While many students spent their spring breaks partying (in Miami Beach, if you’re following the news cycle) or taking a break from the semester, PIRG students from across the east coast went to Atlanta, Georgia to support our team at Georgia State University on their campaigns to stop a proposed titanium mine near the Okefenokee Swamp and educate Georgians about how they can save money and fight climate change through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Educating Georgians about the Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act allocates $369 billion towards climate solutions.

We just need to use it!

Our team hand delivered more than 1,700 pieces of literature to Georgians about how they can save money while installing solar, switching to EVs, and making their homes more energy efficient. We had more than 700 conversations with people at their doors about the program.

Protecting the Okefenokee Swamp

The Okefenokee Swamp is the largest wildlife refuge in the eastern United States, home to cypress trees, alligators, and black bears. Unfortunately, a proposed titanium dioxide mine threatens the swamp.

If approved, this mine will pump out 1.4 million gallons of water from the swamp every day. Simply put, a swamp without water can’t sustain the wildlife that’s in it. On top of that, the swamp is a climate sink and reduced water levels would exposing the peat and make it more vulnerable to wildfires.

Our team collected 285 petitions at the door that our coalition will deliver to Governor Kemp.

Training by Experts in the Field

During the week, we received trainings and briefings from experts in grassroots organizing.

Top left: Environment Georgia Director, Jennette Gayer

Top right: Fund for the Public Interest Regional Director, Paloma Paez-Coombe

Bottom left: Youth voting expert and legislative staffer, Joey Wozniak

Bottom right: Managing Partner at GreenMark Consulting and President of the Georgians for the Okefenokee, Joshua Marks

Support for young activists!

Our alternative spring break wouldn’t have been possible without support and advice from generous foundation leaders, coalition partners, and donors across the country who care about recruiting and training the next generation of leaders in the environmental movement.

For all of the students who attended our alternative spring break, this was the first door-to-door environmental campaign work they’d ever done. After a fun and successful week in Georgia, they now have the training to continue this work in the summer, next fall, and beyond.