CASNR Change Maker Spotlight: Claire Klein

Claire Klein
Meet CASNR Change Maker scholarship recipient Claire Klein, a freshman entomology major from Los Angeles, California. She is working to reduce plastic water bottle use and promote the use of filtered water bottles.
February 21, 2022

Major: Entomology (Insect Science)

Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Please describe your big idea in a few sentences.

We see water in many forms, however the most common is bottled in plastic. Oftentimes people purchase plastic water bottles because they don’t want to drink the tap. However, when drinking plastic bottled water, it contributes to plastic pollution, more harmful chemicals in your body and unhealthy side effects. Thus, my Change Maker project is, “One Filtered Water Bottle vs. 240 Plastic Water Bottles a Month.” The goal of my project is to reduce plastic water bottle use and promote the use of filtered water bottles. Always remembering, we only have one planet and there is no planet B.

What impact do you want to have on the world?

I hope to alter people’s behavior and make them more aware of the impact of purchasing plastic bottled water and the effects it has on the environment.

How has the Change Maker scholarship and CASNR community helped you discover your passion and grow your skills? 

The Change Maker scholarship and CASNR community helped me discover my passion and grow my skills by providing me with opportunities that I otherwise would not have had. People where I am from consume large quantities of plastic bottled water because they have been informed all tap water is poor for their health and have never been educated on using a filter on their faucet. Thus, I believe my topic is highly important because this is a better alternative to drink water than purchasing thousands of plastic water bottles per year for a household. Through this experience I am learning to navigate the world in a different manner. For example, in my home we have filters on each of our facets. The result of having a filter causes the consumer to only need to replace the filter about every three to six months. This alternative to drinking water is not only better for the environment and your health but is cost effective in the long run. Additionally, all family members in my household always have a filtered water bottle with them to use when they are out in public, and the tap water may seem questionable. To add, if one of my family members isn’t using their filtered water bottle, they will have a larger enough reusable water bottle to drink throughout the day.

How has your mentor/mentors shaped your experience thus far?

My mentors have helped me build on my project and make connections with staff and other Change Makers. Additionally, they have helped me incorporate new ideas into my project that previously were not included.

What advice would you have for someone who is not sure if they should apply/if their idea is big enough?

I would say take the leap of faith. If you have a passion for something and would like to educate others about your passion or bring your passion to life, apply for this scholarship. It is important to remember that no great idea is too small. Throughout the process of being a Change Maker you will build onto your idea and the outcome will be better than you think.

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