Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 12 Countries Partner to Protect the Planet

 Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 12 Countries Partner to Protect the Planet

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, July 15, 2013

More than 6,000 Girls and Alcoa Volunteers Collaborate on Environmental Action
Projects

NEW YORK, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Girl Scouts of the USA
today announced that Alcoa Foundation is sponsoring nearly 700 Girl Scouts and
Girl Guides from12 countries within the World Association of Girl Guides and
Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to "twin" together on local and global environmental
"Take Action" projects. All of the projects will engage at least 400
additional youth, and more than 200 Alcoa (NYSE:AA) employees across more than
six countries have already served as volunteers. The girls are partnering to
reduce waste, conserve energy, and plant rain gardens as part of the Together
Greening program.

In an initiative that embodies the environmental mantra "Think Global, Act
Local," throughout July and August, more than half of the 20 groups will
travel to meet their "twins" and see firsthand the environmental and societal
challenges faced by their "twin" group.

"Traveling to other countries and working side by side with peers from
different backgrounds provides many meaningful opportunities for young women
to become active environmental ambassadors and, more broadly, learn about new
cultures and gain valuable leadership skills. We're proud to partner with
GSUSA and WAGGGS on this program and excited to see the impacts that the girls
are already realizing in communities around the world," said Paula Davis,
President, Alcoa Foundation.

The 12 countries with girls participating in the Together Greening project
include: Australia, Brazil, China, Guinea, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico,
Suriname, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The "twinning" activities include:

  oGirls from Iceland traveling to Ohio to reduce the use of plastic bags and
    limit the amount of plastic debris in our waterways.
  oGirls from South Carolina and Australia meeting at WAGGGS World Centre,
    Our Cabana, in Mexico, to join a recycling flash mob. 
  oGirl Scouts from New York traveling to England to teach younger girls
    about the merits of composting and recycling.
  oGirls from Washington, D.C., going to China to build a rain garden and an
    organic vegetable garden.
  oGirl Guides from Suriname visiting Arizona to learn about creating
    legislation to reduce plastic waste.
  oGirls from Mexico meeting their twins in Tucson, Arizona to plant trees
    and vertical gardens.

"After a year of working together remotely and planning and sharing ideas
online and on the phone, the girls will have the chance to meet face to face.
By visiting their teammates abroad, the girls will see the positive
environmental changes that their overseas partners have made over the year,
and they will get to leave their mark by taking part in local environmental
activities," said Harriet Thew, Project Manager; WAGGGS.

The environmental impacts to date include:

  o64 million lbs. of waste eliminated
  o250,000 kWh of energy saved
  o400 million lbs. of Co2 saved

"Environmental stewardship has been a key part of Girl Scouting since its
inception and our partnership with Alcoa is an example of how today's girls
work to protect the planet," said Anna Maria Chavez, CEO, Girl Scouts of the
USA. "By collaborating on these environmental action projects, our girls are
making a lasting impact on the planet."

Find out more about Together Greening at http://togethergreening.tumblr.com.

About Together Greening
The Together Greening program  is funded by a US$1.5 million Alcoa Foundation
grant, which will support GSUSA's 100^th anniversary program, Girl Scouts
Forever Green, and WAGGGS' global "Girls can save our planet" initiative. It
is estimated that more than 25,000 people worldwide will be involved in the
program, including more than 600 Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, 7,500 of their
friends, and 24,000 members of the communities in which they live.

The Girl Scouts Forever Green 100th-anniversary Take Action project was
created when Girl Scout research found that an overwhelming number of girls
said protecting the environment is a priority. This was proven during the
project's pilot years, when the national effort saved more than 1.8 million
kWh of energy, eliminated more than 2.8 million pounds of CO2, eliminated more
than 700,000 pounds of waste, and saved nearly 200,000 gallons of water.

Globally, environmental issues and sustainability have consistently been
identified by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts as one of the most important issues
girls want to make a difference on. In a recent WAGGGS survey conducted in
over 100 countries, 95 per cent of respondents worry about the environment,
and more than a third worry about it ALL the time. Three quarters of
respondents thought children and young people were the group that should most
decide what happens to our environment, more so than teachers, politicians,
and scientists.

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with
assets of approximately US$460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation
has invested more than US$570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation
contributed more than US$21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the
world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate
tomorrow's leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of
Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa's thousands of employee
volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the
communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company's signature Month of
Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in
more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000
people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit
www.alcoafoundation.comand follow @AlcoaFoundation onTwitter.

About Girl Scouts of the USA
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership
development organization for girls with 3.2 million girl and adult members
worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development,
and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a
better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United
States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls
and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in
90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or
donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U or visit www.girlscouts.org.

About World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
With ten million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 145 countries across the
world, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the
largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world.
The World Association supports girls and young women to develop their full
potential as responsible citizens of the world. WAGGGGS focuses on leadership
development and active citizenship. These are delivered through our innovative
global education and community action and advocacy programs. For more
information about WAGGGS, visit www.wagggs.org.

SOURCE Girl Scouts of the USA

Website: http://www.girlscouts.org