sustainable lives. Please enjoy our interview with the founder and Executive Director of Project Planet A, Andrew Blatt.
AW: Tell us all about you and your organization!
AB: My name is Andrew Blatt, and I am a senior in high school from California. I am the Executive Director of Project Planet A, having founded it in August 2020. Project Planet A is a youth-led organization that empowers young people to take community-focused action and gain global understanding in order to create sustainable mindsets in the general population. Project Planet A empowers youth to think global and to act local with the firm belief that community actions collectively build up and have large-scale impacts. Whether it is small lifestyle changes or discussions with policymakers, every action works to develop sustainable mindsets in order to foster an atmosphere of being conscious of one’s impact on the environment. From campaigns to workshops to resources to chapters around the world, Project Planet A recognizes all different levels and types of involvement in the environmental movements.
AW: Why do you think it’s important for your generation to let their voices be heard?
AB: Our generation needs to let their voices be heard because all of the decisions that are being made now will affect our future. We are still young right now, and we have more years ahead of us than behind us. We need to share our opinion and voice our concerns so that we can shape a future that is right for us and have a future in the first place.
AW: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
AB: There is a mix of pessimism and optimism that I feel for the future and, personally, I think that it is necessary to have a balanced mix. You need pessimism in order to find the weaknesses in current policies and see the problems that need to be solved in the world. Hope is also important to success. I have hope in our generation. This hope provides passion, unity, and motivation, which I find are some of the biggest factors in success. Without having hope in the future, there is no reason to fight. Therefore, optimism can be one of the biggest forces of making a difference, but not without first seeing the problem.
AW: What are the most important issues facing our world right now? And in the future?
AB: Obviously, I will say that climate change is the biggest problem facing the world. It is an issue that is interconnected to every other issue in the world. The fate of climate change determines if we have a future at all. Its repercussions worsen global disputes and issues, such as global hunger, immigration, and the economy. It is something that affects every single person on Earth, uniting us all. Climate change will always be something to consider. It was not considered in the early 1900s, and now we are experiencing the consequences today.
AW: What does your organization offer that helps the world be a better place?
AB: As a youth-led organization, Project Planet A does not just focus on a select few of the youth becoming climate leaders but rather on empowering and inspiring all people to have sustainable mindsets and environmental involvement. Otherwise, any sustainable action taken will not be effective, because it takes public support and demand to make a collective impact.
Through a wide range of ways to get involved, Project Planet A fosters a global atmosphere of sustainability, no matter the type of person someone is. Providing resources, opportunities, education, and platforms for unification in order to foster global understanding and community projects is what Project Planet A is about. The majority of Project Planet A’s operations surround the maintenance and promotion of the chapter system. Project Planet A organizes regular projects, creates and maintains social media presence, provides thorough resources for individuals and chapters, and supports and promotes community projects around the globe.
Just like if everyone said, "It won't matter if I just use one plastic straw," the amount of plastic straws used quickly builds up, just as community action can build up to make a positive difference in the world if everyone said, “I will be more sustainable.”
AW: Will you be voting in the next election?
AB: I am currently 16 years old, so I will be able to vote and will be voting in the next U.S. presidential election.
AW: Please tell us all about your current campaigns, projects, and endeavors. Tell everyone where to find you online and on social platforms.
AB: Currently, Project Planet A is bringing on new team members to help increase our efforts. Although, we have a few endeavors at the moment, we are trying to increase our outreach to the general population through quick and easy eco-news in under one minute every week. We keep people aware of environmental issues and updates through our Instagram, provide sustainable tips on TikTok, and support people through resources. We are hoping to have an estimated one project/campaign every month in the future. Therefore, we have a few projects currently being planned, including a Sustainable Week in order to show people the simplicity of being sustainable as well as a larger campaign in order to mobilize youth around the world in order to show their love and hope for the planet through Walk for the Planet campaigns.
A lot of our operations surround our chapters around the world, so many of our chapters also have their own projects going on. Youth always have the opportunity to start a chapter in their own school or community. You can find Project Planet A on Instagram (@project.planeta), Facebook (@projectplaneta.ppa), Twitter (@projectplaneta), TikTok (@projectplaneta), and our website (project-planeta.com) where you can subscribe to get email updates. If you would like to personally chat with me, you can message me on Instagram (@andrewblatt).
AW: If there is anything else you would like to say, please do!
AB: Remember that you matter and that you have a chance to shape your future if you let your voice be heard.
Audrey Willett is a southern California sophomore in high school. She is an activist and aspiring filmmaker, and the Social Media Outreach coordinator for The Gen Z Collective.