Reusable pads was the connection that brought together young people from Bayview-Hunters Point and Nepal. This was one of many activities that Girls 2000 has done to battle climate change.
Since 2017, the SFPUC has partnered with Calpine Energy to support renewable energy and climate change education for low-income African-American young women in Hunters Point Family’s Girls 2000 program.
Created in 1997, Girls 2000 develops the skills and aspirations of middle school African American girls ages 9 to 16, creating opportunities for them learn about San Francisco’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. For the participants, the program is not only a place of support, but also serves as an opportunity for hands on education.
“The program provides a lot of opportunities to make change that you would never think of. We do a lot of things outside of the box,” said Lane’a, a Girls 2000 student.
Girls 2000 participants completed a Climate & Health project creating reusable pads for young women in Nepal this past school year. The project was made possible by the SFPUC’s Social Impact Partnership program, which invites private sector partners to give back locally to the communities where they are performing work on behalf of the SFPUC.
The Girls 2000 students learned that reusable pads are less expensive than single-use, disposable products and reduce waste going to landfill.
“One reusable pad replaces 120 disposable feminine products. I enjoyed making the pads and seeing how the girls in Nepal were happy and appreciated it,” said Kenniah, a Girls 2000 student. “Having a lot of sisters from this program on this journey is fun. Even though we are real friends, it is sisterhood.”
During the program, the girls meet weekly to learn about how fossil fuel use like the former Hunters Point PG&E Power Plant have negative impacts on climate and their health, while exploring renewable energy sources and energy conservation measures. Each semester, they attend three field trips, including the SFPUC’s headquarters and the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park (a SFPUC Project Learning Grantee), where they used solar panels to power hand held fans. This past spring, they visited Calpine’s Geysers in Sonoma to learn about how San Francisco is receiving power from geothermal sources.