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Through the GGI’s annual summer internship program, high school and college students pursue high-impact projects in environmental policy and infrastructure. With a keen focus on supporting local outcomes in waste, water, energy, and food, our next-generation leaders gain hands-on experience and industry skills in sustainability systems.

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Program Details

The Go Green Initiative runs two collaborative summer internship programs, with its flagship program located in GGI incubator district Pleasanton, California and the second available to students across the country. Interns participate in a 7-week program of rigorous skills training and project-based learning, culminating in real-world deliverables advancing environmental health, safety, and sustainability in their localities.

Centering around the GGI’s action areas, intern projects engage, educate, and support their communities’ priorities in waste, water, energy, and food systems. Our most recent cohort worked together with their city management, waste services professionals, and state regulatory agencies to develop outreach strategies promoting community compliance with waste reduction and diversion laws.

Internship Projects

Waste Reduction & Diversion (Summer 2021)

The 2021 intern class created a comprehensive outreach campaign to empower their communities to reduce their climate impacts and comply with waste regulations. They worked closely with their city management, waste haulers, and school districts to target high-impact issues and deliver targeted education. Interns were invited to speak at a Northern California Recycling Association Schools Committee webinar, where they discussed their strategy for building social infrastructure and how they're continuing outreach through their Local Leaders clubs.

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Water Conservation & Outreach (Pleasanton Internship, Summer 2020)

Our 2020 Pleasanton internship cohort tackled water issues in their community by creating a conservation campaign and a full-length documentary, “Hometown Water: the lifeline of Pleasanton”. Their outreach educated residents and businesses about the importance of water conservation, even during non-drought times. As part of this project, our interns outlined strategies for indoor and outdoor water conservation and delivered 11 presentations to community groups including the Chamber of Commerce, the Muslim Community Center, and Pleasanton Rotary Club.

Energy Conservation & Outreach (Multi-City Internship, Summer 2020)

The GGI’s 2020 multi-city internship included participants from Compton, Hayward, and Oakland, CA, as well as Niantic, IL, who studied strategies to conserve energy at school. This class of interns developed site-specific campaigns to teach their school communities about energy-saving techniques. Interns used the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager to conduct energy audits, make meaning of utility data, and develop plans to achieve Energy Star Certification at their locations. In honor of Juneteenth, they also researched and presented on environmental justice and racism.

2020 Virtual Online Multi City Summer Internship
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Energy Efficiency in Pleasanton (Pleasanton Internship, Summer 2019)

In 2019, our interns focused on energy efficiency by working with Pleasanton Unified School District to benchmark energy usage at all 15 school campuses and 24 City-owned facilities in the district. To accomplish this, they analyzed electric and natural gas bills using the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager and pitched conservation strategy recommendations to their School Board and City Council. Their project has the potential to save taxpayers over $1.6m in energy costs.

StopWaste Pleasanton Internship (2018 - 2019)

From 2018 to 2019, our interns helped Alameda County facilities achieve compliance with their mandatory recycling ordinance. By the end of the project, interns had supported 10 city facilities and completed mock waste audits to assess each facility’s preparation to pass county inspection standards. Following the success of this project, our interns expanded their work to support Pleasanton Unified School District in conducting school-wide waste audits.

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Creating a 360o Field Trip (Pleasanton Internship, Summer 2018)

During the summer of 2018, the Go Green Initiative interns had the chance to visit Harvest Power, Pleasanton’s compost facility, in Lathrop, CA. Here they were able to receive a better understanding of the amount of contamination found in our organic waste, as well as how Pleasanton needs to address it going forward.

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